University of Saskatchewan initiated the Atlas of Saskatchewan
Project in 1996. The first phase of this project was completed in
November 1999 with the publication of the Millennium Edition of the Atlas
of Saskatchewan. It was very favourably reviewed and
received two Saskatchewan Book Awards. It has come to be recognized as an essential
source of information on the physical, social and economic landscapes of
our province. The Atlas is proving to be a valuable tool for
academics, researchers, administrators, professional planners, teachers,
the business community and the general public both within and beyond
new edition of the Atlas was
produced using state-of-the-art computer mapping and geographic
information system technology. This resulted in the compilation of a
comprehensive, provincial-scale digital geographic database that will soon
be available through SaskGeomatics.
This database, and the digital map files compiled during the first
phase of the project, laid the foundation for the second phase; namely, the
production of an interactive, multi-media CD-ROM Edition of
the Atlas of Saskatchewan. This phase was completed in November
CD-ROM Edition introduces new material on our
provincial flower, post-glacial landscape development, birdsongs and the
languages of First Nations people. However, its primary purpose is to
present Atlas information in a new, interactive, multi-media
environment. It uses animation
and sound to help communicate geographical information. It also introduces
new “pan and scan” maps to help users explore the richness and depth
of the larger and more detailed maps. More photographs are provided to
supplement maps and text. Dynamic links between graphical and textual
material help the user navigate the tremendously complex body of
information that was compiled for the Atlas.
The next phase of the Atlas project will focus on the development of an Internet Edition that will allow users to work directly with the Atlas database to query, analyze and customize maps.
Atlas is useful to schools, colleges, universities, libraries, business
and industry, government departments and crown agencies, and the general
public - not only in the province, but worldwide. Its multi-format
publication will make it not only a basic reference for educators and
administrators, but also a promotional tool for tourism and business.
The book and CD-ROM are now available
at various locations for the year 2000
celebrations of Saskatchewan's 95th birthday and the Millennium. The
projected completion date for the full family of new Saskatchewan Atlas
products is the year 2005 - Saskatchewan's 100th birthday.