Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Where I went in China

With the devastating earthquake in China so soon after my return, I have had about a dozen people e-mailing to ask if I was close to the affected area in Siuchan or Chengdu. While I wasn't in Siuchan province, I spent two weeks in the neighbouring provinces of Yunnan and Hunan.

View Larger Interactive Map

The maps of China on Google and Yahoo are very limited, so the map in my travel journal couldn't find the places that I visited. So, I made this map using the satellite versions to help find the "smaller" cities that were not marked on the maps. The red cross on the map is Chengdu, about 60km south of the epicentre of the earthquake. Places visited during my most recent trip are marked in red, my 2004 trip is marked in blue, and my visit to China during my 1992 trip to Asia is marked in green. You can click on the coloured markers and an info bubble opens up with some details. If you view the larger map, there is a table of contents on the left, listing all the places I visited, which is also clickable.

Photos from my travels are on Flickr which also has a map showing the geographical location where the photos were taken. It is a great feature, but it won't let me add other markers to the map, so I couldn't add a marker for Chengdu.

The Google / Yahoo war rages on. I live in two worlds that just can't get along. I like Picasa (Google) for offline photo organization, but I use Flickr (Yahoo) for online photo storage. They don't work together. This blog is in Google, but my travel journal was on Yahoo, for easier integration with my photo site. The map couldn't locate many of the places I visited (despite populations of a million or more), so I had to create a Google map too. I guess that I just have to face that I'm a blogging geek and should just enjoy the fact that I have choices. It is like my friend's recent dilemma: she regularly went to two different gyms - one for squash and one for fitness classes. She couldn't pick just one gym to join, so she continues to go to both. I have learned from her that accepting this is half the battle. But will Google win the war?

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