Sometime around 1439, a German craftsman from the city of Mainz swiped an inked roller over a frame filled with metal type, made words on paper, and created the world of print publishing. More than 500 years after Johannes Gutenberg, we have electronic fonts and pixelated pages, but words, whether printed on paper or glowing on a computer screen, continue to inspire, excite, and teach.
Those of us who have watched electronic publishing evolve are excited by the portability of tablets such as the iPad and the value they add to the magazine experience. In publishing our electronic version of National Geographic and special apps like 50 Greatest Photographs (above), we do what weve always done: tell and show stories, but in a richer way. You can play video and audio, interact with graphics, and jump to the Web. Imagine standing in the middle of an image of Stonehenge in the English countryside and spinning it around, seeing it in three dimensions instead of two, or watching a time-lapse photo sequence of a ship being sunk to form an artificial reef in the Atlantic Ocean.
We are always working to make this magazine better. Electronic publishing is only part of that effort. This month we debut an expansion of our Departments sectionsnew offerings in both the front and back of the magazinewe hope you will enjoy. Whats not new is this: We still value presenting the world in all its complexity to our readers, and getting it right. Says David Griffin, who helped spearhead our venture into e-publishing, The killer app is information. —Chris Johns