National Geographic Launches iPhone Atlas Using Bing Maps

world_atlas_0 National Geographic has been hard at work getting their atlas of maps into your grubby little hands. And as such, they’ve released their newest mobile application for iPhone – World Atlas (iTunes link). The application allows you to view 7 different levels of cartography, 3 maps styles and the ability to find locations around the world with nearly 7 million place listings. And, of course, the Bing Maps Platform has been integrated right into their application as a mapping option.


Here’s a quick run down of the features I snagged from their site:

  • High resolution National Geographic cartography, the same used to print our award-winning wall maps and bound atlases!
  • Preloaded with 3 different styles of world maps, down to country detail. Additional detailed zoom levels and Microsoft Bing maps require internet connection to view. Map Library feature allows you to download and save National Geographic maps for faster access and offline use.
  • Easy-to-use and fast place name search tool, with over 6 million database entries (major cities index is preloaded; full search requires internet or cell connection).
  • World Flags and Facts database, expertly edited and up-to-date with concise socio-economic and geographic data.
  • Push pin tool enables you to mark, annotate, and save your favorite places. Push pins come in a variety of colors and can tap into your iPhoto library or camera.
  • GPS enabled iPhones can center the maps to show your current location.

For more information, read the full announcement on their web site.

CP – Follow me on Twitter @ChrisPendleton

Join the conversation

  1. Chris Pendleton

    @Brian – the app is still crashing for you?? And, it's specific to Image Search?


  2. brianm76

    @Chris – Not seeing any improvement on my end.  Either the fix you mentioned did not resovle my issue or the fix was never released.  Any details you can provide would be helpful…

  3. brianm76

    @Chris – Not seeing any improvement on my end.  Either the fix you mentioned did not resovle my issue or the fix was never released.  Any details you can provide would be helpful…

  4. brianm76

    @Chris – I have not tuned out but didn't see the need in going back and forth on something we were not necessarily in agreement on.  Thank you for taking the time to pass these concerns on and for circling back on the potential for a fix in the future.  I will certainly give it a try once fix is out and hopefully the others I have asked to try out the app in the past will do the same!

  5. Chris Pendleton

    @Brianm76 – Hopefully you're not totally tuned out to this thread. As it turns out, the test team has found cases where they can duplicate what you're saying. There's a fix set to be released by month's end.


  6. Chris Pendleton

    Brian – I appreciate your passion. Sorry you're not happy with the free Bing iPhone application or it's not functioning properly on your device. I've submitted your dissatisfaction to the Bing Mobile team.


  7. brianm76

    @Chris at what point have you attempted to troubleshoot this issue?  I contacted you the day after the app was released and got no response.  I submitted an issue report through the Iphone App with my contact information…no response.  I posted a comment here and the reponse to that comment was the only contact I have had with you until now.  So I must disagree with you statement that you have attempted to troubleshoot the issue.  Have you and anyone on the team responsible for the bing app on the Iphone thought about what happens when people try out the app and it fails?  Do you think they will let you know or maybe they just simply go back to using what worked for them in past (Google App) and never try the Bing App again.  Well 3 coworkers and 2 friends are having the same exact issues.  2 of the coworkers have 3GS, the others have 3G.  I was the one who had asked them to try out the Bing App as I found it to be a nice well desined app all 5 came back to me with the same complaints.  Slow to open and search, voice search is painfully slow, crashes when searching / scrolling through images.  In speaking to each person we all experienced these issues in a well covered 3g area (Atlanta, GA) and with full signal.  I didn't discuss wifi scenarious with them however I have the same sluggishness even on wifi and the crashes while searching / scrolling images was still present.  Also, some advice for you…Put yourself in the shoes of your customers.  When we post complaints or concerns abouta product no matter the format or forum, do not call them rants.  They are complaints and concerns from your customers no matter how personal you choose to take them.  This situation reminds me that above every door in every building where I work regardless of state or country the bulding is located there is the phrase "Think of yourself as a customer".  Consider how this situation has made me feel, as a customer, about Microsoft. Also consider how i look to my coworkers and friends now that they tried something I suggested and had a bad experience.  Now I look foolish for telling them they should try it.   I am not going to keep going back and forth with you on this.  Look into it, don't look into it, that is your choice but I will not comment on it here anylonger and take up space that is intended for a different use.

  8. Chris Pendleton

    @brianm76 – I wasn't blaming you or your device; I simply asking the question of whether you needed an upgrade – the latest OS and perhaps it doesn't work well on 3G versus 3Gs since I'm not an iPhone expert (nor do I claim to be). The fact that the app works flawlessly on mine and everyone I've spoken with and not yours inclines me to believe that there's something specific on your device that is configured differently and is causing the app to not work as expected.

    The fact that you find my comments come off to you as unprofessional and arrogant is personally offensive to me since I'm only trying to help troubleshoot the problem by asking you questions – you're the one slinging mud at me on a personal level.

    As for this happening for "numerous iphone users and both 3G and 3Gs," well, like I said I don't see that happening. The only issue we had was the voice command bug which was fixed the day after the app was released and the fact that the app wasn't supposed to opened up to the world (US only). Where are you geographically?

    I don't need your contact details since the Bing Mobile team has read your rants about the app. I don't know what to tell you – it works fine for me and I haven't heard any complaints outside of what I already mentioned. If you'd like to further pursue this in a more professional / less public bantering fashion send me mail @


  9. brianm76

    @m0unds why it is that anytime anyone has an issue witha product it is trolling?  Unless you have something productive that will resolve the issue at hand please keep your derogatory comments to yourself.  @Chris These are real issues people are having with the bing app for iphone and the performance using both the bing app and the natgeo app is awful.  Everytime I search for pictures using the bing maps app it crashes. Blaming the user or their equipment for flaws in your products is not the way to win market share from your competitors.  I was excited to have the bing app intially until I used it.  I was more than wiling to tell family and friends to try it out only to find out that they too were experiencing the same poor performance viewing maps and the contstant crashing when searching images.  This is a real issue happening to numerous Iphone users and both 3G and 3GS phones.  I honestly can't stand the google app nor do I use Google Search on my pc but on the Iphone when I need something quickly I have to use the Google app due to the poor performance of the Bing app.  Your responses to my complaints regarding the Bing app when it was first released and your comments now are unprofessional and arrogant.  Instead of blaming your users or their equipment you should take ownership and correct the issues.  I offered at the time of my initial complaint my contact information as a way to get addtional info about the issues I was having and you chose not to.  Until these issues have been resolved I will not use the bing app nor will I recommend it to anyone.  

  10. Chris Pendleton

    @roid – I do know the answer to that; however, I can't disclose this information.


  11. roid


    Are you aware of, or are you planning on providing an Bing Maps API for Android?

  12. m0unds

    the nat-geo app works fine on my jailbroken 3g. also, weatherbug elite which uses bing maps works flawlessly as well. i think someone's just trolling.

  13. Chris Pendleton

    @Brianm76 – I downloaded the app and it works flawless, much like the Bing app works; and, yes, I'm on an iPhone. Then again, I'm in 3Gs. Perhaps an upgrade is in order for your device? Also, the GEarth app is pretty good, but sort of useless on the iPhone given the types of things I would use it for.


  14. Alsace Web Agency

    "the Bing Maps Platform has been integrated right into their application as a mapping option"

    another success for Bing Maps!

  15. brianm76

    Maybe should have used google earth instead…wouldn't crash or crawl about as fast as a snail….just like the bing app!

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