GIS Helps Times Books Revolutionize Atlas Production

ESRI Software Makes Publishing 90 Percent Faster

Redlands, California -September 24, 2007— The 12th edition of The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World, published by Times Books, part of HarperCollins Publishers, was released in September 2007 with the help of ESRI geographic information system (GIS) software for data maintenance, quality assurance, and map creation. The atlas is fully up to date, stylish, and contemporary and continues to be a leading authority with its selection of detailed maps and index of more than 200,000 places and features. The data gathered for the atlas reveals interesting information on climatic extremes' effects on the earth, the urbanization of world population, and the dramatic growth of China.

Four years in the making, The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World was painstakingly researched by a dedicated team of more than 50 cartographers, with changes to the database made every 3.5 minutes using a 24-hour-a-day news feed. Data was validated from approximately 500 organizations and experts.

“ESRI’s GIS software has increased throughput and lowered the cost of map production,” says Sheena Barclay, executive director, Collins Geo, HarperCollins. “Equally important, we now have a more creative and flexible range of products. We use GIS to target our specific needs, opening up new opportunities and managing information in new ways.”

HarperCollins relies on ESRI’s ArcGIS  database-driven GIS software and Maplex, a high-end cartographic design software for atlas production. This solution allows HarperCollins to automate, store, edit, and manage all of its geographic data. Maplex alone has given the publisher a powerful solution to a time-consuming and laborious process that plagues all atlas and map publishers—text placement. Using Maplex, HarperCollins has automated this process and finds it is now 90 percent faster than before.

Thousands of changes have occurred since the previous edition of the atlas, including approximately 20,000 mapping updates and more than 3,000 changes to place and feature names. A new 1:5,000,000 map of Alaska and Northwest Canada has been added as well as dramatic new continental satellite images.

About ESRI

Since 1969, ESRI has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. The market leader in GIS, ESRI software is used in more than 300,000 organizations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the United States, most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. ESRI applications, running on more than one million desktops and thousands of Web and enterprise servers, provide the backbone for the world’s mapping and spatial analysis. ESRI is the only vendor that provides complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server, and Internet platforms. Visit

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