If you’re like me, you probably had a globe in your room while growing up. Whenever I would hear the name of a new country or city, I would check the globe before going to bed that night. I would find the place I had heard of, and think of what it might look like, or what the people might be like. Earth 3D Amazing Atlas from 3Planesoft uses the graphics and computing power of your Mac to take the old world atlas a huge step forward.
Earth 3D – Amazing Atlas is a virtual globe featuring both political and geographic maps, highlighting both natural and man made wonders, such as the Grand Canyon, and the Eiffel Tower. The developer claims the maps include more than 1,300 geographical objects, and more than 300 wonders of the world. (Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to count them all.) The app also includes over 300 photos and will give you a full description of any clickable point on the globe, it even includes the current weather for that location if you have an active Internet connection.
The atlas is navigated by familiar trackpad gestures, pinching to zoom in and out on the maps, rotating your fingers on the pad will rotate the globe on a virtual 360 degree axis, and swiping your fingers on the pad will move your view around the globe.
Many of the locations on the maps have clickable buildings, monuments, or natural wonders that are clickable, and bring up information windows about the item you clicked. I’m not sure how the developers decided what was notable enough to provide extra information about, but they seem to have a particular affinity for Cincinnati, OH, where they provide an admirable amount of information about the Great American Ballpark, where Major League Baseball’s Cincinnati Reds play, while completely ignoring Yankee Stadium in New Your City, which one would expect to be more notable. While this seems unusual, the map does supply information about such areas as Omaha, Nebraska, and St. Louis where other apps of this type might gloss over areas such as those.
Every country, and its states, territories, capital cities, etc. are clickable, and supply general information about each, including population, industries, natural features, and if you have a live Internet connection, the current weather. Most of the information windows also supply a link to the Wikipedia article regarding that location. (Perhaps Wikipedia isn’t the most reliable place to glean info such as this, but let’s be honest, more of us use Wikipedia for a reference now days, at least as a starting point.)
To be sure, this app shouldn’t be taken as the end all information portal when it comes to the world around us, but Earth 3D – Amazing Atlas certainly makes a good initial exposure to the world for a child who is just beginning their geography and social studies courses in school.
Earth 3D – Amazing Atlas is a gem of an application. It presents a virtual globe that’s easy to use and navigate. The app allows users to explore the world around them at their own pace, and according to what interests they ma have about the globe.
While the information presented could be more detailed, and as I mentioned before, some of the decisions about what to feature in various spots around the globe could be considered unusual at best, the app does a good job of supplying information about the world around us. The application shouldn’t be considered the be all and end all when it comes to information about the world and its people, it is definitely a good starting point. and at the price of $2.99, it is far cheaper than buying one of the huge atlas books you may see in schools or libraries.
Price: $2.99 – Available now in the Mac App Store [DIRECT LINK]
- Easy navigation, using familiar trackpad gestures.
- The 3D effect is handled well, and presents landmarks in an efficient way without being to “gee-whiz.”
- The current weather for locations is a nice touch.
- Includes information for all states and their capitals.
- The choice of some of the featured locations and attractions strike me as odd, such as information about the ballpark in Cincinnati, but no information about Wrigley Field in Chicago.
- An option to re-center the map view, or at least bring everything “right-side up” would be helpful for younger users.
*The above review was commissioned by the developer in accordance with our app review policy, and has been written in an objective, unbiased fashion.