Press Release

Esri and National Geographic Society Launches Reimagined National Geographic MapMaker

Newly Updated Online Interactive Mapping Tool Empowers Students, Teachers and Individuals Everywhere to Explore the World Through Geography

Credit: National Geographic Mapmaker/Esri Sources Esri, USGS, FAO, NOAA

Photograph by Credit: National Geographic Mapmaker/Esri Sources Esri, USGS, FAO, NOAA

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 15, 2023)—By learning about mapping skills and geography, students, teachers and others can gain a better understanding of how the world’s most crucial issues, challenges and opportunities fit into the context of place. In celebration of GIS Day and as part of Geography Awareness Week, Esri, the global leader in geographic information system (GIS) technology and the National Geographic Society, the global nonprofit organization, have launched the reimagined National Geographic MapMaker.

Developed in partnership with Esri, MapMaker is National Geographic’s online mapping tool that uses the latest in GIS software to freely connect classrooms and individuals with essential geographic information and technology for exploration and education. With this web-based 2D and 3D app, anyone can visually experience and interact with geospatial information about Earth’s interconnected social and physical systems while also exploring the art of mapmaking.

"We are honored to continue our partnership with the National Geographic Society to bring MapMaker 4.0 to K-12 students around the world," said Jack Dangermond, Esri president. "We believe that mapping is a powerful tool for learning, communication, and change and we hope that MapMaker will inspire the next generation to better understand and care for our world."

Updates to MapMaker 4.0 reach beyond the scope of a traditional map and provide users with interactive data on a variety of important topics that enrich learning and better illustrate how maps act as powerful devices that allow us to find our way, analyze and visualize complex datasets, solve problems and tell stories.

“The Society has a long history of supporting geographic education, and we are excited to have our relationship with Esri further foster a sense of wonder and curiosity about the world through data-driven mapping technology," said Deborah Grayson, chief education officer at the National Geographic Society. "National Geographic MapMaker is an engaging educational tool with the power to inspire the next generation of Explorers. It shows how geography influences their lives every day, as well as how the geographic approach can address challenges and drive real change around the world.”

The new MapMaker allows users to form patterns and relationships by layering maps, adding notes and sketches to maps, and saving images for use in papers, presentations, or other applications. These layers can be created to educate users and represent various biomes, populations, environments and view different geographic effects of climate change for innovative learning and exploring.

Students can also explore current and historical maps on topics like earth science (earthquakes, volcanoes, climate) or human geography (population characteristics, land cover, public health) and educators can view additional learning resources created by Esri and National Geographic Learning as well.

Users can even see how National Geographic Explorers have transferred their work to be visualized and experienced on MapMaker. See elk migration patterns from wildlife ecologist Arthur Middleton, explore global locations of National Geographic’s Pristine Seas’ expeditions and marine protected areas from marine ecologist Enric Sala, view mapped landscapes of the Okavango Delta and the flow of water from conservation biologist Steve Boyes and storyteller Thalefang Charles, observe map details where Baker Perry collected samples from Mount Everest in the study of climate change and see global land use versus locations of black bears near Lake Tahoe from large carnivore ecologist Rae Wynn-Grant.

MapMaker runs on online and mobile platforms, lightweight devices and is touchscreen friendly for an easy user experience at any age or level of familiarity with geography.

To learn more, explore the National Geographic MapMaker.


About Esri

Esri, the global market leader in geographic information system (GIS) software, location intelligence, and mapping, helps customers unlock the full potential of data to improve operational and business results. Founded in 1969 in Redlands, California, USA, Esri software is deployed in hundreds of thousands of organizations globally, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, nonprofit institutions, and universities. Esri has regional offices, international distributors, and partners providing local support in over 100 countries on six continents. With its pioneering commitment to geospatial technology and analytics, Esri engineers the most innovative solutions that leverage a geographic approach to solving some of the world's most complex problems by placing them in the crucial context of location. Visit us at

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About National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 15,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching 3 million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories and content. To learn more, visit or follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.