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WIU Geography Professor Edits Latest Edition of Goode's World Atlas

November 2, 2016

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MACOMB, IL – Most people pick up an atlas when they need to navigate unfamiliar roadways, but more advanced editions of the publication help geography students examine maps from around the world.

When college students open the 23rd edition of the Goode's World Atlas, the one most widely used in higher education, it will be thanks to extensive work by Western Illinois University Geography Professor Chris Sutton. Sutton is the editor of the latest edition of the atlas, produced by Rand McNally.

The book helps students navigate maps with the help of color-coded sections and charts.

The atlas is distributed by Pearson publishing company, which Sutton has worked with on numerous projects, including a video platform project for some of the company's textbooks.

"I was honored to be asked because Goode's has had only a handful of editors since the first edition came out in 1923, and this is a widely used part of introduction to geography classes," said Sutton. "I was pretty floored. It took one year of work, but this is the gold standard of atlases. I have used this atlas, as a faculty member, since 1995."

The previous edition of the atlas came out in 2010. Sutton said some of the maps and country names were out of date. The new atlas contains several additions, including more than 60 new maps.

"I worked with a team of editors and cartographers to update existing maps introduce new maps," Sutton said. "We made several design updates such as color-coding sections and adding introductions to the sections."

At Western, Sutton teaches world regional geography, cartographic design and map-design, as well as graduate research methods. He is also a faculty associate for WIU's Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Center and for CITR (Center for Innovation in Teaching and Research) at Western.

The book was printed in August. For additional information about the atlas, visit

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