National Geographic Society

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The National Geographic Society , based in Washington, DC , is an American society for the advancement of geography .

National Geographic
description popular science journal
First edition 1888
Sold edition > 2,000,000 copies
Editor-in-chief Susan Goldberg
editor National Geographic Society
ISSN (print)

History and Development

Founding members from January 13, 1888
Surname Life dates comment
Cleveland Abbe 1838-1916 meteorologist
Frank Baker 1841-1918 Mediciners
Marcus Baker 1849-1903 cartographer
John Russell Bartlett 1843-1904 Officer and naturalist
Charles J. Bell 1858-1929 banker
Rogers Birnie 1851-1939 Officer and naturalist
William Healey Dall 1845-1927 Naturalist
Arthur P. Davis 1861-1933 engineer
Clarence Edward Dutton 1841-1912 Officer and naturalist
Henry Gannett 1846-1914 cartographer
Samuel S. Gannett 1861-1939 geographer
Grove Karl Gilbert 1843-1918 geologist
James Howard Gore 1856-1939 mathematician
George Brown Goode 1851-1896 Naturalist
Adolphus Washington Greely 1844-1935 Polar explorer
Edward Everett Hayden 1858-1932 Naval officer and meteorologist
Henry W. Henshaw 1850-1930 Naturalist
Gardiner Greene Hubbard 1822-1897 Lawyer
Willard Drake Johnson 1860-1917 topographer
George Kennan 1845-1924 Siberia explorer
George Wallace Melville 1841-1912 Naval officer and naturalist
Clinton Hart Merriam 1855-1942 scientist
Henry Mitchell 1830-1902 engineer
Robert Muldrow II 1864-1950 geologist
Herbert Governor Ogden 1846-1906 topographer
John Wesley Powell 1834-1902 geologist
William Bramwell Powell 1836-1904 Pedagogue
Israel Cook Russell 1852-1906 geologist
Winfield Scott Schley 1839-1911 admiral
Almon H. Thompson 1839-1906 geographer
Gilbert Thompson 1839-1909 topographer
Otto Hilgard Tittmann 1850-1938 Geodesic
James Clark Welling 1825-1894 Pedagogue

The society was founded on January 13, 1888 by 33 men in the Washington Cosmos Club . Gardiner Greene Hubbard was elected first President of the Society on January 27, 1888 . After his death in 1897 he was followed by his son-in-law Alexander Graham Bell . The purpose of the association was and is to bring geographic knowledge to the general public.

To this end, it sponsors geographic research projects and publishes a monthly magazine, National Geographic Magazine (later National Geographic ), the first issue of which appeared 9 months after the society was founded.

The chairman and executive director of the National Geographic Society has been John M. Fahey, Junior, since January 2011. Declan Moore is vice president of National Geographic Publishing and Digital Media.

There are two other major geographic societies in the United States, the American Geographical Society (AGS) in New York City and the Association of American Geographers (AAG), the professional association of American geographers.

The logo was designed by Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv .

National Geographic Magazine

Issue of the magazine from January 1915

In 1905, the editor established Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor the actual photo-journalism , for which the magazine with spectacular color photographs as well as excellent maps inserts and the characteristic yellow border ( yellow border ) is known as a trademark.

Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor shaped the magazine as editor-in-chief for 55 years; his principles of writing only friendly things about countries and people and avoiding unpleasant or inappropriate criticism, however, was controversial. For example, in 1937 the magazine positively mentioned the Berlin transport system and German youth. It was only after Grosvenor's death in the late 1960s that there were critical issues.

In 1982 the US magazine had a circulation of 10,860,000 copies.

In addition to the English-language original edition and the German offshoot, which has been appearing since 1999, there are other local editions of the magazine in Chinese, Danish, Estonian, Finnish, Flemish, French, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Croatian, Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (individual editions including for Brazil and Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Serbian, Czech, Turkish and Hungarian.

In 2006 the magazine was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for Communication and Humanities.

In May 2007, the National Geographic Magazine was awarded the prize General Excellence Award of the American Society Magazine Editors in the "circulation of over 2 million" and the award for best photography for three issues of the magazine in the year of 2006.

Susan Goldberg is currently the editor-in-chief of the US edition. Chris Johns, her predecessor, was named Editor of the Year at Advertising Age Magazine's October 2008 American Magazine Conference.

National Geographic Germany

National Geographic Germany logo

A German-language edition of National Geographic has been published by G + J / RBA GmbH & Co KG, a licensee of the National Geographic Society and National Geographic Television , since 1999 . The editor-in-chief of the magazine is Erwin Brunner. As a long-time editor-in-chief, he was one of the founding members of the German-language edition and replaced Klaus Liedtke at the head of the editorial team in 2009.

In addition to the reports from the US edition that have been translated into German, the German edition includes other short additional articles by the German editorial team. The German editorial team has also been writing its own reports since 2005. Some of these reports and current topics are published not only in the printed magazine, but also on the website.

The first issues in Germany cost 5 DM, now the issue price is 6 euros (as of November 2017). A card was often included as a poster in the first few years. These cards are now rarely distributed. However, posters on a specific topic of the respective issue are regularly included in the booklet.

The German National Geographic magazine has a circulation of 172,500 copies (IVW 3/2012) and reaches around 1.6 million readers (MA 2/2012).

more publishments

In addition, the bookazine series National Geographic Collectors Edition has been devoted to selected topics in a special issue since 2004. The bilingual knowledge magazine National Geographic Kids (formerly National Geographic World ) has been aimed at young readers up to 14 years of age since 2003. The magazine appears ten times a year and is available in stores including an audio book for 5.30 euros. In Germany there is also the National Geographic book publisher. Today it comprises more than 600 titles - from illustrated books and travel guides to non-fiction and history books.

The online photo community offers hobby photographers the opportunity to share their own photos with other community members. In addition, the site provides information on photo competitions that National Geographic conducts. National Geographic also initiates exhibitions and live multi-vision shows.

National Geographic Channel has been broadcasting on German-speaking television since 2004. The station's program is broadcast in 153 countries and 27 languages ​​worldwide.


Until 2011, the National Geographic Society in Germany held the “ National Geographic Knowledge ” competition annually at all schools that were willing to take part . There, the best of the class, the best of the class and the best of the school were searched for at various levels. He then entered the competition for his state. The best of the German federal states met for the final, in which the national winner and the German team were determined. This took part in the National Geographic World Championship .

See also


  • National geographic. The national geographic magazine, official journal of the National Geographic Society. Washington DC 1.1888f., 123.1963ff. ISSN  0027-9358
  • National geographic. Germany. Gruner & Jahr, Hamburg 1999, 10ff. (German edition) ISSN  1615-0872
  • Reuel Golden (Ed.): National Geographic. Around the world in 125 years. 3 volumes, Taschen Verlag, Cologne 2014, ISBN 978-3-8365-5034-5 .

Web links

Commons : National Geographic Society  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Sarah Levy: 125 years of "National Geographic": Only friendly prints are printed! someday