Atlas Information Systems
As stated before, atlases can be considered comprehensive spatial information systems of a particular region irrespective of their production and presentation media. They represent the complex human and physical environment in a narrative based collection of applicationspecific, synoptic, and significant map and other graphics. This may include static data presentations like static maps, tables, text, and images, as well as dynamic presentations like animated maps, sound, video, etc. Viewed from information and communication theories, atlases thus represent highly compressed knowledge bases of all kinds of spatial information. The current term atlas information system (AIS) stresses the affinity of electronic or digital atlases with GISs. Like their conventional counterparts, AISs offer extensive functions for viewing, exploring, and knowledge acquisition, however, based on screen maps. AISs combine the powerful potential of nongraphic data management and manipulation like selection, aggregation, or spatial join with a flexible presentation of spatial information.