Maps, Widgets, Friends
Maps1. Yes, Maps.google.com, with its ever-expanding array of handy featureseverything from real-time traffic conditions to a terrain feature that lets you scout new hiking routes (you can now get on-the-ground views of national parks)still reigns supreme. Tip: You can upgrade almost any phone at google.com/mobile. 2. MyTopo.com: Casual users can browse U.S. and Canada topo maps for free, while serious enthusiasts can drop $30 for a years subscription to customize (add icons or text, mark GPS waypoints, etc.), download, and print topo and aerial satellite maps.3. OmniMap.com: Historical. Bicycling. International. Hiking. Paper. Digital. Even winery-specific. If you can't find the map you're looking for here, it might not exist. Prices vary.
WidgetsStop surfing the Web. Instead let todays forecast and cheap airfares come to you. Go to widgetbox.com and grab a few widgets, like Surflines surf forecaster or Ski Bonks snowfall tool. Embed them on your home pageiGoogle.com, Facebook.com, MySpace.com, etc.along with your favorite up-to-the-minute RSS feeds. Voilà! You just streamlined your daily online routine.
FriendsLooking for folks to play with? Bode Millers social-networking site, SkiSpace.com, hasn't reached the tipping point yet, but some of the videos are pretty damn funny. Whitewater junkies, you'll find MountainBuzz.com a bit more wholesome. Although its still in beta, Plus3network.com is a promising site that combines social networking, GPS-enabled training tools, and a program that partners you with corporate sponsors to raise money for one of 13 charities. Just looking for a date? Active.com/singles, with more than amillion members and a list of more than 90 sporting preferences, from caving to tri-athlons, is still your best bet.