Sunday, June 18, 2006

Give me one Earth Sandwich, please

if the earth were a sandwich...

This is a Travel Geographer Blog only post (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

G4T #36: Planning Theory & Tourism Planners: A Disconnect

This is a Geography for Travelers Podcast related post (click on the title above to download the .mp3 file)

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

Travelography #30: Child Mixup at United & The World's Most Expensive Casino

Child Mixup at United & The World's Most Expensive Casino
This is a PCN Travelography Podcast related post (click on the title above to go to the PCN TRAVELOGRAPHY web page)

In last week's Travelography (yes, I am a bit late in getting this post up), United Airlines mixed up two boys who were traveling without their parents, and almost sent to Taiwan instead to South Bend, Indiana. Singapore selects the Las Vegas Sands to build the world's most expensive casino. Malaysia stumbles in Disney discussions And summer travel costs rise with gas prices.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Have a Green [Travel] Summer - from Google Maps

Green Summer Travel

This is a Travel Geographer Blog only post (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

Online Travel Maps - a mini review

Online Travel Maps - a mini review

This is a Travel Geographer Blog only post (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,, Microsoft (, and The competition is heated and new feature rollouts make comparisons a moving target. Their "winner" (in April 2006) was, 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 interface has the best combination of usefulness and usability. However, I found that 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, 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; 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.

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