Saturday, November 24, 2012

Atlas by Collins App

Atlas by Collins
Date published: October 2012
Created by HarperCollins Publishers, Ltd.
Size:  620 MB (base download)
Requires iOS 5.0 or later.

Launched in October 2012, Atlas by Collins is a name that many of us will recognize from our elementary and secondary schooling and now I most often notice this title gathering dust on my local library shelf.  I’m not discouraged by the dust-gathering though because I know better options are available such as the Atlas by Collins app.

Atlas by Collins is an app that is purchased online but has many features, once downloaded, that can be used offline.  This app includes seven globes that allow you to zoom in, rotate and apply different overlays to access detailed information about topography, politics, communications, and energy reserves.  Much like the 3d globe in my library, users can rotate the earth with a flick of the finger; but, unlike my aging globe, users can tap on a region for more information.

One downside to this app is the amount of storage space it needs to install the entire collection of seven globes; however, if you are a classroom teacher or librarian, storing continuing updating atlases virtually is priceless when you think of the valuable real estate it frees up in your library!  One particular feature of this app that I was tickled by (yes, I’m a geek!) was through the communications feature to see where my cell phone would get reception.  I could easily see many inquiry projects coming from this app such as, “what route should my family take to Nova Scotia to ensure that I can continue to text with my friends on the road?”

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