The Last Hurrah?
Way back when I used to develop multimedia for a living, one of my biggest clients was a big Australian book publisher – and the bloke I used to work closely with there was Gordon Cheers. Together we shipped such seminal titles as Australia Through Time and The Ultimate Australian Gardening Guide; he in print, we on CD-ROM. We all moved on from those early 1990s days – and Gordon is on the verge of shipping Earth, a 35 kilogram atlas in a limited print run costing a few thousand dollars. From the Sydney Morning Herald:
IT HAS been billed as the ultimate publishing blockbuster: a boxed atlas that weighs 35 kilograms, comes on silver-gilded pages packaged in hand-bound leather, with a fold-out aerial photograph of the Earth at night measuring more than two metres.
Three years ago, Cheers created his own company, Millennium House. He assembled an EARTH team, supported about 100 cartographers, oceanographers and geographers, and 50 editors to select killer facts and photos from the National Geographic archives.
The result may be the last big atlas to be published; in future, he says, such maps will be accessed, regularly updated, on the internet. By contrast, EARTH is a snapshot of the world in 2008, but like an old family Bible it is a book built to last 500 years.
Probably not something I’d buy, but good luck Gordon – and I trust it ships with a CD-ROM (or at least a DVD-ROM) 🙂