Being a fan of both travel and maps, it’s no surprise that I like many things from National Geographic. Their latest endeavor is an iPad app, telling and showing us 50 different places around the world that would be good to visit.
National Geographic’s 50 Places of a Lifetime: The World’s Greatest Destinations reads like a magazine. You start on the cover, then swipe to get to the table of contents. The app breaks the destinations into five sections such as “Urban Spaces” and “Paradise Found,” with ten locations in each section. The app includes interactive elements for many of the destinations, including photo galleries and video footage.
There is also has a user’s guide, which is useful to those new to iPad magazine interfaces. Swipe left to turn pages, swipe down to read more about each place. The handy arrows let you know where there is more information to be seen. There are other navigation options, including a sliding location bar at the bottom, and you can even zoom out and scroll through all the pages/strips. The interface is just like that of the iPad version of Wired Magazine.
National Geographic’s 50 Places of a Lifetime also includes a personal checklist. This includes an icon for each of the locations, which you can drag to either the “Places I’ve Been” or the “Places I Want to Visit” column. My tally? I’ve been to only eight: New York, The Grand Canyon, San Francisco, Vermont, the North Island of New Zealand, Big Sur, The Alps, and the Canadian Maritimes. A short list, yes, but at least they aren’t all domestic. The list of places that I want to visit is much longer and includes such places as the Greek Islands, England’s Lake District, Coastal Norway, and Paris.
Some background is in order here. Apparently National Geographic’s 50 Places of a Lifetime were picked over ten years ago for a supplement to their print magazine, long before 1000 Places to See Before You Die came around. With only one minor change, that list has been converted into this app, but with interactive elements that a print publication just can’t offer.
The app takes you on a journey around the world, to 50 interesting places, some of which are obvious (London, Paris, and The Grand Canyon), and some are hidden gems (Boundary Waters). Some I hadn’t even heard of (though I’m not admitting which ones).
Worth the $1.99 price if you are a lover of travel magazines that have beautiful photos, 50 Places of a Lifetime: The World’s Greatest Destinations will take you on a trip away from home for much cheaper than a plane ride.
(The app is sponsored by Chase Sapphire.)
Note: I received a copy of the app for review purposes.