Key Points:


, the world's largest atlas, was launched at Whitcoulls in Wellington yesterday.

New Zealand's entry in the tome was overseen by Roger Smith of Geographx, a Wellington-based mapping company, also responsible for all of South America and some of the US. The atlas, which weighs 35kg including its leatherbound case, has a limited print run of 1000 gold copies (not available generally in New Zealand) and 2000 blue copies. For those who cannot afford the $6000 price tag for the blue edition, a smaller version,


Earth Concise

, will sell for around $150.

The hand-bound atlas' 580 pages contain 350,000 words, 800 photographs and hundreds of maps. The concept of such a large atlas is the idea of publisher Gordon Cheers of Millennium House in Sydney.