To explore is human. Open Explorer is a digital field journal. It's a way to share the different stages of your expedition - planning, underway and debriefing - with a community of people who share your enthusiasm.

It’s for everyone: university researchers to citizen scientists, students to professional adventurers. You can begin (even if it’s just the seed of an idea) by posting an expedition that you've been dreaming up (even if it's just exploring your backyard), or get started by following along and contributing to other adventures.

Open Explorer allows you to connect with others, raise money as you go, and share the adventure as it unfolds. It’s a new way to explore your world.

Expedition Examples

Exploration comes in all shapes and sizes. It doesn’t have to be completely thought through, just an idea is enough to get started. Open Explorer is a digital field journal. It's a way to share your expedition with a large audience, and collaborate with a community of people who share your enthusiasm.

Frequently Asked Questions

What qualifies as an expedition?

It's intentionally a broad term. The best way to think about it: is there a question being asked or a curiosity being pursued? Take a look at other expeditions on the site to get an idea of how this can look. In general, the site is not a place to show off, it's a place to share.

What makes an expedition successful?

Every expedition, no matter how ambitious, should have a purpose or goal. Your purpose - finding a meteorite in your neighborhood, exploring your local waterways - will be your north star as your document your expedition.

The most interesting Open Explorer expeditions use all of the tools and formats available - text, video and photos.

How do I start?

You've created an Open Explorer profile. You've started following expeditions from our “Find an expedition” page. Now you're ready to tell the story of your own expedition.

After creating an account with Open Explorer and logging in, you can access your expeditions and the ones you are following in the “My Expeditions” tab in the upper right corner of the page.

From there, you can start a new expedition, which includes the following information to start:

  • Start date;
  • Type of expedition;
  • Summary;
  • Place for a video explainer.
How often should I be posting to my expedition?

As needed, but the more the better! People want to know where you are on your journey - even if that's just that you're packing for the next plane ride. Best practice is to update at least weekly, and include visuals as often as possible.

What are some good expeditions to learn from?

Here are some of our most popular expeditions and what makes them interesting:

How do I get more people to check out what I'm doing?

Share your Expedition with friends, family, and on social media and ask people to follow it! They'll get updates whenever you post. Be sure to fill out your Open Explorer profile and make sure your Expedition is up to date.

How do I get featured on the homepage?

Expeditions that post often and have a lot of followers make their way to the front page. Invite people to follow you, update your expedition regularly, and there is a better chance you'll end up on the homepage!

How can I get featured by National Geographic?

We have editors and writers on staff who look through the expeditions for potential stories and reach out when they find something they're interested in.

I have questions, who do I talk to?

Email us at openexplorer@natgeo.com! Were here for your questions, comments and feedback.