I have lots of maps and lots of guidebooks. They are all very good at what they were designed for but also very specific. Trying to tie multiple regions together without flights on a grand scale, in a way that makes sense, is not easy. I’ve been looking for a way to map out potential routes without much luck. Many mapping sites become useless when you start looking at locations overseas and I’ve found that many of the “Web 2.0″ travel sites have mapping and route planning, but none of them work like I would like them to, yet.
Google Earth has been invaluable in trying to understand the relative placement of cities, countries, etc… and until recently Google Maps (just the site, not the many one-off hacks) would only let you do single destination driving directions. That has changed with a recent update and now Google Maps will let you have as many destinations as you want in the US (however, add in something like “Grand Canyon” and it will break down). I’ve been playing with the “My Maps” function of Google Maps a lot in the past couple days and have added in most of the places I hope to visit and a rough route has taken shape. Right now anything past the USA is uncertain, so there aren’t any route lines to any of the locations.
The list of locations will probably grow and I hope to adjust the map with real travel information as I go, so take a look and let me know if there are some places I should plan to visit that I don’t have flagged yet.
Google Map: RTW Rough Pre-Plan 1