World Atlas HD

App review by
Erin Bell, Common Sense Media
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Fab tool provides the world at your fingertips.

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

Users can pinch to zoom out and in on the maps, and move around the map by flicking the screen. The entire world map is contained on one screen so, unlike with a paper Atlas, there are no pages to turn.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a valuable reference tool for any student. Maps are pulled from National Geographic's online database by default, so tend to load somewhat slowly. However, maps of individual continents (sized between 5MB and 29MB) can be downloaded to the iPad to eliminate delays in loading.

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Is it any good?

With WORLD ATLAS HD National Geographic has deftly shrunk an encylopedia's worth of geographical reference material into an easy-to-use iPad app. There's the standard political map that shows country borders and major cities, a fancy-looking sepia-toned "executive" map, plus satellite and road maps powered by Microsoft Bing. Individual cities can be bookmarked. The app also provides a wealth of reference material on specific nations such as capital city, flag, population, and official languages.

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