National Geographic expands line of adventure travel maps

The National Geographic Society has always been a great source for maps. Their Atlas of the World, which will see its ninth edition released this week, is almost legendary in its size and scope, and the organization’s flagship magazine has incorporated detailed and interesting maps for decades. Now, the Society has announced plans to expand its line of adventure travel maps, offering travelers far more options than are currently available.

Nat Geo Maps has been handling the map duties for the organization for more than 95 years, although their AdventureMaps line is a relatively new edition to the inventory. Those high quality products are designed to appeal to the more adventurous traveler who is looking to explore a destination independently and is more likely to be seeking out the closest national park rather than a restaurant or museum. The maps are waterproof, tear resistant,highly durable, and environmentally friendly, which makes them the perfect companion for a traveler looking to drive the backroads or hike the backcountry of their chosen destination.

Until now, the selection of those destinations has been limited to popular spots in Central America, the Caribbean, and the trekking regions of Nepal. But last week, the Society announce a major expansion to the AdventureMaps line that will see nearly 60 new destinations added to the list by 2012, with more than 30 arriving by summer of next year. New locations will include Argentina, Bali/Lombok/Komodo, Brazil, Chile, El Salvador/Nicaragua/Honduras, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa and Thailand, with more countries located in Africa, the Middle East, South America, Asia, and Europe to follow.

The maps are designed from the ground up to put the information that adventure travelers need right at their fingertips. For instance, they offer insights into the terrain which they’ll be traveling through as well as points of interest relevant to their needs such as surf locations, trail heads, and dive sites, amongst others.

Expect the new maps to begin showing up in stores soon with a suggest retail price of $11.95.

On a personal note, I own several of these maps already, and I’m always impressed with how durable they are and how much information is packed into such a relatively small foot print. They really are great products and I can’t wait to check out all the new destinations that they’ll be delivering soon. If you’re planning a trip abroad, I can’t think of a better map to bring along with you.