OK, I'll admit it. I'm a mapaholic. Can't have too many. Let's talk World Maps - South America, Africa, Asia and such. The single best investment to date has been the MacMillan World Atlas. This a large, heavy tomb with very legible, highly detailed full color maps in double page sections organized by continent, not country. So the seams end up wherever, but overlap is large enough to keep that from being a problem. The best part about this Atlas is the road detail. It really is remarkable. Complete with KM's between points on the map. The level of detail gets down to some light grey "donkey" tracks that appear pretty sketchy. Detailed maps are at 1:4.5 million which is large enough scale to get very precise with the excellent graphics. As for fold-up paper maps the best overall, country by country coverage, at least for South America has been Nelles. At 1:2.5 million the scale is larger than the atlas and detail somewhat greater as well. I find the graphics easy to read and the points of interest, archaeological sites and city notes are a big help. Some of the roads appear dated, as in gone. I can't tell how old the data is. Distances are easy to read and fairly detailed. They cover over 60 countries and are easy to order on Amazon at about $10 per copy. The paper is well printed (both sides) but not very strong. http://www.nelles-verlag.de/cms.php/36/0/0/11/0/0 An alternative is Collins, but their graphics really suck and the detail is much less comprehensive. Now for the best... Rough Guide Maps are the cat's ass!! Awesome detail and coded road surfaces. The scale is fantastic at 1:1.6 million. When the map shows a road, they mean it. It appears that most abandoned or permanently closed roads have been eliminated from the maps. This is a very good thing. The legibility and graphics, including elevation shading is second to none. Best of all they are printed on waterproof, tear resistant plastic paper. They cover a fair number of "world class" cities as well. Now for the bad news. They only cover a relatively few countries and are difficult to get a hold of (frequently out of stock). I recently had a major ordering snafu. One of the best sources appears to be Powell's book store in Portland. Here is a link to all the maps in the series. http://www.roughguides.com/website/travel/Maps/default.aspx Any one else got some favorites out there?