Atlas & Geography
When we popped in 3D Atlas(Creative Wonders), we got a dialogue box that said we were running Win95 or higher – we knew that – and that therefore we might have trouble with 3D Atlas. We did – lots of fatal error and general protection fault messages, asking if we wanted to continue. And when we said ‘yes,’ it as often as not let us (rumor has it that a more recent release solves these problems). So we did see a fair bit of the program. What you get here are three kinds of globes (environmental, political, and physical), lots of facts and statistics about lots of places that you can access and then massage in different ways, and short video stories on eleven major environmental issues in our world. You also get the chance to take 3D Flights over mountain ranges like the Himalayas and the Alps which are about as exciting as any out-of-focus, pixelated movie can be. The Timelapse feature – study environmental phenomena like the spread of acid rain or the urban expansion of Cairo from 1984 to 1991 – also fails to astound. From the ill-conceived interface, which displays maps inside a small window, to the paucity of content, 3D Atlas could use a serious overhaul.
– June 1996