Atlases: Definitions and Characteristics
Atlases are systematic collections of topographic and/or thematic maps with selected scales for a dedicated region and a dedicated goal.
[Hake et al. 2002; Kraak and Ormeling 2010]
An atlas is a set of targeted compiled maps systematically organized according to the thematic content, the spatial extent and temporal viewpoint and assembled in a unified map language.
An atlas is a collection of maps; it is typically a map of Earth or a region of Earth.
[Wikipedia authors 2016]
One of the main tasks of an atlas is to enable comparisons between maps in order to recognise correlations between them.