Friday, February 25, 2011

Online Adventures Abroad

Location: Battambang, Cambodia

All right, call me a tedious wannabe geek, but I'm really enjoying the online applications at my disposal right now. The above image is my personalized Google Map of where we've gone in Cambodia. I've been tracking hotels, restaurants, temples and other sides, shopping centers, etc., with customizable symbols.

I started doing this when we were going to school in Bali because I wanted to see how far our villa was from our school. This was inspired by taxi drivers charging different rates for different routes, so I thought I'd try to discover the shortest route. Then I started marking where I liked to eat, where the post office was, and many other landmarks not listed in Google Maps or Lonely Planet for my personal reference. And then why wouldn't I keep this up in the other nations I visited?

For other people this may seem like a lot of unnecessary work, but it's a fun hobby for me. What I really wish, though, is some online travel group would realize I'm already abroad and would love to write and take pictures for their database. Half the stuff I'm pegging on my personal map doesn't exist in the satellite photos: the coffee shop I'm writing from is depicted as a broad block of dirt field with no buildings whatsoever. I'm here, I can document that change, and who'd begrudge me a nominal sum for that assistance?

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