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Best Geography Websites of 2005 Annual Best of the Internet in Geography Awards

Best Geography Websites of 2005.
Annual Best of the Internet in Geography Awards
to the top ten geographical sites online
December 30, 2005

By Matt Rosenberg
Geography, Top Ten Sites of The Year In the spirit of the end of the year, I have chosen the ten websites that are the ten best sources for geographical information on the Internet. So, here they are, in no particular order, the ten best geographical websites of 2005.

Google Local
By far, Google Local is the best new site of the year. In addition to clear maps and driving directions, Google Local provides aerial photos of places across the United States. It even provides hybrid maps that include satellite images with a map data overlay. Plus, it uses Google search technology to better understand what you're looking for. All you have to do is type something like "hotels, 90048" and you'll get a listing and marked map of hotels in that area. Outstanding!

Flags of the World
Flags of the World (FOTW) is so very interesting. Not only do you have thousands of images of flags, both modern and historical, but FOTW provides the stories of how those flags came to be. You can even use FOTW to track geopolitical changes in a place - it's a goldmine of information for a historical geographer. Vexillological!

NationMaster is a site filled with an incredible amount of international statistics and information. For example, if you need to know which country leads the world in banana exports, just click the "Agriculture" link on the left-hand side and you'll be able to get to a nice listing of agricultural statistics so select banana exports. Then, you'll get a bar graph showing the top exporters of bananas. It's very cool!

GeoHive is not to be missed! It is the most comprehensive population data resource on the Internet. Really, where else can you find population estimates for the administrative divisions of Afghanistan. Fantastic!

OK, so LiveScience isn't a geography-specific site but it is an amazing source for science and earth science news. I refer to it often and enjoy their great content; I'm sure you won't be disappointed!

If you need to know the time right now in Siberia, there's no better source than WorldTimeZone. Go to the home page and you'll get a map of the current time everywhere on the planet. Spectacular!

Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection
The PCL Map Collection is a huge collection of scanned paper maps on the Internet. Most of the maps are public domain maps from the CIA but they're great maps. The historical map collection is great, too. Fascinating!

World Climate
World Climate is an extensive database of climate data for places around the world. Just type in the name of a city and you'll be able to obtain great climate information. Brrrrr!

CIA World Factbook
Published online for the last 15 years, the annual CIA World Factbook contains extensive profiles for every country and territory on the planet - 271 entries in all. From population to economics to the drug trade, if you want specific information about a place, this is the source. Surreptitious!

The United States Census Bureau
If you need any data about the people of the United States, the Bureau's site has it. From the population of North Pole, Alaska (1,659) to the nation as a whole (about 298 million), the Bureau has everything under the sun. Detailed!

Bonus #11 - Geography at About
If this weren't my list, I'd definitely have to rank my site in the top ten. Most aren't aware of the breadth of my site, which has been operational for nearly nine years - hundreds of original articles, geography quizzes, an extensive online world atlas, a discussion forum, a weekly email newsletter, a geography blog, a comprehensive frequently asked questions section, links to great geographical websites (see left-hand side), and more! My site grows in geographic content every day so be sure to visit regularly! Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

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