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National Geographic’s ‘Building Titanic’

The centennial of the Titanic tragedy has witnessed numerous new publications on the history of the ocean liner, the stories of its survivors, and the 1985 discovery of the ship, along with a few films and television productions. In conjunction with one of those productions, National Geographic has released an app on the building of the ship. Don’t miss it–it’s fascinating and free.

Title: Building Titanic
Developed by: National Geographic Society
Platform: iOS, requires 4.0 or later
Version: 1.1.
Price: Free

Gr 5 Up-Archival film clips and an impressive sequence of time-lapse photography offer a window into the herculean efforts required to construct the ocean liner. A drawing of the design for the Titanic, with a timeline stretching across the bottom of the screen, opens the app. A tap to any of the seven points along the timeline leads to another photo with additional layers of information and images. The first window (1907) discusses the genesis of the plan to build “the largest, most luxurious” ocean liner and the technological advances incorporated into its design, while the final window (1912) provides photos of the exterior and interior of the completed steamer.

Fascinating film clips include a short reel on “Laying the Keel” and another from a promotional film, “The Titanic Experience,” featuring dancing passengers, a game of shuffleboard in progress, and one of the vessel’s “electric lifts” in operation. (The latter film was taken aboard the Titanic’s sister ship, The Olympic.) Viewers jumping from 1907 to 1912 on the timeline will witness a stunning presentation of time-lapse photography that depicts the building of the ship—from start to finish—in less than 10 seconds. A first-rate production.— Daryl Grabarek, School Library Journal


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