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Natural Atlas is a platform that makes it easy to plan, record, and share your next trip outdoors. Today we’re releasing an all-new version that’s been in the works for the last two years. 

There’s a ton to it. The main highlights are: (1) Natural Atlas iOS App complete with trip recording features, (2) a redesigned Natural Atlas Map available coast-to-coast (plus Hawaii), and (3) a totally new website. On top of that we’ve built the most advanced search of the outdoors anywhere (e.g. "trees in mariposa grove", "lighthouses on oregon coast", "bozeman hikes", "geysers in yellowstone",  "big island black sand beaches"), a beautiful writing platform for written guides, trip reports, and more.

The Map

The Natural Atlas Map is the cornerstone of Natural Atlas. We’re building out the most detailed & accurate map of the United States’ outdoors – because a great map is the key to quickly understanding where you are and where you want to go. The map is not only pretty – it has utility.

It’s now available nationwide (minus Alaska). Some of our favorite areas are Big Sur, CAYellowstone National Park, and Moab, UT.

iOS App

The Natural Atlas iOS App is the GPS we’ve always wanted. Record your next adventure with it, choosing from 100+ activities – ranging from hiking to foraging. Trips are automatically synced to the website, where you can share them with friends and the Natural Atlas community. Take photos & notes of what you discover – whether that’s wildlife sightings, prickly currants, campsites, or something else. Keep organized with 45,000+ classifications to pick from.

Check out a sample recorded trip: Heart Lake Hike. To learn more, check out Recording Trips and Recording Notes.

Cloud Sync

Notes and trips recorded with the Natural Atlas iOS App automatically sync to the website. This is great for sharing with friends, family, and the community. Notes of sensitive places like caves, petroglyphs, etc are private by default. Photos upload when on WiFi (or they can be uploaded manually).

Writing Platform

Option 1: Sharing your Experiences & Advice

Tell your story by writing about your adventures once you’re back home, or write guides to lead others to great adventures. Your content will be available online and in the app. It’s like Wordpress or Medium, but designed around map-based story telling. We do our best to surface it throughout the site too. 

Examples Posts: Zion Narrows Guide and Top Hot Springs of Yellowstone

Option 2: Contributing to Encyclopedia-style Place Wikis 

If you search for a particular place or click on a place on the map, it will bring you to a publicly editable wiki. Here anyone can add photos and basic information about why the place is important. If a place is missing photos, you can help out by uploading your own photos to it. (Place wikis should not use first person and generally should not show photos of people).

To learn more about writing on Natural Atlas look at Contributing to Natural Atlas

Planning Your Next Adventure

Finding your next hiking trip on Natural Atlas is super easy. Know that you want to go hiking in Zion National Park, but don’t know which trail to choose? Simply search for "Hikes in Zion". Want to just browse posts around your hometown? Just search for your town and then you can filter posts and places by subject or activity. We link to thousands of guides from across the web from reputable authors and allow you to see the links in the context of the map to make planning your next trip simple.

The advanced search is open-ended and can be used in endless ways. It works great for discovering waterfalls, rock formations, geysers, boat ramps, and more. 

Want to make a to-do list of places you want to go or keep a list of places you’ve been? Learn more by checking out Starring Places

Our Backstory

We started Natural Atlas because we felt that it was too difficult to plan a trip outside and discover all of nature’s fascinating destinations. Trying to cross-reference written content with a good map is a time-consuming process – especially if a good map doesn’t exist.

One of the main goals of Natural Atlas was to solve this problem and pair great content with great maps so that people can (1) find where they want to go faster, and (2) discover the vast amount of natural wonders that can easily be overlooked.

We launched our proof-of-concept at the beginning of 2015. At that time we had a crude map of our backyard: the Greater Yellowstone Area. The website was centered around the concept of everything on the map having a page that anyone can edit (a wiki). That was about it.

We’ve come a long way since then.

Upgrade to Natural Atlas Pro

Upgrade to Natural Atlas Pro for $30/yr to get access to more tools for planning and recording your outdoor adventures. This includes Map Printing (PDFs), Natural Atlas Public Lands Map (like the topo map, but shaded to show Forest Service, BLM, State Land, BoR, and more), Private Trips & Notes, More Offline Map Storage in the App, GPX Downloads, and more. It also helps support our mission of building the most complete & accessible map of the outdoors.

Head over to the Upgrade page to learn more.

What’s Next

In the coming weeks we’ll be blogging more about what’s possible and what we’re up to. We’ll also be highlighting lots of the little details that make Natural Atlas unlike anything else. Behind the scenes, we’re going to be improving map quality (always), tuning search, finishing an Android version of the mobile app, and more.

Anyway, that’s the gist! Check out the homepage for more or download the Natural Atlas iOS App. Please follow us on Twitter to keep up to date.

Take the Natural Atlas Map with you and Record Your Outdoor Adventure
  • Free
  • Offline Maps
  • 100+ Activities and 45,000+ Presets (Plants, Animals, …)
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