Off the track;Cross-phase;CD-Rom;Geography;Subject of the week

26th March 1999 at 00:00
DISCOVERING THE NATIONAL PARKS CD-ROM. Active Adventure Ltd: available from national park information centres and bookshops, or mail order. Tel: 01369 708029. pound;24.99 + pound;2 pamp;p.

The idea of exploring the national parks from the comfort of a desktop is appealing. But the limitations of the format let this guide down.

The "walks" are static affairs, the maps difficult to read and the photographs indistinct and unexciting.

The use of Ordnance Survey vector mapping increases the educational possibilities, especially when tied in with geological and economic data.

Details of events, youth hostels, transport and weather are included, as are Internet links. Here the CD-Rom really scores, leading to a wealth of other (often visually appealing) data sources. Environmental care and a responsible attitude are encouraged at all times.

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