20 Geography Based

We discuss all types of geography-based search tools and resources.

Class held on 11/12/2008. Student notes are available on this page. Possible questions are available on this page.

Class structure

  1. Go through “At beginning of class” information
  2. Go through diagram explaining the tools we'll be looking at today
  3. Work on exercises

At beginning of class

  1. No new grades
    • I've graded first three pages of your tests.
    • To do
      • Tests
      • Projects
      • Blogs
  2. Rest of semester
    • No test
    • Some project related resources
    • Many general-interest resources
    • This is a test
  3. I have arranged for a speaker from Google to come to class on Monday, November 24.
  4. Check the class notes page to see who is taking notes today and who is coming up with questions.
  5. Go over any other announcements you might have missed since last class.
  6. Check the start page for any blogs you might be interested in that you might have missed.
  7. Let's look over the upcoming industry updates.

My notes

Here's what we're doing today:

  • Mostly just you exploring some amazingly cool and useful Web resources.
  • Please please add resources that you know about that aren't on this list that you find to be useful and interesting.

International, country-specific Web search engines

  1. SearchEngineColossus.com: "International Directory of Search Engines"
  2. Yahoo International: Yahoo home pages from countries around the world

Google Maps

  1. Google Maps (tour, popular content, featured content)
  2. Google Maps Mania: "An unofficial Google Maps blog tracking the websites, mashups and tools being influenced by Google Maps."
    1. 100 things to do with Google Maps mashups: the most fun you can have with maps.
    2. Also look under "Google Maps Links/Other Google Maps Stuff" in the right column.
  3. Pictures on Google Maps
  4. Related tool: Google Earth


  1. Google Sightseeing: "Google Sightseeing takes you on tour of the world as seen from satellite, using the free Google Earth program, or Google Maps in your web browser. Each weekday your guides James and Alex present new weird and wonderful sights as suggested by readers."
  2. TripBase: "Tell us what you like. We'll tell you where to travel." (review)
  3. TripWolf: worldwide travel guide (review)
  4. Whole Travel: "it's your planet. travel it. preserve it." (review)
  5. Standard travel search tools
    1. Expedia
    2. Orbitz
    3. Travelocity
  6. Newer general travel search tools
    1. Kayak: travel aggregator; searches 140+ travel sites with one search
    2. UpTake: "your first step on a great trip"; "search over 1000 travel websites and 20M opinions at once" (review, review)
    3. WeGo: "Wego searches through 100+ travel sites in the time that it takes you to search one. We’ll help you find the best prices and connect you to the best place to buy." (review)
  7. Specialized travel information
    1. NYC subway
    2. Google Transit: plan a trip using public transportation
    3. Ixigo: travel in India
    4. Sprice: "smart prices to go…anywhere" (actually, focuses on hotels in SE Asia, India, Europe) (review)
    5. HopStop: Provides door-to-door subway and bus directions and maps for NYC. Currently expanding to other major cities. Very popular in Manhattan.

Local search

  1. Ask City: search for businesses, movies, and events
  2. MSN City Guides
  3. Yelp: restaurant reviews
  4. BooRah: "restaurant reviews, menus, pictures, and more" (review)
  5. Mapquest Local: restaurants, events, news, weather
  6. When.com: "where to go, what to do, local events" (review)
  7. OnYoMo: "find movies, restaurants, airlines, services" (review)
  8. WebLocal: Canadian local search (review)

Road trips and driving

  1. Mapquest directions (search cheat sheet)
  2. Mapquest RouteBuilder
  3. Multimap driving directions
  4. Google Maps driving directions
  5. RoadsideAmerica Maps: "Find oddities and tourist attractions and plan trips more quickly"
  6. MileByMile: free road map RV itinerary guides
  7. Outside the U.S.
    1. Streetmap.uk: Great Britain street and road maps
    2. Australian driving directions
    3. European driving directions (ViaMichelin)
    4. Mappy.com: road guide for U.S. and Europe
    5. TheAA.com: route planner for U.K. and Europe



  1. Brewster Jennings Protects America: "Remember playing "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego" as a kid? Well now the new game Brewster Jennings Protects America brings this classic adventure into the 21st century by merging the game play with Google maps technology*. In the web-based Brewster Jennings Protects America game you race around the globe as a government agent trying to stop a deadly terror attack from taking place…. "
  2. Google Moon Map


  1. Historical Maps
  2. Maps of current interest
  3. Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection (Univ of Texas)
  4. NationalAtlas Map Maker: build your own layered map with a wide variety of information
  5. WorldMapper: "a collection of world maps, where territories are re-sized on each map according to the subject of interest. There are now nearly 600 maps."
    • Animation: be sure to check out this animation
  6. World Sunlight Map: "Watch the sun rise and set all over the world on this real-time, computer-generated illustration of the earth's patterns of sunlight and darkness. The clouds are updated every 3 hours with current weather satellite imagery."
  7. EarthPulse (National Geographic): a visual guide to global trends
  8. EarthTools: "find places, latitude/longitude, sunrise, sunset, elevation, local time, and time zones"


  1. AuctionMapper: search eBay for auctions (info)
  2. Oodle: buy and sell locally (classifieds)
  3. LiveDeal: online local marketplace

Real estate

  1. HousingMaps: a mashup of Google Maps and Craigslist
  2. Trulia: real estate search
  3. PropSmart: real estate search (and community)

Interactive tools

  1. GMap Pedometer: plan your walking trips and measure their length
  2. Wikimapia: a mashup of Google Maps and Wikipedia. Completely addicting to explore.
  3. MapMyRun: a tool to plot your running route and see what the distance was


  1. The World Clock - Time Zones: Current local times around the world
  2. Greenwich Mean Time: use this to set your clock to the right time whereever you are
  3. World Time Zone: find the time using a map

Mobile tools

  1. Mapquest Wireless
  2. Google adds local to mobile web search
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