"My, Grandma - what a big atlas you have!" All the better to map the surface of the Earth to a frankly-ludicrous level of detail (this thing shows the location of shipwrecks), not to mention display beautiful photographs of world wonders across 6 ft (1.8 m) by 4.5 ft (1.4 m) double page spreads, my dear. This is the conversation that would almost certainly take place were Little Red Riding Hood's grandmother to blow her US$100,000 savings on the Earth Platinum Atlas - the largest Atlas in the world - published by Sydney-based Millennium House.
It takes two people to turn one of this enormous book's 128 pages 6 ft tall pages. According to Big Think, the 150-kg (330-lb) Earth Platinum Atlas was put together in just 4 years by an international team of 88 cartographers. That's slightly at odds with the information available from London's Altea Gallery where edition number 2 is up for sale. According to its information the Atlas is the result of 25 years of work. Either way, the project is a testament to Millennium House founder Gordon Cheers, who oversaw the project.
The 30 or so photographs contained inside must be one of the book's most compelling attractions. The largest have been created using Gigapan photography. A spread of the Shanghai skyline is comprised of 12,000 individual photos and is, according to the Altea Gallery, the largest photograph in the world.
Though yet to be made official, the Earth Platinum Atlas is set to break the official record for the world's largest Atlas - a record that has stood since 1660, held by the Klencke Atlas housed at the British Library.
Only 31 copies of the Earth Platinum Atlas have been put together, which is hardly surprising when one considers they have to be printed in Italy and bound in Hong Kong. It sounds as if some copies have been snapped up by customers in the Middle East.
Still, I'm not sure if my bookshelf is up to the job. Think I'll wait for the paperback.
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