Allright, instead of nitpicking road revisions, I want to interject my own general RM-Atlas bitchfest!
I decided to look at this thread only after
buying the newest "2012" RM atlas. Last month I took a road trip and the day before we left, I thought I'd buy a new atlas since my last one was from 2006. That one was the full size Travel Guide (spiral) bound style from Walmart. I had no idea that RM had changed publication dates to this ludicrous half-year-ahead BS, but I guess that was the reason I coudln't find any large size RM atlases in any stores I went to. Heck, I thought maybe the GPS and online mapping companies had killed off the traditional road atlas or something! So I just went and used my 2006RM Deluxe and an old 1996 Gousha.
Anyway, the day after I get back
from the trip, I go in to Sam's Club and see they had the 2012 out, in the spiral binding ("Festival Guide"). So I got it. Then took it home and compared it to the old one. (I have a metal-spiral "Deluxe" from 2000 as well - these days I seem to buy them only every few years) And then I read this thread and looked at it some more.
I'm kind of disgusted. First of all "Printed in China, Published in USA" ugh.
While it does appear that everything on the map has been redrawn since my 2006 copy, and the twists and turns of the roads and other details may be a little bit more accurate, that's offset by some poor lithographing. It was mentioned about the difference betwen dirt and paved roads - on the 2006 when there was a road that went from dirt to gravel it was pretty easy to spot. Now it's just so damn fuzzy - there still is a difference but really... I was looking at the Wyoming map since I live there... and a good example is the back road from Chugwater to Horse Creek is one of those that has a dirt section in the middle. And it's really hard to tell that on the map anymore.
Another thing I didn't notice at first was the lack of town elevations. When and why did they get rid of those?
Another beef is in the typesetting choices of the numbers. In 2006 they were just starting to switch to the Highway-Gothic-inspired numerals in the shields. That was cool, no problem with that. But at that time, the rest of the numbers were all in the previous typeface and the old EXIT numbers as well. Now all that stuff is now in Highway-Gothic style and they didn't do a very good job. The new green EXIT number boxes are OK - but there aren't enough of them sometimes. The old style allowed for more to be tagged. Or they need to add some along with arrows to what they have now. And some of the spot-distances-between-roads, the new typeface is so dang narrow compared to before, it's harder to read.
One thing I had liked about that 2006 spiral/Travel Guide version was the regional maps in the front. I've used them for longer distance planning. But now they have them all in the back... scattered amongst the "Festival Guide" that this book now has instead of a Travel Guide. I guess they felt there were too many "travel guide" type books out there so they had to do a "festival guide" instead?
And then people with smart phones can use their bar code things to get the travel guide stuff? So what about me, who doesn't have, nor want to have, one of those phones?
The last thing I want to bitch about are the bounding boxes around Metro Areas indicating an closeup/inset is in the book somewhere. They used to be a nice noticable yellow with a contasting red line - now they are a dull gray and you can't hardly even see them... pretty much useless.
The only improvement is the price tag, it was only 10.88 this year. The 2006 one was 12.82. My 2000 version is missing the back cover so I can't find a price on that one. I'm not so annoyed to return it though, it'll just get added to my collection of atlases.