Thursday, April 16, 2015

New App: National Geographic World Atlas

WhirlyGlobe-Maply is now at the heart of the National Geographic's World Atlas iOS app.

And why not Belgium? (tm)


I plan on being insufferable for a week and then smug for another two months.

The App


It's gorgeous, just go buy it.  You may already have it, lots of people do.  NatGeo provided 4.0 as an update, which is really nice of them actually.



The Technology


There's some really interesting stuff going on with the globe.  For instance doesn't that text look suspiciously... sharp?

Did you know Vatican City is its own country?  Of course you did

We'll talk more about the process later, but let's just say it involves: PDF, Mapbox, hybrid raster/vector tiles, on-device font glyph rendering and lots of math.  Getting that classic NatGeo map look on mobile, but better, was interesting.

The People


I just did the globe.  Rally Interactive did the bulk of the user interface and it's gorgeous.  Mapbox helped out on the data processing and storage side.  National Geographic did some of the development and all the data (of course) as well as the project management.  That last one was some serious work.

That'd hurt if you picked it up.

It was a pleasure working with Rally and NGS.  It's a hell of an app and I hope the users love it.