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Best Online Travel Maps

Wikipedia lists ‘a Map‘ as ‘visual representation of an area – a symbolic depiction highlighting relationships between elements of that space such as objects, regions and themes’.

Which, as literal descriptions go, is not far off the mark.

But, while uncle Wiki goes on to talk about ‘Scale and accuracy’ and ‘labeling’, we want to talk about how maps can make you feel. The emotional aspects, the enigmatic pull of an unknown terrain, the real ins and outs, the joy of spending time engrossed in a good ol’mapping session.  We have to say, unashamedly, and most definitely loud and proud – we can’t live without maps!

Our beautiful models showing off this season's must have maps!

So how often do we map? More than you think!

It usually goes something like this – someone comes back from a great trip abroad, sits you down and recalls the fantastic time they have just had in ‘a beautiful, charming little place’, listing of 1 or 2 exciting things they did, and ending with ‘you really must go’.  One or two words strike a chord in amongst the fog of standard feedback like the “incredible view” and “it’s so much better if you turn up and book on the day”.

So, you immediately go online to find out more about the place, and after looking at a few photos and videos, you have to admit, it does look great.

Now comes the most important bit – the map – whether it be a simple one, like you find in a Lonely Planet guide book, or something more substantial like Google Maps, you start to investigate the area. And then, slowly but surely, your first tentative routes, just in case you were to venture to this new unknown area of the world, begin to emerge.

Soon your map search gets a little more specific; you look at the hotels, reviews: which are located in the best areas? Which has the best write-up? Is breakfast included? Then you are suddenly planning your days – what can you get round in 8 hours?  What’s the best itinerary for a day of walking?  How far can i get with 3 hours of a hire car? And what’s this – a natural hot spring on the way? Ah lovely, let’s check it out!

A very cool Map on the ceiling of an underground shopping centre in Russia

We could go on for hours and hours and hours about our love of maps (and maybe we will one day).  But for now, we have waded around in the deep end of the web and discovered some great ideas around how you can not only use a map to improve your time abroad, but help you make the right decision about where you are going on your next holiday.  Just don’t look at these while you are at work or need to hand in an essay…

These are all authentic time killers.

Great Maps:

1) World Map of Touristyness – Want to avoid the hordes? Discover something new?  This great idea for a map shows where people head for their holidays!

2) Want to see Paris up close and personal?  It’s been out for a while but never fails to impress, the Paris 26 Gigapixels interactive map. Also available in, strangely, Dresden, Germany.

3) Go360 Edinburgh Map is a fun way to discover the city and works very similar to Google street view.  Great ideas if you are spending some time in the Scottish capital.

4) Got loads of photos from your trips? Panoramio allows you to organise and display your photos on your own global map. Now you can see what Puka Puka really looks like.

Have you seen a great map and want to share it? We will leave the comments open for this one

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One Comment Post a comment
  1. These are some great points. Maps are way more than just lines and colors on paper.

    June 7, 2011

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