Maps of our World
‘Maps of our world’ is not only an entertaining educational game but also a valuable reference tool for people of all ages looking to expand their Geography knowledge. In fact, this is the first geography app for the iPad that offers comprehensive physical maps with features like rivers, mountains and deserts of the world!
Here’s a little info about the developer of this excellent app:
I'm an independent developer and I currently focus on educational apps. I released my first app "Mental Maths" back in 2009. Mental Maths has been downloaded over a million times, is still being used in schools today and has frequently been featured by Apple in the education section of the App Store.
I have developed Maps of our World in collaboration with teachers to ensure the app is easy to use, suitable for class rooms, and keeps children motivated...
Upon opening app you are presented with 3 options: Selecting ‘Achievements’ will enable one to see all their passed challenges to date. The ‘Info’ option takes you into a settings screen where you can also get in touch with the developer. Finally there is the ‘Maps’ button which is where the adventure begins...
After clicking on ‘Maps’ there are 3 different areas to choose from: Our World, Continents and Countries. In the free version all except Countries is available. For a small fee of £5.99 you can unlock all the maps, and the reason I say small fee is because what you get is truly value for money. What’s more, parents can disable in-app purchases in the system settings of the current versions of iOS to avoid accidental purchases made by children.
For the purposes of this review, we are going talk you through what happens when one clicks on ‘Our World’. The process one goes through here is similar for the other 2 areas.
Upon entry of Our World, you are presented with some interesting facts like the number of countries in the world, the total population and the area of the globe in km squared. You are also presented with some options to choose from.
‘Training’ mode allows you to get familiar with the maps so you are equipped to take on the challenges. There are 2 types of maps to choose from. Political map is a plain map where countries are shown by clear and distinct lines. Here you learn where the top countries and cities are located around the world. Physical map is the most challenging. Here you have an image of the world in its natural, geographical state with faint lines separating countries and one has to learn where the top rivers, lakes, seas, mountains and deserts are located. The 'Training' mode is always without time pressure and shows the correct answer if the user makes a mistake.
‘Challenge’ mode is where you put all your training to the test! You will get asked to locate the aforementioned in their respective maps, with only a certain number of mistakes allowed before the challenge ends. There are 3 levels of difficulty, for each level you have to remember more information and the number of mistakes allowed decreased! Users can win an achievement if they pass a challenge. In the first difficulty level, the number of questions is low to avoid exhausting kids that have a short attention span. Furthermore, the challenges here come without a time limit, as children already feel somewhat under pressure if they have to answer 15 questions and only a few mistakes are allowed.
The amount of information simultaneously shown on the maps is deliberately limited: When viewing a map, the user can switch between different captions (e.g. "Rivers", "Mountains" or "Countries"). That way, it's easier for children to focus on certain features of a map in comparison to printed maps which are frequently cluttered with labels.
Navigation between screens is easy with a ‘back’ button displayed on every screen. The layout of the app is simple but that works for this type of content.
In conclusion... this app is perfect. Never has learning the location of countries, capital cities or deserts for example been so much fun! Although it can be rather challenging, even for grown-ups admittedly, I cannot think of a better app out there at the moment within the same genre! A fully deserved 5/5 stars.
From the Developer
Would you find Egypt on a world map? And where are the Himalayas?
With MAPS OF OUR WORLD you can discover the world playfully. Learn the countries with their capitals, the rivers of North America, the largest deserts of Asia - whatever interests you. If you feel confident, put your knowledge to the test and win achievements in small challenges.
MAPS OF OUR WORLD invites kids and grown-ups to go on a travel around the world on beautifully designed maps. It’s easy to get started for everyone, but the higher difficulty levels are a challenge even for experts!
The following 7 political maps are immediately available:
- World map
- North America
- South America
In addition, maps of the following countries can be unlocked:
- United States
- United Kingdom
Further, all these maps can be unlocked in a physical version with rivers, lakes, mountains and much more.
This app has been developed in collaboration with teachers in grades 1 – 10.