Friday, June 23, 2006

TripHub and Triporama - Group Travel Planners

What could be more social than traveling witha a group of friend and/or relatives to a fun destination? Well there are two (that I know of) free social software websites that help you to start developing the social relationships for such a journey online.
- According to the webiste:
"Plan a Group Trip -- Create your trip, then use our tools to:
* store and share travel research; * manage invites; * conduct polls; * coordinate travel; ...and more."
- According to the website, you can
"Easily plan and organize your trip for free! -- Create a Trip Home Page; Invite people to join the trip; Send Invitations; and Discuss & Share Plans"

Triporama currently appears to have a few more features, but TripHub may be easier to use. I suspect that competition will drive them to each add more tools to one-up the other. Both provide tips and ideas for group travel.

From my own experience, making group travel arrangements is not the easiest thing in the world to do in a smooth and painless way. So if you are given that responsibility, you might want to check these two sites out for tips and help to ease your planning efforts.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Latitudes Magazine - Travel Attitudes Magazine for Broadband

Latitudes Magazine - Travel Attitudes Magazine for Broadband

This is National Geographic 2.0 -- a gorgeous online travel photo magazine with Italian flare and built for online viewing. A broadband connection is necessary and the latest issue (#14) is 181 pages of sharp full color photos and animations.

Issue #14 covers Columbia, Myanmar, The Berkshire Hills (Massachusetts), Mt. Etna, Berlin, Croatia, Tuscany and Salina (Italy). Look for animations (some hidden) in some of the photos. Basic Travel information and links are provided at the end of each photo essay.

The magazine comes in Italian and English versions. You can subscribe to their newsletter to get announcement of each new issue. The have a discussion forum, but with no moderators it is almost entirely filled with spam! They must be graphic artists first, and web masters last.

Very cool! - Check it by clicking on the title above.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Online Travel Maps - a mini review

Online Travel Maps - a mini review

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. - This review also appears on my Geography for Travelers blog.

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