Where's my hotel? How do I get there? Did the storeowner say: "Next right and then take the little lane diagonally across from the liquor store"? Or, did he say: "Diagonally across from the liquor store is a small left, after which you should take the next right"?
Do these questions sound familiar? If they do, find your way around, using the Internet. Start with Mapjini (www.mapjini.com), with its country map of India. You can view a particular state map, keep clicking, and zoom in. If you want a city map, choose from a drop-down menu. Also, its 'Customise Map' feature lets you view hotels, airports, bus stands, hospitals etc. on any given map.
This reminds me of my father, who has a habit of collecting maps of different cities he visits. Apart from being blessed with an incredible memory, he has become something of an expert on directions after having lived in cities like Mumbai and Calcutta.
For him, Maps of India will probably be a favourite once he goes online.
The site has detailed maps of every Indian state, with highways as well as physical, tourist, road and railway networks. A great feature is its distance calculator that tells you the exact distance between any two cities you select.
Then there's Map Quest that gives you any map you want based on information - like address, intersection, city, state and zip code - that you key in. You can also locate maps for any country you want, while US browsers are offered road planners too.
Yahoo Maps can help you track relatives around the world. They are detailed, and zoom in further to show streets and avenues too. You can also get driving directions and the approximate time you will need, simply by keying in the starting and ending points of your journey.
A treat for geography teachers are these sites that cover physical and political maps for the world: Atlapedia and the National Geographic Map Machine. Atlapedia provides a country wise listing with other details such as population, facts and figures. The latter offers options including political, physical, street and climate and weather maps.
You now have two options: Be lost and confused wherever you go. Or, like me, be prepared.
I have map printouts, driving directions and a whole lot of information about countries all over the world. Unfortunately, for the moment, I also have nowhere to go.
ADDITIONAL MAP LINKS
One-stop shop for maps, including driving directions and world maps. Explore the world, or choose to learn and play.
For the geographically inclined, links to maps of the world.
Map an address, get driving directions in the US, and maps for major international cities.
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