The World by National Geographic

App review by
Chris Morris, Common Sense Media
The World by National Geographic App Poster Image
Virtual globe chock full of facts, flags, and photos.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn all about the world they live in, not only discovering where countries are located, but also by getting a few pictures, critical facts (like life expectancy and languages spoken) and concise but fact-filled descriptions of the country. The World by National Geographic expands on the experience kids get with a real-life globe but could make better use of the interactive platform.

Ease of Play

Pinching and zooming around the globe is easy -- and quite captivating. And the app's simple navigation at the bottom of the screen makes it easy to explore. 

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

The app is meant to promote education and the National Geographic Society, which sells magazines and other merchandise. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The World by National Geographic is an educational app that teaches users about major countries of the world. The focus is chiefly on the app's interactive map, which is chock-full of information and still a lot of fun to pinch, zoom, and spin. Kids will also be able to see pictures from those countries as well as broad descriptions. An Internet connection isn't necessary for all of the app's features, but is suggested if you plan on zooming in and out around the globe.

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What's it about?

Kids explore the world by spinning a virtual globe and pinching and zooming in on areas of interest. Views can range from typical map layouts to looks at ocean formations to 3-D terrain layouts. Those wanting more information on a country can touch a button to see the flags of the world and details (and pictures) of each country by tapping its flag.

Is it any good?

Maps have lost some of their sexiness these days, but The World by National Geographic manages to make them fun again. The app is a geographical educational tool, but it's loaded with bright pictures (a trademark of the National Geographic Society's magazine), interesting facts, and an interactive map that is a lot of fun to play with.

The app falls a bit short, though, for anyone who is a regular user of Google Earth. Instead of being able to zoom into territories as you can with that app, The World stops short, transitioning to a paper map appearance. It's a minor frustration, but given how deep you can go with other apps, it's a bit disappointing not to have that option here. The reliance on an Internet connection is an annoyance, as well, but all-in-all, this is a solid app. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Be on the lookout for cultural festivals you and your child can attend to learn about customs, food, music, and life in other countries.

  • Provide a real-life globe or atlas kids can access anytime.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love learning about the the world

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