I am currently mulling over acquisition of one of these. I've read a bunch about the Accordance Atlas (watched podcasts) and on Sacred Bridge though there is less on it and I have a question or two. It appears that the two are aimed at different uses. The Atlas (I know that Sacred Bridge is also an atlas but to prevent confusion I'll use Atlas here to refer to the Accordance Atlas) seems to permit considerable customization of maps and measurement, annotation and searching and so on. But it does not contain any, or perhaps any substantial, text as one would normally find in what one thinks of as a traditional bible atlas. On the other hand SB appears to be something of a Rolls Royce of bible atlases in the traditional vein. Thus considerable essays and references ( I assume all footnotes are references appear), lots of maps of course, presumably photos and so on. And I presume in the usual Accordance way, searchable by numerous fields, zoomable maps (reviews of the print edition suggest the print maps are small), and cut and paste-able etc.
So if one is trying to build an understanding of biblical geography (if you like) it would seem that SB would be the better choice. If one was doing research and plotting one's own maps, or preparing class materials for students and so on it seems that the Atlas would better suit you.I realise this description simplifies perhaps overly so, the products and probably there is some overlap, but .... I'm trying to understand the basic orientation of each.
I'm trying to see if I'm missing something in respect of the basic intended uses of these resources or not. The Atlas is appealing, but I think I'd learn more from SB. I'd be interested in hearing from anyone familiar with either resource about how they use them and what the strengths or weaknesses might be in light of what I've said above.
I am currently reading my beautiful though dated copy of Father Grollenberg's Atlas of the Bible from the 50's. SB looks like a considerable update over that work.
Anyhow, any input appreciated, as always.
I own Sacred Bridge (along with several other of the Carta Series) and the Accordance Atlas. It appears you have correctly judged they are two different animals. One is static while the other is dynamic. There is value for both but which would be better for you depends on what you want to do with it. If you are interested in the data (like historical background) then you should go with a static Atlas. In this case, if you are using the atlas for teaching at church then I would encourage you not to overlook the newly released Zondervan Bible Atlas. Both of these include a number of excellent images, but they are static images.
On the other hand, if you are looking to create custom maps, particularly those in 3D, the Accordance Atlas has everything you will need. Don't overlook the fact that it comes with "Places" and "Sites" which includes some valuable information even though it is very brief. When purchased with the Graphics bundle the Photoguide has some great photos.
Let me give you a short comparison that may help you if you are interested in a static type Atlas. While leading a tour to Greece and Turkey last year we spent the night at Assos and made our way to Troas the next morning. I looked at the section in Sacred Bridge on my iPad. Compare that with what is included in the Zondervan Bible Atlas and the companions to the Accordance Atlas.
From Sacred Bridge: Plots once again surfaced against Paul, so he determined to return to Syria through Macedonia. A number of his party went on before Paul and waited for him in Alexandria Troas (Acts 20:4–5). Presumably, Paul retraced his steps through Macedonia along the Via Egnatia to the port of Philippi (Neapolis) and from there sailed to Troas (Acts 20:3–6).
The ports-of-call on the journey to Syria indicate that Paul traveled primarily by ship from Troas to Antioch, and “the sequence of places mentioned in these verses is entirely correct and natural” (Hemer 1990:125). The recorded stops are either island settlements or port cities on the Aegean coast of Asia Minor. The only exception is Paul’s trek on the Republican road (French 1994:55) from Troas to Assos (Strabo Geog. 13.1.51, 57–58; Pliny Nat. Hist. 2.211, 5.32, 36.131–133; Wescoat 1997: 1:223–225; Yamauchi 1992: 1:503), a city situated on the southern coast of the Troad, looking across the Gulf of Adramyttium toward the isle of Lesbos.
We set sail for Assos, intending to take Paul aboard there; for he had arranged, intending himself to go by land (from Troas). And when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and came to Mitylene. (Acts 20:13)
From Zondervan Atlas: When spring came Paul planned to sail directly to Judea in order to reach Jerusalem by Pentecost, but because of a threat on his life he abandoned that plan and instead traveled overland to Philippi (Acts 20:3–6). After the Feast of Unleavened Bread, he sailed for Troas (on a local cargo ship?), a trip that took five days. After spending seven days at Troas (where Eutychus was raised from the dead after falling out of a window), Paul walked the 20 miles overland to Assos while the remainder of his party traveled by ship. Sailing down the Ionian coast, they stopped at Mitylene (a port on the island of Lesbos), at the islands of Kios and Samos, and at Miletus. Miletus had formerly been one of the chief ports of Asia, but because of the silting of its harbor, it was beginning to lose its importance to Ephesus. When Paul reached Miletus, he summoned the elders of the Ephesian church, who traveled 30 miles south to Miletus to spend a few days with their beloved teacher.
From Sites: Assos Importance: 3
Biblical Periods: NT Writings (Acts–Rev.)
Archaeological Periods: Judges (Iron I), Monarchy (Iron II), Divided Kingdom A (Iron II), Divided Kingdom B (Iron II), Persian, Hellenistic, Herodian (New Testament), Roman & Byzantine
From Place Names: Assos. A seaport in northwest Asia minor. During his third missionary journey, Paul’s companions sailed ahead of him from Troas to Assos, where he rejoined them after making the journey by land (Acts 20:13-14).
From Photoguide: Assos (Ἆσσος). A seaport in northwest Asia minor, just north of the island of Lesbos. Founded by Greek immigrants near the beginning of the first millenium B.C., Assos grew to be an important city of the region known as the Troad. In the sixth century B.C. it came under the control of the Lydians, followed by the Persians. It regained its independence after the Greeks defeated the Persians at Mycale (479 B.C.), and became part of the Delian League headed by Athens. Aristotle later established his first school of philosophy there (c. 348–345 B.C.). After the Hellenistic period, Assos became part of the kingdom of Pergamum, and later, the Roman empire.
During his third missionary journey, Paul’s companions sailed ahead of him from Troas to Assos, where he rejoined them after making the journey by land (Acts 20:13-14).