National Geographic
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Harnessing technology and driving innovation to create a planet in balance.

The National Geographic Society believes we can generate positive change when people understand our world and the challenges that define our era. By doing this, we can inspire them to take action.

The National Geographic Labs position the National Geographic Society as a global leader in harnessing breakthrough technologies and driving innovation at scale to create a planet in balance.   

The Labs define the world’s greatest challenges, accelerate impact in exploration and conservation and engage new audiences with the natural and cultural world.


There are three Labs: Exploration Technology, Geographic Visualization, and Citizen Explorer

Our Labs

Technology Lab

The Exploration Technology Lab is a world-class technology development and innovation group that builds and deploys breakthrough systems and hardware to accelerate exploration and understanding of our cultural and natural heritage.

The Exploration Technology Lab enables explorers to document the most remote and most extreme environments; supports the monitoring of the status of species and ecosystems; and develops surveillance and alarm systems for the world’s protected areas. Working with the Geographic Visualization Lab, the Exploration Technology Lab brings protected areas to life by developing immersive experiences of the natural world and its people in ways that have never been done before.

Related Explorers: Shah SelbeKaty Croff BellTopher White

Photograph by Robbie Shone

In the search for Leonardo's Painting of the Battle of Anghiari, laser scanning is conducted by a University of California San Diego team to create a 3D computer model of the Hall of 500 that is accurate down to the millimeter.

Photograph by Dave Yoder

Our Labs

visualization Lab

The Geographic Visualization Lab aims to transform the way people experience, understand, and appreciate natural and cultural diversity, and the need for conservation.  The Geographic Visualization Lab engages audiences in unprecedented ways through cutting-edge immersive digital experiences and fuels innovative conservation solutions by indexing and revealing the status, evolving patterns, and trends of the planet’s vital signs.

Related Explorers: Corey Jaskolski; Charlie Hamilton James

Our Labs

Citizen Explorer Lab

The Citizen Explorer Lab engages, inspires, and empowers a new generation of explorers, scientists, and change makers. It is building a global science instrument for conservation and exploration and aims to engage millions of people around the world in order to acquire data that will help us understand the patterns, status, and trends of species, ecosystems, people and cultures. The Citizen Explorer Lab will establish and scale the first-ever global “Ground Truthing” network to collect otherwise unattainable data on any scale, from anywhere. Lastly, it will support the development of digital platforms enabling people to experience science exploration in each of our three areas of focus—Changing Planet, Human Journey, and Wildlife.

Related Explorers:  Martin Wikelski; David Lang

Photograph by Lori Epstein











National Geographic is currently offering funding opportunities to explore, visualize, understand, and protect the planet using innovative, cutting-edge technologies.

Our Grants





Satellite map source: NASA, HydroSHEDS; Satellite map credit: Martin Gamache, Art of the Mappable; Expedition map source: HydroSHEDS; Expedition Map credit: Martin Gamache, Art of the Mappable; Photographs by Chris Boyes (“Water”), GÖTZ NEEF (“Biodiversity”), Kostadin Luchansky/Angola Image Bank (“Community”).