Tired of the 11x15, stapled, fall-apart format, I wanted a smaller, spiral-bound atlas. Of course, I went straight to Rand McNally. Unfortunately, their midsize spiral atlas simply shrinks the conventional one--along with scale, detail, and precision. I was not impressed with the print quality of American Map Company, so they were out.
I was familiar with the style of Rand McNally's maps and their alphabetical arrangement, but they scale them down so far for this smaller edition that they lose their usefulness, especially out in the country. Only about 30% of this atlas's pages are actual highway maps.
I compared this Rand McNally to the similarly-sized but thicker Michelin. Here's an example: Rand shrinks the state of Missouri to a single, 8x11 page, facing Montana, also crammed on one page. Both states lose roads, detail, open space, and legibility at such a small scale (and remember that Montana is twice the size of Missouri!) You get your familiar urban squares (buried in a hundred pages of commercials in this edition), but if you're out in the country, tough.
The Michelin, which is a progressive-style map, like an urban streetfinder, splits up Missouri: Several of its regions appear on several pages. One 8x11 page includes just the bootheel area of Missouri north to Cape Girardeau, and includes Jonesboro, AR; Jackson, TN; Paducah, KY; and Carbondale, IL. On the Rand this area is about the size of a 3x5 index card. The right-hand page on this particular spread on the Michelin continues east, well past Nashville.
Besides the uselessly small scale, this edition of the Rand buries the familiar squares for urban areas in nearly 100 pages of 'things to do', which don't belong in the maps I prefer.
Try the Michelin. It's well-designed and works better at this size.