Gift ideas -- choicest new books for the holidays; Atlases for everyone; Hammond Medallion World Atlas. Maplewood, N.J.: Hammond Inc. 548 pp. $60.

Bartholomew World Atlas.Maplewood, N.J.: Hammond Inc. 175 pp. $35. The Times Concise Atlas of World History, edited by Geoffrey Barraclough. Maplewood, N.J.: Hammond Inc. 184 pp. $40.

Hammond Inc. has come out with several new offerings in the atlas department. For the average American parents of grade and high school children ''Hammond's Medallion World Atlas'' is probably the best choice. It gives 137 pages to the United States and its several states in excellent detail, even including zip codes. You know it's American by the fact that it disposes of the British Isles (United Kingdom plus Ireland) in a slim eight pages.

Hammond's top-of-the-line beauty, the ''Bartholomew World Atlas,'' has been carefully updated by the Bartholomew family, which has 150 years of experience in mapmaking and was chosen as cartographer to the queen of England. This edition, printed in Scotland and distributed by Hammond in the US, is updated meticulously, showing the recent strides in knowledge of the earth and its resources. Included are maps indicating structure, land use, climate, population , energy, and the location of industry. The British counties have their new names and boundaries. The Sinai Peninsula is already shown as back in Egypt, the Trans-Amazonian Highway as completed. It is a superb atlas for scholars - and for those wanting a beautifully printed volume.

Also, Hammond offers the ''Times Concise Atlas of World History.'' This, too, is carefully updated, and a must for any historian who lacks have an adequate historical atlas showing the development of the nations of the world.

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