The world around us is a visual feast and we as humans are visual creatures. Long before we can speak or read, before we understand the concepts of words and numbers, our brains are al- ready processing, storing, and contextualizing incredible visual input from the world around us.
The world today is not an easy place to live. The progress of civilization has no mercy. If we don’t want to stay behind, we have to learn, evolve and understand new technologies, concepts to keep up with the frantic pace of life. So, what is the idea of the authors to support us and not let us drown in the floods of information? Gestalten created an unique atlas presenting all facets of the world around us. As various magazines, websites, books or newspapers are often extremely useful in interpreting massive amounts of data, the authors decided to feature the most remarkable graphics they’ve collected from media across the world.
What kind of subjects will you find there? I’ll mention a couple of them to give you idea the scope of the book: the construction of the Universe, disaster costs, continental shifts, nuclear weapons, a genealogy of the world’s regions, about common phobias, submarines cables, 21st century’s global superpowers. You will also learn when the world celebrates, why it is no accident that the richest countries have the most emancipated women or what is really happening when your plane takes off or why we can’t keep our New Year’s resolutions. My favourite chapter is about living together that shows the world’s population, migrations’ destinations, various religious beliefs, traditions or political systems and many more.
The graphics explaining our complex world are attractive, full of colours and great illustrations, which makes exploring the Atlas’ very engaging and adventurous. Some graphics are complicated and tough to read due to the amount of data they process, in which case there are special instructions how to read them. As the authors say, this book could perform as a time capsule for future generations or the message sent out into space to tell more about the Planet Earth. I would add that it might be also a great tool for each of us not only to keep eyes wide open and learn about our contemporary world but also appreciate its amazing diversity. It would be beautiful if one day the world around us would coexist like it does in this visually striking book.
All images courtesy of the Publisher - from Around the World. The Atlas for Today, Copyright Gestalten 2014