CIA World Factbook 1998 Available from NTIS or GPO.
Seems like old news, but the CIA makes this popular and widely disseminated reference tool publicly available only in the ensuing year. Available in print, online, and CD-ROM formats, the almanac provides wide-ranging, hard-to-locate information about the geography, people, government, economy, communications, transportation, and military of 266 geographic entities. Each listing contains eight primary headings and approximately 100 subcategories, including geographic coordinates, GDP, number of telephones, natural resources, legal systems, political parties, and mortality rates. The World Factbook also contains substantial appendices with reference information ranging from descriptions of international abbreviations and international organizations and groups to cross-reference lists of information like Country Data Codes.
The World Factbook is priced at $59 in print or CD-ROM format, and available from the GPO or NTIS.
Source: National Technical Information Service (NTIS), Springfield, VA, 800/553-6847; http://www.ntis.gov.