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February 1997

Atlas of Dermatopathology

Author Affiliations

Indianapolis, Ind

Arch Dermatol. 1997;133(2):257. doi:10.1001/archderm.1997.03890380131031

An atlas is defined as a collection of maps or aggregation of images pertaining to a particular subject. Atlases were originally created to fill the needs of travelers requiring information about a territory. Maps can convey more information than word descriptions and allow the reader to pose and answer questions that the mapmaker might not have even considered. Claudius Ptolemy of Alexandria, in the second century AD, was an early creator of an atlas. He compiled the Geographia, in which he preserved the works and theories of others and, by so doing, established a template for later explorers. During the 16th century there was an accelerated production of atlases. Views of towns, especially from an elevated perspective, were introduced, changing the traditional format of a map. Gerardus Mercator, in the 16th century, used a picture of the Greek Titan Atlas holding the world on his shoulder as a frontispiece, thereby

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