The Explorers

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
The Explorers App Poster Image
Gorgeous crowd-sourced glimpses into nature and culture.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

High-quality, high-interest movies about the world, environment, and culture. Lack of depth will leave kids wanting to know more though.

Ease of Play

Easy to navigate high-quality videos though content can feel overwhelming at times.

Violence

Fighting as a recreational activity in cultures is in some videos.

Sex

Some climate-based cultural dress in videos includes full nudity of males and top nudity of females. Others include scant clothing. The dress is not the focus nor is it provocative. 

Language
Consumerism

Links to several non-profits raising money and awareness about environmental issues as well as logo clothing items for purchase. Premium subscription is available and videos are visible but not accessible from free account.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some videos may feature cultures smoking, drinking, or using drugs.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Explorers is a video and image collection crowd-sourced from professionals and hobbyists highlighting the earth's culture, geography, people, and animals as a way to catalog the earth's resources. A free version includes short videos, images with brief explanations, and access to join a community of explorers and submit photos and videos. All submitted content is approved by the developers before being posted to the app. According to the developer's terms of service, any videos that contain mature content, including culturally-appropriate nudity, must be tagged as sensitive and is available only to users age 15 and up. A $2.99/month subscription unlocks longer videos; there's a two-week free trial available. Kids must register for an account using Facebook, Apple, or an email address. They don't have to participate in the community, which is mostly adults and includes contests (rated as gambling in the App store, giving it a recommended age of 17+). Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

THE EXPLORERS project aims to create an "Earth inventory" over a period of 12 years in an effort to showcase the diversity of our planet -- and how it's both impressive and vulnerable. A professional team provides high-quality photos and videos that mix science and culture from around the world. Community members can also contribute their own photos or videos and tag them for classification. There are many ways to browse the content, including searching by keyword, location, or topic. Kids can access quite a bit with a free account. Short videos of one to five minutes include very brief descriptions of animals, people, and places. Longer documentaries are available with a paid subscription.

Is it any good?

Beautiful images and high quality video of the earth's beauty will pique kids' curiosity. The Explorers provides a still-growing visual reference to natural and cultural resources on our planet. Kids who are interested in contributing their own documentation of the earth's beauty can do so easily, as long as they follow the rules about image quality and acceptable content. Most of the free materials don't have a lot of depth to them, but they do include brief descriptions and sometimes some voice-over work. For more well-packaged, longer documentary-quality content, you'll need a paid account. Navigating through the content can sometimes feel overwhelming, particularly because there is so little background information. Without context, kids may feel a bit lost sometimes. Even so, kids can learn about the earth's natural resources, different cultures, ecology, and animals -- as well as how to care for it all. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how The Explorers acts as "inventory" of the earth. Which features interest you the most? After watching the videos, discuss and read more about how you can help protect the featured resources. 

  • Take a family hike, and bring along a camera for each person to document what they find. Share your photos with each other when you return. Discuss why you took the photo and what others like about it.

  • Discuss guidelines about posting material in the community. What's okay to include in the photo or video post? Can kids tag the location of their post?

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love learning and exploring

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