Children going to school are usually introduced to an atlas when studying geography. They find out much about the world through the use of these types of maps.
As the children become adults and start to travel, they may rely more on road maps and city maps to give them the information they need while traveling.
There are several differences between a road map and an Atlas, and each one serves their own purposes. A road map is a detailed map that shows most roads available to travel on in any particular location. Along with the roads, they often show items that would be of use to people traveling by automobile, such as rest stops and scenic locations. They can also tell a person traveling how far it is from one point to the next. These road maps either can be found for individual places, such as a state, or can be found in a book that includes maps of all fifty states.
An Atlas, like a road map is a book of maps. However, an atlas usually contains maps for many parts of the world, not just the United States. They are meant to give a person a broader understanding and perception of the world, not just the roads within certain destinations. An atlas also gives detail about locations such as the population and climate for a particular area. An atlas will usually also tell the time zone of a particular location. This information may not be of interest to some people planning a trip, but for others it is very useful to know, especially those traveling to more then one location, the time zone information would be particularly useful to know. By looking at an atlas, a person can also find out information about cities and towns, not just where they are located.
For those interested in owning an atlas, either in preparation for an upcoming trip, or just for the educational benefits of studying one, there are several places to consider looking. The first place, which may be the most convenient for people is online. There are hundreds of websites that sell a wide variety of atlases. They can be purchased both used and new and there is a large price range depending on the type of atlas bought. Another good place to find and purchase is at an office supply store. There a person can find an atlas similar to those used in schools and other varieties as well.
While an atlas is generally in paper form, there are also forms available on CD Rom, perfect for those who spend a lot of time on the internet or computer.
Travel maps come in a wide variety of styles. It is up to any person planning a trip, or just wanting to know more about places in general, to decide which information they are seeking and the best source for finding their answers. While road maps and atlases may contain some of the same information, it is clear that they are also unique and a wise person would want to search out the information contained on both of these types of maps.