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Geography and Map Apps for iPhone

The Best iPhone Geography Applications

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The newest models of the iPhone, with its built-in GPS, is a fantastic tool for learning about the geography of a place, utilizing maps and geographic data on the go, or to just learn more about geography in general.  Aside from the built-in map application and the compass, there are additional geography apps that are must-haves for every geographer's iPhone.  Explore these great geography apps for the iPhone below.

National Geographic World Atlas

James Cotier/Getty Images

The National Geographic World Atlas for iPhone is an impressive application!  Quickly zoom in to any area of the world for high-quality National Geographic Maps of continents, regions, and countries.  The maps are so crisp and clear, this is simply a beautiful must-have application.  This map app also includes basic geographic and historic information for every country on the planet.  A gazetteer of major world cities is also included.

The only downside to the World Atlas app is that when you zoom in to a certain level a "bing" map of the place replaces the National Geographic map.  This can be annoying when attempting to zoom in to the highest level of detail provided by the National Geographic map.

Google Earth for Mobile

Absolutely incredible. It's Google Earth. There isn't much more to be said - the Google Earth for Mobile mapping app provides most of the functionality of the traditional Google Earth combined with the GPS from your iPhone to quickly locate your location on the planet.  The search functionality is impressive and, of course, the results are loaded onto your iPhone quite quickly.  The best part is, it's free!

Wikipedia Mobile

Of course, Wikipedia is a great resource for information about even the smallest places around the world. But, what makes the Wikipedia Mobile app a great resource for geographers and everyone who loves their iPhone is the app's ability to locate articles that refer to locations in your vicinity. It's not the greatest interface but it is an interesting way to geographically browse Wikpedia using the iPhone's built-in GPS. Sometimes, though, you'll just need to search for a place name on the app.

ESRI BAO

ESRI, the leading maker of GIS software, has introduced this free demographic and geographic data app called BAO, short for Business Analyst Online. It provides marketing and demographic data for your neighborhood (based on the GPS interface) or for any location through search. The demographic data includes PRIZM-syle demographic information. It's a fun toy but certainly not essential to geographic living.

AroundMe

Getty Images/Ciaran Griffin
AroundMe is a useful free app that provides a list of retail establishments, ATMs, gas stations, hotels, restaurants, and more. If you're dropped by parachute into an unfamiliar location, you really wouldn't want to be without the AroundMe app. Unfortunately, it does not map the locations on a map.

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