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Announcing the Place of the Year 2013 Shortlist: Vote for your pick

In honor of Oxford’s 20th edition of the acclaimed Atlas of the World, we put together a longlist of 20 places around the globe for our yearly Place of the Year competition. The votes have been tallied, the geography committee has provided their essential input, and the shortlist nominees have been decided upon.

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Place of the Year 2013: Behind the longlist

The 2013 Oxford Place of the Year (POTY) process is now in full swing. The longlist poll closes this Thursday, so be sure to get your votes in! (Scroll to the bottom of this page to vote.) The POTY shortlist will be announced on Monday, 4 November 2013.

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Place of the Year: History of the Atlas

At the end of each year at Oxford University Press, we look back at places around the globe (and beyond) that have been at the center of historic news and events. In conjunction with the publication of the 20th edition of Oxford Atlas of the World we launched Place of the Year (POTY) 2013 last week. In honor of 20 editions of the Atlas, we put together a longlist of 20 nominees that made an impact heard around the world this year. If you haven’t voted, there’s still time (vote below).

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Place of the Year: Through the years

Next week we launch our annual Place of the Year Contest (POTY), where we reflect back on the world’s hits and misses. Our panel of geography experts are hard at work compiling a list of places that have made an impact felt around the world in 2013. One place will be chosen as the winner. While they compile the most newsworthy locales, we wanted to reflect back on past years’ winners.

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March Madness: Atlas Edition – A champion!

Today’s the day! Either X or X will end March Madness with a victory, and we can all return to our normal television programming — although we hope intelligent madness continues. Since the 11th of March, Oxford University Press has been running March Madness: Atlas Edition based on statistics drawn at random from Oxford’s Atlas of the World: 19th Edition. Mexico and Indonesia met in the finals while Madagascar and Turkey competed for third place.

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March Madness: Atlas Edition – Championship Round

While everyone is wondering which of the Elite Eight will make it to the Final Four, Mexico and Indonesia are battling it out for the title of “Country of the Year.” It’s time for the finals of March Madness: Atlas Edition! While players battle it out on the court, countries in our tournament are competing for the coveted title of “Country of the Year” based on statistics drawn at random from Oxford’s Atlas of the World: 19th Edition.

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March Madness: Atlas Edition – Final Four

Oklahoma State and Georgetown are out, but Madagascar, Indonesia, Turkey, and Mexico are still in the running. Confused? It’s time for the Final Four of March Madness: Atlas Edition! While players battle it out on the court, countries in our tournament are competing for the coveted title of “Country of the Year” based on statistics drawn at random from Oxford’s Atlas of the World: 19th Edition.

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March Madness: Atlas Edition – Round Two

It’s time for Round Two of March Madness: Atlas Edition, right on the heels of the first round of the March Madness basketball playoffs beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, 19 March 2013. While players battle it out on the court, countries in our tournament are competing for the coveted title of “Country of the Year” based on statistics drawn at random from Oxford’s Atlas of the World: 19th Edition.

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March Madness: Atlas Edition

On 19 March 2013, 64 college basketball teams will meet on the court for the battle of the year. In the United States, college basketball season ends when elite teams compete in March Madness over the course of four weeks. Teams compete based on their placement in a regional bracket, and either go home or move forward after a single game. Four teams will make the “Final Four” on 6 April, and on 8 April, the NCAA will have its college basketball champion.

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Mars, grubby hands, and international law

By Gérardine Goh Escolar
The relentless heat of the sun waned quickly as it slipped below the horizon. All around, ochre, crimson and scarlet rock glowed, the brief burning embers of a dying day. Clouds of red dust rose from the unseen depths of the dry canyon–Mars? I wish! We were hiking in the Grand Canyon, on vacation in that part of our world so like its red sister. It was 5 August 2012. And what was a space lawyer to do while on vacation in the Grand Canyon that day? Why, attend the Grand Canyon NASA Curiosity event, of course!

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An Oxford Companion to Mars

By Alice Northover
With our announcement of Place of the Year 2012 and NASA’s announcement at the American Geophysical Union on December 3rd, and a week full of posts about Mars, what better way to wrap things up than by pulling together information from across Oxford’s resources to provide some background on the Red planet.

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Written in the stars

By Marilyn Deegan
The new discoveries of the Mars rover Curiosity have greatly excited the world in the last few weeks, and speculation was rife about whether some evidence of life has been found. (In actuality, Curiosity discovered complex chemistry, including organic compounds, in a Martian soil analysis.) Why the excitement?

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The discovery of Mars in literature

By David Seed
Although there had been interest in Mars earlier, towards the end of the nineteenth century there was a sudden surge of novels describing travel to the Red Planet. One of the earliest was Percy Greg’s Across the Zodiac (1880) which set the pattern for early Mars fiction by framing its story as a manuscript found in a battered metal container. Greg obviously assumed that his readers would find the story incredible and sets up the discovery of the ‘record’, as he calls it, by a traveler to the USA to distance himself from the extraordinary events within the novel.

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Mars and music

By Kyle Gann
By long tradition, sweet Venus and mystical Neptune are the planets astrologically connected with music. The relevance of Mars, “the bringer of war” as one famous composition has it, would seem to be pretty oblique. Mars in the horoscope has to do with action, ego, how we separate ourselves off from the world; it is “the fighting principle for the Sun,” in the words of famous astrologer Liz Greene.

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Mars: A lexicographer’s perspective

By Richard Holden
The planet Mars might initially seem an odd choice for Place of the Year. It has hardly any atmosphere and is more or less geologically inactive, meaning that it has remained essentially unchanged for millions of years. 2012 isn’t much different from one million BC as far as Mars is concerned. However, here on Earth, 2012 has been a notable year for the Red Planet.

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