Select in the table the names of countries you've
visited, and the software will produce a map for you with those countries
highlighted. You can download and print the map, or put it on a website
or blog by pasting a bit of code they send with the completed map.
The first site I go when I'm visiting a new city or
staying in a new hotel. They have thousands of members, and reviews of
every imaginable restaurant and hotel in nearly every city in the world.
Their hotel rankings are dependable -- tiny little mom-and-pop hotels are
just as likely to rank first as a big luxury chain hotel -- and the
write-ups by fellow travelers make good reading. As with Virtual Tourist,
below, there are some contradictions -- one person may say "bathroom is
too small" while another says "the bathroom was generous". Take every
review with a grain of salt, and look at the larger picture; also take in
to consideration the number of reviews submitted (the hotel's rating will
say "based on 35 reviews" or whatever; the larger that number, the more
likely the rating is to be accurate).
Google Globe Trotting
One of the most informative of the mushrooming
number of sites using features of google maps and google Earth to do
something interesting and useful. Here, users submit labeled images which
they have been able to identify among the highest-resolution google Earth
A member-driven website with over 500,000 members
from over 200 countries and territories sharing their experiences and tips
and evaluations of places to visit, places to stay, places to eat. If
you're planning a trip anywhere, it's worth checking here to read some of
the latest tips. The "who we are" for the site says the members
contributions are "unbiased"; clearly this is not so. There are all kinds
of biases presented here; example: you'll see the same hotel panned for
being "too small" or "too distant" and also being praised for being
"lovely and small" and "an easy bus ride from town". So read with an open
mind. Lots of valuable insights here.
"Country information from around the world on over
260 countries", this site provides country information from around the
world. It is an excellent resource for business, tourists, students and
teachers. It includes both basic data -- such as maps, flags, and national
anthem sound files -- and more detailed information and links for all the
countries of the world.
Lonely Planet World Guide
From the producers of the Lonely Planet guides.
Select a region, then a country, and you can read about -- and see
pictures of -- the country. More "tourist-oriented" than many "World
Guide" sites, but all the facts a traveler could want plus basic history
and other related information.
Mapping.com's list of all the airport codes in the
world. Included are the three-letter FAA and IATA codes, the 4-letter GPS
and ICAO codes. Search by code, airport name, place, province, country.
Foreign Exchange Map
Ever wonder how your country's currency is doing,
compared to others? Probably you hear on a regular basis how it does
compared to the U. S. dollar. But what about against the Ghanaian cedi or
the Nicaraguan cordoba? Oanada.com carries all that information, updated
daily. More interesting from a cartographic point of view is that all that
can be mapped. Using a java applet, the change of a currency against all
other currencies can be mapped so you can see how your currency is doing
relative to the entire world, not just the USD. Opens with US/Germany, but
select any two countries and select "1 day" and it redraws the map for
The 50 States
This site on the fifty states (and the U.S.
commonwealths and territories) has information such as: location
(latitude and longitude), birds, colleges and universities, constitutions,
flowers, genealogical resources, geological formations, geographical
features, mottos, national forests and parks, newspapers, nicknames,
nonprofit organizations, populations, state and federal representatives,
songs, and the date of entry into the union. All facts are linked to over
1529 governmental or authoritative webpages.
TravLang World Languages Site
Traveling somewhere new this year, and worried
about the language barrier? One good place to begin is TravLang. Select
the language you speak, and the language you wish to learn, and the site
returns a collection of word lists -- basic words, numbers,
shopping/dining, travel, directions, places, and time and dates. After
you've reviewed the list, you can take a little test on the words and
Michelin European Route Planner
From Michelin, a very comprehensive and highly
accurate route-planning website. You can give a specific address, a
station or airport, or just "central" for your departure site and
destination, and before it draws your route, the program gives you several
choices to improve the accuracy of your map. You can also bring up maps by
postcode, city, region, or country, as well as all kinds of information.
(Note: by default, this page assumes you're in the UK, but that has no
effect on driving directions between any two countries.)
A small and easy-to-use site that processes any
two cities of your choice and gives back the Latitude and Longitude of
each, plus the distance and bearing between them. A nice feature is that
the program also returns a map showing the two cities.
Great Circle Calculator
Like the site above. A very interesting site. Be
sure to read the explanations and FAQ's. You can use lat/long or airport
codes to get back the great circle route and distance between any two
points on the Earth. Fascinating to look at the routes in detail. Look at
SIN-LAX (Singapore to Los Angeles, presently the longest non-stop route
flown by any carrier), or the other super-long routes, such as HKG to ORD
(Hong Kong to Chicago). There are plans for a Sydney-to-Rio schedule
sometime this year; take a look at that route -- directly over Antarctica.
U.S. State Dept Travel Information Pages
Read public announcements about immediate warnings
and dangers, read consular information sheets about every country in the
world, read their "tips for travelers", and also read all kinds of visa
and passport information. Page also includes links to US embassies and
consulates worldwide, and to other government sites.
Around the World In 80 Books
A nifty site for world travelers or those who are
interested in the world; the site reviews books, modern and classic, that
can teach us something about some place in the world. You can search for
books by specific or general location (looking for a novel about
Afghanistan or a non-ficton book about Colorado, for example) or you can
just browse. Powerful and interesting site, with a "submission"
feature and a growing list of books.
EarthDesk replaces your static desktop picture with a
real-time rendered image of the earth, continuously updating in the
background while you work. Features include eleven separate map
projections, both satellite and political maps, accurate sun and moon
lighting, and on the photomosaic satellite maps, you can see city lights
in nighttime areas. A great desktop feature.
Sheppard Software Geography Games
A vast array of free geography games; games on
the whole world, on specific regions, on individual countries. Extensive,
well-developed, and fascinating.