A Selection From the 2014 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

Every year travelers around the world take stunning photographs documenting their journey, capturing many beautiful locations, both urban and natural. National Geographic’s Travel Photo Contest is for anyone who wants to submit their favorite photos in four different categories: Spontaneous Moments, Travel Portraits, Outdoor Scenes and Sense of Place. This year, thousands of entries were submitted, and later this month finalists and winners will be announced. Here are 12 of our favorite images to get a taste of the incredible assortment of moments being captured.

Dreams of Burma: Explore the Country with this New App From National Geographic and Fotopedia

Burma is a country that, for many of us, only lives in our dreams. For years, it has been difficult for people to get into the country and experience its spectacular beauty.

Burma has long been known as a pariah state, isolated from the rest of the world with an appalling human rights record. From 1962 to 2011, the country was ruled by a military junta that suppressed almost all dissent and wielded absolute power in the face of international condemnation and sanctions. National Geographic Traveler and Fotopedia have set out to open our eyes with Dreams of Burma, an app for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. 

Visual Bits #415 > Out Of This World: Photography

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Totally Awesome 80’s Illustrations to the Max

Adhemas Batista - Nat Geo- 1

To advertise their new miniseries, 80’s the Decade That Made Us, National Geographic commissioned the talented Adhemas Batista to make these totally tubular graphic designs. The ads, which are more colorful than a Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper, appeared outside of Nat Geo’s launch party for the show at SXSW last week featuring live music by Girl Talk. The three episode miniseries, narrated by Rob Lowe, will air on Sunday, April 14th at 8pm on the Nat Geo channel and highlight the movies, music, politics, interesting fashion choices, and bulky technology that made the decade unforgettable.

Singing, Dancing, and Transforming in a Flash

From the title, you might think that this post is about Lady Gaga, Madonna, or Britney Spears, but it’s actually something more phenomenal than all three combined: Birds-of-paradise. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Geographic have released an awe-striking trailer as a preview of some incredible upcoming bird-of-paradise projects: a coffee table book, a major exhibit at the Nat Geo Museum, a documentary on the Nat Geo channel, magazine articles, and Nat Geo live lectures across the country. To understand all of the hype about New Guinea’s fantastic feathered friends that resemble creatures from Pandora in Avatar, check out the video below.

James Cameron is a Badass, and Not Because of Movies

:THE INCREDIBLE HUMAN SERIES:      click here to see more from the series


You heard it. James Cameron is much more than just a movie producer/director, he is a serious badass.  We all know him today for the big movies like Terminator, Avatar and Titanic, but he is leaving the world of make believe soon.  Actually he left it a while ago, but his new expedition is his biggest yet.

Nat Geo’s Extreme Photo of the Week


In 2009 National Geographic announced they were ceasing the print version of their Adventure magazine. The incredible publication has showcased everything from extreme adventurers and explorers to more accessible adventure themed vacations for readers. As the landscape of publishing has changed, finding advertisers for such a niche magazine became increasingly difficult and so, the decision became final — the magazine was to find its home solely online. This is a similar story for many publications in recent times. Even the NY times laid off 10 long time staff photographers because of declining ad sales in the print publication. Is this all bad? With changing times also come new types of media.

The Most Popular Surnames in the US by Area

Whether they be Smith’s, Kelly’s, Garcia’s, Lee’s or Leblanc’s, America is truly a melting pot of cultures. Showing the most prolific surnames in the country, National Geographic has put out an interactive map showing the distribution, quantity and origin of last names in different regions. To see what names hit the top of the list in your area, see the map at ngm.nationalgeographic.com

Underwater Sculpture Garden Helps Save Reef

Providing shelter and food for a multitude of plants and animals, coral reefs are some of the most vibrant and diverse ecosystems on the planet. Today, due to factors ranging from sunscreen-polluted waters to warming ocean currents, reefs are dying off at an alarming rate, leaving barren underwater deserts. Luckily, artist Jason deCaires Taylor has a clever and beautiful solution.

30 Years of BAD Pictures

National Geographic photographer Bruce Dale has had an illustrious and varied 30-year career. From mounting a camera in the tail of a jumbo jet, to taking the hologram image for the 100th anniversary edition of National Geographic, to being used as a seat for a bear, his journey has been full of surprises. For the secret behind why these beautiful and stunning photographs are labeled ‘BAD,’ hear the story in the video below.