Thursday, December 28, 2006
Today's podcast is part two of my discussion of a research project that I am undertaking in Nepal. This first podcast in this series discussed the "problem statement" -- the environmental and social change issues and how we framed them. In today's podcast I discuss our research methodology and the theoretical rational for the methodology. We will be using photographs to elicit responses from residents Kathmandu and the Khumbu region. Theoretically, the methodology is focused on Social Exchange Theory.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
A new record number of US travelers will take to the air this Christmas holiday. A long anticipated wave of airline merger appear to be building, as both hostile take over moves and rumored merger discussion make headlines in the Us and abroad. The results good be bad news for travelers. And Travelocity (and Sabre) is sold for over US$4 billion, as other parts of the travel industry are also feeling the merger frenzy.
Travel to Increase 2.2 Percent for Christmas-New Year's Holiday, Says AAA
Talks may signal airlines' consolidation
AirTran offer for Midwest could spur more mergers
Airline industry poised for shake-up?
Travelocity's parent company sold for $4.4B
Travelography at Podcasternew.com
Travelography on Del.icio.us - an archive of travel news stories that have note made it into the Travelography Podcast
Sunday, December 17, 2006
The relatively new Northwest Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument was named to a New Seven Wonders of the World list created by USA Today and ABC News. (Not to be confused with the Other New Seven Wonders list that is currently being voted on.) And visitors may soon again be welcome at Monument's Midway Island. Meanwhile, a new museum devoted to the pop group, Abba, will be opening in Stockholm next year. And, first there were smoke free hotels rooms -- now we are getting smoke free states and countries!
|Underwater Wonder: Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument|
|Hawaii's Outer Kingdom|
|The New Seven Wonders (ABC News)|
|New 7 Wonders (election)|
|Visits to Midway Atoll could resume|
|Plans for ABBA museum unveiled in Sweden|
|Smoking gets snuffed out|
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Amtrak saw its ridership grow this past fiscal year as it became more competitive with short flights in the eastern US. Boeing and Airbus are building more passenger comfort into their next generation of planes. And Macau, the only place in China where gaming is legal, is getting more tourists every month as new resort casinos are built.
|Amtrak ridership increases|
|Aircraft Builders Try to Take Some of the Ordeal Out of Flying|
|Macau's visitor arrivals hit 2 million in October|
Saturday, December 09, 2006
In today's podcast I discuss a research project that I will be undertaking in Nepal. This is the first in a series of podcasts that will take you through my experience in initiating and doing this field research. This first podcast discusses the "problem statement" -- the issues and how we framed them. It is based on a proposal that I wrote with two colleagues this past summer to the US National Science Foundation. The proposed research was to examine the perceptions of Nepalis in the Khumbu region of Nepal (near Mt Everest) of environmental and social changes over the past 40 years. As a major trekking region, tourism is one of the key elements that we identify as affecting change in the Khumbu.
Links to items cited in this podcast:
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
One of my other blogs is Web 2.0 Travel Tools, which I think most readers of this blog will find of interest. There are often times when I am not sure whether to post something on that blog or here. Well, over time, this blog has become almost exclusively for items related to my two podcasts. However, I do want to mention a few items from Web 2.0 Travel Tools that are especially geographical in nature...
Trippermap.com - is a webtool that I discuss that allows you to easily show your Flickr photos on a Google Map on your blog or web page. The paid version ($9.75/year) also allows you to create route lines on your map.
Everytrail.com - is a website where you can post the GPS route data for a hike, bike ride, or other short distance trip -- and then link photos to specific locations on that route.
WAYN.com (Where Are You Now?) - is a website where people post their locations around the world and in town so their friends can find them to meet up. You can update your WAYN information by an SMS text message.
Fresh Logic Atlas - a very cool Ajax-like atlas, mostly useful for city information.
If these sound interesting, click on the links to go to my full discussion of each. And go to Web20Travel.com to see the entire web blog.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
January 23rd is Passport Day for all travelers flying into the US. US is perceived as the most difficult destination for international tourists to enter. To counter this, Bush pushes to expand the sometimes controversial US Visa Waiver program to more countries.
|U.S. to require passports for nearly all air travelers|
|Survey: Visiting the USA is a hassle|
|Bush wants more countries in visa-waiver program|
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Emirates Airlines may become the first to offer inflight cell phones use in January 2007. Cell phones may also be part of your next cruise experience. Niche travel products are gaining market share against the big online travel agencies. And, EMiles.com offer free miles for watching advertisements online.
|Emirates hopes to be first with mobile phones|
|For better or worse, cell phones go to sea|
|Internet continues to revolutionize travel|
|Starting soon, companies will 'pay' you airline miles to look at their ads|
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Austrian Airlines is first European to return to Iraq. Fiji's political problems are impacting tourism. First class and business passengers to get iPod video support. The US is losing out to Europe in attracting Asian business and leisure travelers. And a cruise from Shanghai for millionaires and attractive single women only. (I guess I wouldn't qualify!)
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Smint Air bring luxury travel up in smoke. Europeans now overwhelmingly prefer non-smoking hotels. Why does the Internet cost more the more you pay for a hotel room? Online Flash travel brochures for everyone. And checkout the new Jewel Cave soundseeing tour on the Geography for Travelers podcast (stereo headphone recommended).
|Airline for smokers will fly by March, founder says|
|European Hotel Guests Overwhelmingly Prefer a Smoke-Free Environment|
|Ring, ring: cell phones also checking in|
|‘Next generation’ of online brochures unveiled|
|Online Travel Brochures|
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Jewel Cave National Monument is located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, not far from Mount Rushmore. It is currently considered the second largest cave in the world (after Mammoth Cave in Kentucky), but only a small portion of it has actually been mapped, so it may be the largest cave system in the world. (Click Here for more information.)
I did the 1.5 hour tour of Jewel Cave last July and recorded the whole thing. I have edited it down to about 11 minutes, which I hope will wet your appetite to visit the cave in person. My visit was not a true spelunking experience, which they do offer, but which I don't think I could personally do. Multi-day spelunking trips require that you crawl through 7 inch spaces and carry out all of your personal wastes!
Special thanks to the great Ranger guide who took us on our walk through Jewel Cave!
[OOPS! The original file I uploaded was saved at a rate of 24000Hz, instead of my usual 22050Hz. This probably caused problems for most listeners. sorry about that. I have uploaded a new file that is correct.]
Friday, November 03, 2006
Find out why airline growth could be disasterous for the planet! Innovations in airport security include 3-D baggage x-ray machines and RFID passenger tracking. And, you can now experience true weightlessness for under $4000 -- far less than a flight to the International Space Station or on Virgin Galactic. The "vomit comet", however, might not be for everyone!
|New 'green' attack on airlines|
|Environmental Change Institute - Oxford University|
|TSA plan: X-ray for liquid bombs|
|New RFID tech would track airport passengers|
|More tourists weigh zero gravity flights|
Saturday, October 28, 2006
San Francisco is hoping its top ranking by Conde Nast Traveler magazine among US cities will give it a boost in its bid for the 2016 Olympic Games. Beijing is working to cleean up its poor English grammar (known as Chinglish) ahead of the 2008 Olympics. US Airlines are about to report their most profitable year in the last five, though continuing problems in the industry will likely result in yet more merger.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
In this podcast I interview Professor Claudia Jurowski of Northern Arizona University about her involvement with BEST Education Network and her research on different types of tourists to the Grand Canyon National Park, with some focus on the slippery topic of ecotourism and the ecotourist. Claudia teaches in the NAU School of Hotel and Restaurant Management (not Hotel and Tourism Management, as I stated in the podcast intro -- oops!)
To see the Grand Canyon Visitor Study (upon which Prof. Jurowski based her research study), go to the Tourism Library page of NAU's Arizona Hospitality Research and Resource Center. This site also contains many other tourism studies related to communities around the state of Arizona.
Length: 29min, 26 sec
Saturday, October 21, 2006
While scary, the immediate tourism impacts of last week's earthquake in Hawaii were minor compared to the potential longer term impacts that it my have. Regularly scheduled cruises from New Orleans will start up again this Sunday, marking the return of one of the fastest growing segments of the travel and tourism industry.
Here are links to these stories:
Quake could scare tourists away from Hawaii
Earthquake in Hawaii causes only limited tourist disruption
Earthquake leaves Hawaii unscathed
First post-Hurricane Katrina cruise scheduled for New Orleans
Friday, October 13, 2006
Iran introduces nuclear power plant tourism for foreign visitors. Two items from the Travel Gear Blog: self-weighing luggage and spray on ironing. And a new report to looks at the potential impacts of European social trends on travel and tourism.
- Iran’s nuclear sites open to foreign tourists
- Self-weighing Luggage
- Dry Cleaning Spray - Travel Gear
- European Travel Commission
Monday, October 09, 2006
There are two popular t-shirts that are sold at Ayers Rock/Uluru in the middle of the Outback of Australia. One says "I climbed Ayers Rock" the other says "I Did Not Climb Uluru". In today's podcast I talk about recent visit to Ayers Rock last summer, and about the issue of "to climb or not to climb." As interesting as this issue is, most of the podcast is actually an even more interesting soundseeing tour of the Wala Walk along the base of Uluru. This is part of the podcast is only about a 22+ minute-long editing of the 1.5 hour long ranger-guided walk.
You can read more about my family's visit to Ayers Rock/Uluru National Park on either of these two travel blog sites:
Total Podcast Length: 33min 06sec
Friday, October 06, 2006
The US Congress has extended to 2009 the due date when North Americans (US, Canada, Mexico & the Caribbean) will need passports to visit each other. Tibet received its first ever international air flight, while Brazil investigates its worst ever airplane crash. Virgin Galactic debuts its suborbital spaceship and plans a reality TV program for a free trip to space.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Now is the time to get your US passport if you plan to visit Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean in 2007. Morocco plans the first the Arab world's first high speed train. And scientists discover the riches marine ecosystem in the world in the Bird's Head area off the west coast of Papua in Indonesia.
|New passport rules to take effect Jan. 8|
|Arab world’s first high-speed train planned|
|50 New Marine Species Discovered in Indonesia|
|Stunning finds of fish and coral in Indonesia|
This podcast was originally posted on Sept 29, 2006. I was at the Podcast and Portable Media Expo on that day and forgot to post the show notes here, as I usually do.
Friday, September 22, 2006
The coup in Thailand is impacting tourist arrivals, but hopes are high that a new government will have more success in dealing with Muslim rebel attacks in southern Thailand that killed a Canadian tourist last week. More Chinese want to come to the US and four US airlines vie for a coveted new route between the US and China. And Skype goes shopping for a travel industry partner.
Click on the title above to go to the PCN website for links to these stories.
Click Here for the .MP3 File
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Another Presentation from the Graduate Workshop on Researching Tourism in Asia, sponsored by the Asia Research Institute of the National University of Singapore, and the Dept. of Tourism at the University of Otago, New Zealand.
Today's presentation by Prof. C. Michael Hall of the University of Otago, New Zealand (firstname.lastname@example.org). The title is:
Studying the Political in Tourism: Ethics, Issues, Methods and Practicalities
Here is the original abstract from the workshop:
Issues of politics and policy are widely regarded as a significant factor in tourism. However, the number of studies that examine such issues remain small in relation to the supposed importance of tourism policy and politics. The presentation will arguethat this situation exists because of the very nature of what such studies entail, i.e. examining issues of power, and therefore this may create substantial stresses in terms of the relationship of the researcher to their subjects and the institutional environment within which they operate. The presentation will discuss issues of method in examining tourism policy and politics and examine the practical dimensions of undertaking research that arise from different methods that are adopted and the aims and objectives of studies. Emphasis in placed on the importance of being aware of intended audiences for such research as well as the potential effects of such studies on research subjects, participants and other stakeholders, including the researcher. Key issues include the relative implications of prescriptive and descriptive approaches to policy analysis; describing power; and implications of scale of analysis. The presentation will conclude with a discussion of ethical considerations in conducting research on political issues in tourism and the importance of the development of policy arguments as a practical consequence of such research.
Michael Hall is Professor and Head of the Department of Tourism, University of Otago, Dunedin and Docent, Department of Geography, University of Oulu, Finland. He is the co-editor of Current Issues in Tourism and has published widely on issues of tourism, regional development and environmental history including three books on tourism policy and politics.
Released under a Creative Commons Copyright - noncommercial, attribution, share-alike.
Monday, September 11, 2006
This week's Geography for Travelers podcast starts a series of recordings that I will be doing that come out of a couple of meetings that I attended in Singapore last week. The first was a graduate student workshop about doing research in Asia. I was one of four keynote speakers at that workshop, and today's podcast is an edited recording of my talk. The title was "Defining and Redefining Modernity in New Asia." Not exactly tourism, but closely related. The sound quality of the recording was not ideal, but I think I edited it to a level that can still be listened to. Let me know if I am wrong.
The second meeting was a three-day conference on Asian tourism in Asia. I hope to put presentations by other people from both meetings up over the next couple of months, along with some soundseeing audio. Both meetings were sponsored by the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore.
Here is the abstract of my presentation from the Workshop program:
I will discuss the issue of meaning of modern and traditional in contemporary Asia, with a focus on the East and Southeast Asia. In my 30 years of living and studying in Asia, the contradictions between the modern and the traditional in these societies (especially in the built landscape) have always been of particular interest. I will present some theoretical perspectives on this topic, and my own opinions. This will, hopefully, lead to a discussion of the challenges of researching modernization in Asia.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Platial News and Neogeography:
Platial.com is a social mapping website. Starting with something like QuickMap.com or Flagr.com, but with del.icio.us or Yelp.com social bookmarking and commenting. You can create maps to bookmark your favorite restaurants or restaurants that you want to try out this weekend. And you can create social maps that people contribute to, like this one where people indicate where they were on September 11, 2001:
The makers of Platial refer to their website as Neogeography, which they define as:
"a diverse set of practices that operate outside, or alongside, or in the manner of, the practices of professional geographers. Rather than making claims on scientific standards, methodologies of neogeography tend toward the intuitive, expressive, personal, absurd, and/or artistic, but may just be idiosyncratic applications of 'real' geographic techniques."
For more on neogeography, click here.
There is also a "mini-mapper" Firefox plug-in that works with the Platial website. This, and other mapping and Platial topics can be found on the Platial blog.
I personally did not find it the easiest site to navigate and search, it was a bit frustrating at times. And there is a quote on the front page from National Geographic Magazine stating that Platial combines mapping and blogging. I am so sure how accurate that statement is -- I guess it depends on how you define "blog". Despite that, I think it is a worthwhile site that people who like to think spatially could organize their notes around.
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Worldmapper: The world as you've never seen it before
The WorldMapper site shows a wide range of social and demographic data, including a whole series of tourism and travel related maps.
The example below the relative number of international tourists that each country received in 2003. If you click on the title above, you will go to this map. Click on next and you will go to many more tourism-related maps.
The maps are really cool. And this one also shows a particular pet peeve of mine. It is obvious that the countries of Europe receive more international tourists than any of the others. Only the US and China outside of Europe have any significant size comparisons. However, are the borders within Europe really international borders? Personally, I do not think so. Passing from one country to another in Europe is no different from passing from one state to another in the US or Australia, or from one province to another in Canada or China. As such, the international arrival numbers are considerably over-inflated in Europe, in comparison to the rest of the world.
Anyway, these are the numbers that we have to live with today thanks to the World Tourism Organization (aka UNWTO) -- a bogus United Nations affiliated organization that charges for most of the data it collects and the services it provides to developing countries -- unlike other true UN bodies.
NEW: Another great source of Thematic Maps (as well as traditional political, street and physical maps) is National Geographic's Map Machine.
Monday, August 14, 2006
This week's Travelography discusses some of the short and longer term impacts that may come from last week's arrest of terrorists in the UK. Plus, a couple of American tourists get themselves into some unusual trouble in Europe with magic mushrooms and muggers.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
In this week's Geography for Travelers podcast I talk about my recent visit to Melbourne, Australia. We did a lot during our three full days there, but the highlight for me was the penguin Parade on Phillip Island, south of Melbourne. There are a few soundseeing audio clips sprinkled in the podcast that I hope you will find of interest. You can find photos and a travel diary of my Melbourne visit at both VCarious.com and MyLifeOfTravel.com.
Click here to go to Martin Fluker's Travel Show Podcast (from Melbourne)
This is a long one -- 41min, 40 sec. -- mostly due to the soundseeing clips
And what they say about doing soundseeing tours is right -- it sure takes a long time to edit those!!!
Saturday, August 05, 2006
Last minute travel travel has reached $10 billion in sales a year, as more people procrastinate while looking for the best deal. US air fares reach all time record highs, at least for most airports, as do US gasoline prices. Also, everyone loves going to the beach!
|Last minute travelers are $10 billion business|
|US air fares reach record levels|
|Survey: Gas prices up 2 cents to record high - Jul. 23, 2006|
|Tia - The American Love Affair With Beach Travel|
|Travel Zoo's Last Minute Travel|
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Quikmaps.com - Maps for the Masses
This may or may not be "Travel", but I did think it was something that geographers and budding geographers should know about, given our historic love affair with maps!
Quickmaps.com allows you to "Draw pictures and label things on a google map using simple clicks and drags." This is Fun! It is still in beta, and the "draw Lines" tool did not work for me in Firefox, but the "scribble" line drawing tool did work. This is a neat way to draw the maps that you want - to your house, to the party, and to the beach!
I have not tried these other options yet, but according to the website, once you have drawn your maps you can:
- "Blog it! - Post the map on your blog or website. Quikmaps hosts your map, so you don't need to sign up for a 'google maps api key', or anything like that. All you need is a blog.
- Send it! - Don't have a blog? Want to email a map? No problem -- just send a link to your quik map.
- Change it! - Quikmaps hosts your maps, so you can come back and edit them whenever you want. After you save your changes, your maps will update themselves.
- Google Earth it! - See your quikmap in 3D with Google Earth."
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Where the Hell is Matt.com
There are a lot of travel diary blogs out there, making it hard to stand out in the crowd. Personally, I write my travel diary blogs as much for myself (to remember), as providing potential information for others to use. However, if you are creative, you can get seen. And that is what Matt has done, in a simple, but effective way: Matt dances around the world. Oh, and he blogs about the places he visits, as well.
Friday, July 21, 2006
Bill Gates and Microsoft are working with the World Tourism Organization to put Africa's tourist destinations online though the "Windows on Africa" portal. Australians fall for an airline ticket phishing scam. China and India open a third border crossing on the Sikkim-Tibet border. And the new Qinghai-Tibet Railroad (highest in the world) may change Tibet forever.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Something really different this week. Like last week, this one comes from my recent trip to Australia and the conference I attended in Brisbane. David Timothy Duval (University of Otago, New Zealand) and I skipped out of a session of papers to sit down and talk about how we use technology in our tourism classes, and in everyday life. I cut a few things out of our over and hour discussion, but I also inserted a few clarifications. We cover a lot of territory, from podcasting to blogging to wikis to RSS aggregators to social bookmarking, and more. The result is my longest podcast yet, at 1 hr, 5 min, 44 sec.
I recorded this using my binaural microphones, with one mic set on one side of the coffee table and the other on the other side. The result is mildly stereophonic, though the telephone ringing at the end is very directional -- it sounds like it is on the table across my office everytime I hear it!
Hopefully you will find it of interest, as David and I are planning to do this again, via Skype, and probably with a more narrowly defined focus.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Welcome to Relief Riders International
This is life a changing trip on horseback - changing the lives of both the travelers and the people in the destination. Relief Riders International take small groups of travelers (about 15) on a truly unique experience. They ride horses to remote villages in India to distribute Red Cross medical and educational supplies, while staying in a wide variey accommodation, including old military forts and tents. The 15 day trip costs $4800.
Visit RRI's website (above) to see its stunning audio-visual presentation, which is powered by Dragonfly.com's multimedia web application.
See also: Experiential Travel Meets Experiential Technology: Relief Rides Come Alive
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Something new! I recorded the paper I presented at the conference I just got back from in Brisbane, Australia. This was at a meeting sponsored by the Tourism Commission of the International Geographical Union. The title of my paper was: "Travel 2.0: The Emerging Virtual Travelscape."
Interestingly, when I asked how many people had heard of the concept of "Web 2.0," only two people in the 30 or so who were in attendance raised their hands. As a regularly listeners of ITConversations.com, this was a shock to me. This major (in my opinion) social trend is apparently not getting much play beyond the blog/podosphere!
Here are a couple of links related to my talk:
- Web 2.0 Travel Tools (this is one my blogs)
- IGU Tourism Commission Website (I am the webmaster for this group)
- My Australia Trip travel blog (at MyLifeofTravel.com)
NEW: Next wave of travel websites feels like MySpace (Christian Science Monitor article)
Sunday, June 18, 2006
(this is a blog, not a podcast)
zefrank does some simple GIS mapping to identify places in the world that are exactly opposite from one another, and contain land (not water/ocean). The reason for doing this is so two slices of bread could be placed on opposite sides of the earth to make an "Earth Sandwich." Interesting idea, even more interesting map.
In general, it is surprising just how much of the land area of the planet does not have land areas on their opposite side of the globe. We are, indeed, a big blue marble made up mostly of ocean water! (Note that the big yellow of Greenland looks huge on this map because of the Mercator projection, which spreads the north and south poles out enormously. Greenland is actually smaller than Australia.)
According to the website:
"Possible sandwich locations: The duckie-yellow areas are places where it is possible to make an Earth sandwich such that both pieces of bread are on land. It may not be exact, but it's pretty close. In some cases, islands that should be yellow are too small to be seen on this map."
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Planning theory is a subject that uban planning students love to hate. However, most tourism planners have never even heard of it -- at least that is my impression from reviewing tourism planning textbooks. When I was a planning student, many years ago, planning theory (the what, why and how of the planners role in society) was one of favorite classes. So in today's podcast I discuss why I think planning theory has important lessons for tourism planning and tourism planners.
This podcast topic was prompted by a commentary that I recently wrote for Leisure/Loisir: Journal of the Canadian Association of Leisure Studies.
Length: 27min; 35 sec
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
(click on the title above to go to the PCN TRAVELOGRAPHY web page)
|Airline mixes up 2 boys headed in different directions|
|Las Vegas Sands to build Singapore's first casino|
|Malaysia in talks to build Disney park|
|Disney says has no plans for Malaysian park|
|Gas prices siphon profits from tourist attractions|
Monday, June 05, 2006
(this is a blog, not a podcast)
Google Maps has teamed up with the Earth Day Network to provide this guide to green (environmentally friendly) travel. The guide focuses on only 5 destinations in the US, and simple shows a Google Map with pins in it locating green establishments that may be of interest to visitors. Nothing earth shattering, but it does provide a primer on how to think green when traveling. [Tip #1 - search for "environmentally friendly hotel" instead of just "hotel."]
If your travel plans are still developing for this summer, you may want to check this out. (Mine were set many months ago!)
Sunday, June 04, 2006
(this is a blog, not a podcast)
The folks over at TechCrunch (a new media blog site) have been comparing the different map search engines, including maps.Google.com, maps.Yahoo.com, Microsoft (local.live.com), maps.Ask.com and Mapquest.com. The competition is heated and new feature rollouts make comparisons a moving target. Their "winner" (in April 2006) was maps.Yahoo.com, which includes detailed traffic information for major cities and an easy to use interface that includes listing of services, restaurants and other places of potential interest to travelers.
Click Here to see the full TechCrunch assessment, which includes a table that compares the major features that are offered (and not) by each map.
Taking a quick look at all of the different sites listed above, I agree that the maps.Yahoo.com interface has the best combination of usefulness and usability. However, I found that maps.Ask.com has the nicest looking color aerial images of Flagstaff, AZ, which made finding my house much easier on their website than any other. And that oldie but goodie Mapquest.com, which still has a very Web 1.0 static map, had the most accurate street maps of Flagstaff.
To compete, Microsoft has added live traffic indicators to its maps, though it listed far fewer road incidents in Phoenix, AZ, than did the Yahoo map viewed at the same time. And Microsoft has a preview site of for Streetside (at http://preview.local.live.com/; also reviewed at TechCrunch). This site shows front and side photo views of streets in downtown San Francisco and Seattle. Pretty cool, especially if you are familiar with one of those two places (I found my old apartment in SFO!), though the interface is a bit clunky, kind of like playing a very old vide car driving game.
Personally, I think any of them will do a good job in getting you from point A to point B, but these new toys can be fun!
p.s. - I call this posting "Online Travel Maps" to distinguish these from the other maps that geographers are interested in: Thematic Maps, which to me includes GIS.
Tags: maps, mapping, travel, tourism, geography, aerial images, comparisons, maps.yahoo.com, maps.ask.com, mapquest, streetside, techcrunch
Sunday, May 28, 2006
This is another Tourism and Geography in the News episode, with a focus on two topics: Travel/Geographic Literacy and Physical Geography. In the travel and geographic literacy news stories, both the American Automobile Association and the National Geographic Society held their geography contest these past couple of weeks, and issued their geographic/travel literacy survey results, which once again showed how dismal geographic knowledge is among Americans.
The physical geography news stories include volcanic activity at Mt Merapi in Indonesia and Mt St. Helens in the US, the May 27th earthquake in Indonesia, flood warnings to recreationists in California, and the world's largest artificial reef off the coast of Florida.
I close with a couple of not quite physical geography stories about futuristic proposals for New Orleans and an upcoming UFO Festival in New Mexico.
Length: 22min, 41sec
Links to stories in today's podcast:
- Travel Challenge Champ Wins $25,000 Scholarship
- Illinois Eighth Grader Wins National Geographic Bee
- Young Americans Geographically Illiterate, Survey Suggests
- 2006 National Geographic Roper
- Mount Merapi brings uncertainty to Central Java tourism
- Volcano Eruption Countered With Dance, Food
- Indonesia Quake Toll Rises to Nearly 4,000
- JAVA TOURISM CRISIS CENTRE
- This is the best cite for local tourism impact information
- Race against time in Java quake - Quake deaths pass 6200 (5/31/06)
- eTN Readers from Yogyakarta speak - lastest tourism-related updates
- Giant Rock Growing in Mount St. Helens Crater
- A Water Safety Warning Is Issued to Recreationists as Trout Season Opens and The Spring Snowmelt Begins
- Pensacola's tourism hopes rise with sinking of aircraft carrier
- National Geographic News Photo Gallery: Rebuilding New Orleans—Visions for the Future
- World's Largest UFO Festival Celebrates 1947 Incident
Saturday, May 27, 2006
Several surveys were released this past week about travel trends in the US. I report on three of them (yes, there were more) in this podcast in this week's Travelography, including Expedia's Vacation Deprivation survey and what you can do about it! Are you deprived?
Links to this week's Travelography stories:
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
This is the third e-conference that the World Congress on Communication and Development has put on. It is really nothing more than a disussion board that is divided into a selected number of topics (listed below). This actually makes if very easy to use, and there is no fee to participage.
The two previous e-conferences did not have a lot of participation, perhaps they will do better with the sustainable tourism topic if readers of this blog participate. Could be fun!
Click the title to this blog posting (above) to go to the Discussion Forum.
The following description of the conference come from this website.
Objectives of the e-conference: to bring together development practitioners, tourism professionals, decision-makers, academicians and communication specialists representing various national institutions, private sector and media organizations, NGOs, international institutions and donors active in the field of communication and sustainable tourism to:
- share their experiences, information and perspectives;
- consolidate knowledge on development communication in sustainable tourism programs;
- discuss the role that communication can play in designing and implementing sustainable tourism strategies and projects at national and local level;
- identify and share lessons learned and best practices.
The E-Conference consists of five concurrent sessions:
- The role of communication in planning and implementing sustainable tourism policies and strategies
- Communication and local communities in tourism development
- The role of communication in promoting Corporate Social Responsibility in Sustainable Tourism Development
- The role of communication in linking sustainable tourism products to markets
- Interpreting tourism destinations and orienting visitors
For more information, please download the Concept Note.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Both the AAA and Travel Industries of America have release data on the likely travel impacts of high gas prices in the US this summer. One current impact is that SUV rentals are cheaper than smaller car rentals, though it is uncertain if this will continue into the summer.
Links to today's stories:
|Americans Still Traveling Despite High Prices|
|Summer Travel Gas Price Fact Sheer (TIA)|
|Travel Industry Initiatives to Counter High Gas Prices (TIA; .pdf)|
|The new economics of renting a car|
Friday, May 19, 2006
- Dynamic Browsing - The Schmap Player dynamically integrates maps, photos, reviews and online content, giving you complete freedom to explore.
- Trip Planning - When you're browsing, searching or playing a virtual tour, simply bookmark places of interest to tailor a trip itinerary.
- City Search - Search the city, a neighborhood, or within a radius of your hotel - find sights of interest, restaurants to match your taste...
- Custom Guide Printing - Take your bookmarked places or any other selection of guide content, then custom print a full-color guide, with maps, photos, reviews...
- Virtual Tours - Play, pause and fast-forward your way through one of our suggested tours, or your own custom selection of places of interest. (The photos used are from Flickr.com with creative commons copyrights.)
- Tools - Email a favorite place, explore with our cool map tools, click online for user reviews, web search, and driving directions...
SEE MORE REVIEWS LIKE THIS ON MY WEB 2.0 TRAVEL TOOLS BLOG