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Atlas is the name, in Greek mythology, of giant holding the land and the sky on his shoulders. Son of Jápeto and Climene , Atlas he is a titan who was condemned to carry the planet for Zeus .

The term has various uses today. By extension to the mythological concept, atlas is the name of the first vertebra of the cervical , which is in direct contact with the occipital bone and that immediately supports the head .

Another very frequent use of atlas is in reference to the collection of maps (geographical, historical or other) that are collected in the same volume. The atlas, according to its contents, can be national, regional or universal. For example: “When I was a kid, I was fascinated to look at the maps of the atlas my grandfather had in his library”, “I'm going to the library to look for an atlas: I have to consult a map of the Roman Empire”, “Miguel is trying to find the town where we will go on vacation in the atlas”.

The notion of atlas is common in the astronomy . With that name a family of American rockets is called, a Moon of the planet Saturn and a space observatory of the POT which is under study

The club Gualadajara Atlas is a Mexican soccer team that competes in the tournament of First division . Champion was consecrated in 1950-1951 and won several editions of the Mexico Cup .

Charles Atlas (1892 -1972 ) Finally, he was a bodybuilder who invented a popular bodybuilding method that bears his name.

From printing to Google Maps

Until the early 1990s, the word atlas was associated with books printed, to a perfect companion of an encyclopedia, to a large volume that dazzled its readers with its impressive full-color maps full of interesting and unusual information from all parts of the planet. For those who didn't have one in their house, there were the libraries; the lucky ones, on the other hand, surely reserved a special place on their bookshelf for this world knowledge source.

With the arrival of the Encyclopedia Encarta, from Microsoft, gradually using the books of query in physical format it was decreasing, and its World Atlas He left millions of users speechless at the possibility of freely manipulating a digital globe, to intuitively look for the point of the map they wanted to explore and, once found, approach it, seeing with the typical astonishment of the it was pre-smartphone how a planisphere map gradually transformed into a local one.

Just as Wikipedia's immense popularity helped the public lose interest in Encarta until Microsoft discontinued it, the omnipresent Google Maps became a kind of atlas that a large percentage of the world's population queries daily as part of their virtual tasks. However, only in March 2014 did Google convert this powerful service in an atlas officially.

The Google Maps atlas allows its users to apply layers on maps to study population statistics, the changes that have suffered temperatures around the world in a given period, historical plans of various cities and the consequences of deforestation. All this, accompanied by descriptions and the possibility of acquiring copies in physical format of the various maps. Among the companies that collaborate with this project is nothing less than the National Geographic.

Even for many defenders of traditional literature, printed on paper and protected by strong and tangible covers, it is fascinating to observe an animated capture of the Earth at night, with the flickering lights of their cities, or a flat from Tokyo in the 17th century to compare it with the current one.

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