National Geographic World Atlas

App review by
Stacy Zeiger, Common Sense Media
National Geographic World Atlas App Poster Image
More detail would enhance interactive but basic world maps.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational value

Kids can learn more about the world as they pinpoint places they've visited on the map and discover new places they would like to visit or research further. While it doesn't offer entertaining sound effects, loads of informational passages, videos, or other informational and entertaining elements, it does what an atlas should do, providing kids with up-to-date maps of the world. National Geographic World Atlas gives kids a little more than a traditional atlas and may prove easier to navigate, but it won't offer much excitement.

Ease of play

It takes some exploration to discover the features, but kids should figure it out with minimal trouble.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

National Geographic logos and links and references to other National Geographic content appear frequently.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that kids can explore the globe with this interactive atlas, but they won't learn many details about the countries. It's great for figuring out countries' locations and offering a basic overview, but, beyond giving local weather reports, it offers very little information on specific cities and locales. Kids will, however, enjoy spinning the globe and accessing different types of maps.

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What's it about?

Kids open NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC WORLD ATLAS to reveal a spinning globe that places the world at their fingertips. From there, they may choose from four map styles, zoom in to find a favorite place, or use the search feature to locate a specific city. A location detector also helps kids pinpoint exactly where they are on the globe. Once kids have found a place, they can read facts about the country and capital city, as well as view local weather and an annual temperature chart. Kids also can place pins on the map, color-coded by category including places they've visited, places they wish to visit, and customized descriptions. Aside from the ability to zoom in and out, quickly find places by searching, and pin locations, the app doesn't differ much from a traditional atlas.

Is it any good?

Four maps help kids see the globe through different lenses, and the rotating globe makes looking up cities and countries slightly more entertaining than a traditional atlas. The app's pinning feature -- though not very robust -- is probably its best offering. With it, kids can make their own connections to places on the globe by creating custom, color-coded pin lists. Overall, though, the app lacks in-depth information about cities and geographic regions, which means kids may quickly decide to search elsewhere (better choices even include some of the other Nat Geo products referenced within the app). 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Plan the ultimate fantasy vacation, using a globe or a map of the world to pinpoint all the places you'd like to go.

  • Study a country and plan a day when you will enjoy food, games, and activities that the citizens of that country enjoy on a regular basis.

  • Find a local map and let kids navigate as you take a walk or drive around town.

App details

For kids who love discovering the world

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