In this work, we describe man-made structures via an appropriate structure assumption, called Atlanta world, which contains a vertical direction (typically the gravity direction) and a set of horizontal directions orthogonal to the vertical direction. Contrary to the commonly used Manhattan world assumption, the horizontal directions in Atlanta world are not necessarily orthogonal to each other. While Atlanta world permits to encompass a wider range of scenes, this makes the solution space larger and the problem more challenging. Given a set of inputs, such as lines in a calibrated image or surface normals, we propose the first globally optimal method of inlier set maximization for Atlanta direction estimation. We define a novel search space for Atlanta world, as well as its parameterization, and solve this challenging problem by a branch-and-bound framework. Experimental results with synthetic and real-world datasets have successfully confirmed the validity of our approach.