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Oxford's Ever-Changing 'Atlas of the World'

With the Polar Ice Cap melting and geopolitical boundaries still shifting, cartography is a painfully ephemeral undertaking. Undeterred, the mapmakers at the Oxford Press have produced a vivid new edition of the Atlas of the World.

At least from afar, the mapmakers' world is a beautiful place. Their 560-plus-page Atlas includes all the typical maps of continents, countries, states and cities. But it also includes expansive photographs from space, including richly detailed images of the world's great deserts, metropolitan areas and vast expanses of water.

In the age of the World Wide Web, atlas-making is a dying art, and the Oxford Atlas is the only print version still updated annually. Ben Keene, the editor of the newest edition, discusses mapmaking in the computer age with John Ydstie.

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John Ydstie has covered the economy, Wall Street, and the Federal Reserve at NPR for nearly three decades. Over the years, NPR has also employed Ydstie's reporting skills to cover major stories like the aftermath of Sept. 11, Hurricane Katrina, the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. He was a lead reporter in NPR's coverage of the global financial crisis and the Great Recession, as well as the network's coverage of President Trump's economic policies. Ydstie has also been a guest host on the NPR news programs Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition. Ydstie stepped back from full-time reporting in late 2018, but plans to continue to contribute to NPR through part-time assignments and work on special projects.