National Geographic Launches ‘Open Explorer’ Community Platform — First of Its Kind Digital Field Journal — By and For Explorers

picture of Open Explorer

National Geographic has announced the acquisition and re-launch of Open Explorer, a community platform for explorers and scientists to document their expeditions in real-time from the field and share their journeys with the world through digital storytelling. Anyone with a story to tell or a place to explore can now share their journey and crowdfund their fieldwork, including university researchers, citizen scientists, students and professional explorers. The online platform aims to democratize exploration by lowering the barrier of entry, giving access and allowing anyone to share their stories of curiosity and adventure.

For any explorer or scientist in the field, their journal is one of the most important tools. When Open Explorer was originally founded in 2014 by National Geographic Explorer David Lang, it was conceived as an answer to the question, “If Darwin were alive today, how would he have kept his notes?” Lang recognized the need for a place to record experiences, tell stories and collaborate with a community that cared about science, exploration and storytelling. Furthering the knowledge and understanding of our world has always been the core purpose of National Geographic. As such, National Geographic, in partnership with Lang, is making Open Explorer part of the National Geographic ecosystem and is focused on growing the community, connecting members with new tools and additional resources, and sharing the community’s stories with the world through National Geographic’s vast global storytelling portfolio.

“There’s never been a better time to be curious person, it’s truly the golden age of exploration,” said Lang, founder of Open Explorer and co-founder of OpenRov, a company that creates new tools for underwater exploration. “In a digital world filled with instant and endless information, it’s easy to forget that there is so much we as humans still don’t know. Nearly every app and website aims to answer questions or make some process more convenient. Open Explorer is different. It’s a tool for finding better questions.”

Rachel Webber, Executive Vice President of Digital for National Geographic Partners, said, “For more than 130 years, National Geographic has served as a platform for exploration; today, technology enables us to empower our millions of fans around the world to participate. It’s thrilling to see the diversity of projects and people in the Open Explorer community – from teenagers in Chicago looking for meteorites to our National Geographic Society Explorers like Steve and Chris Boyes trekking the Okavango Delta. We’re very grateful and honored that David brought this project to us, and we’re excited to continue to invest in and collaborate with this inspiring community.”

Open Explorer Site Functionality:

When users visit Open Explorer, they will find inspiring expeditions to follow and the ability to start their own projects. Users can document their work, upload photos and videos, leverage fundraising tools and collaborate with fellow expedition members. Audiences can follow expeditions for regular updates from the field and can engage on posts through comments and sharing material on social.

As Lang says, “People who are empowered to explore the world around them will love their planet and people who love their planet will protect it.”

To interact with the community, follow expeditions or start your own, visit Open Explorer here.

To follow expeditions that are happening right now, visit the Expedition Discover page.

To begin building your own expedition, visit this detailed guide to get started.

Press Contacts:

For interviews, visuals and more information, please contact:
Anna Kukelhaus Dynan,, (202) 912 6724
Kelsey Taylor,, (202) 912-6776

About National Geographic Partners LLC

National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 130 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching millions of people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit or, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.