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The Complete National Geographic Maps Collection
Reviewed by Michael Borop

Article added on September 1, 2003

The Complete National Geographic Maps Collection is an eight CD-Rom archive of the 535 foldout maps published by the magazine over the past 110 years. It offers much more than political maps of all the countries and regions of the world. There are many thematic maps, covering topics such as animal habitats, tourist attractions in Europe, ecology, exploration, and historical events, in addition to maps of the oceans, the moon, and the night sky. Multimedia features provide succinct overviews of the history of mapmaking since its ancient beginnings and how cartography at National Geographic has evolved over the past century.

Steeped in years of expertise and a rich heritage, National Geographic’s maps are nothing less than genuine works of art. Their type, color styles, and design are immediately recognizable. Transferring the printed maps to a digital format has its inconveniences, however. Since the resolution of most computer screens is too small to view an entire map legibly, the user must zoom in to a specific region to be able to read it well. And since the maps are spread over eight CDs, it is also cumbersome to have to change disks periodically. Nevertheless, The Complete National Geographic Maps Collection is reasonably priced and a good value, since a similar collection of printed maps would be worth a small fortune.

This is a great product for map-lovers and makes a great gift for long-time subscribers to National Geographic. It is not a good replacement for an atlas, however; National Geographic’s Atlas of the World is among the best you can find in print, and there are a number of excellent products on CD-Rom and DVD.

National Geographic Maps: The Complete Collection. 8 CD-ROMs. Get it from, or