On the other hand, perhaps Atlas’ physical fade from the ledgers of cartographic relevance is fitting. Atlas has always set the precedent for navigability, as it should: one intersection, two highways, straight lines all forming a nearly perfect “X” here near the navel of the United States. Like a train porter, it wills everyone away in all four cardinal directions. West out of Atlas holds the promise of the Mississippi River, north out of Atlas will get you to an interstate, south takes you to my hometown, and east takes you up out of what used to be the river’s basin and into endless flat plains. Like an atlas you can hold, it presents itself as mere possibility, all the way up to the margins.
From On Google Maps, a Town Called Atlas Keeps Disappearing by Avery Gregurich