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Mapping the Ultimate Travel Experiences

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When you survey the inventive and ambitious sites inspired by Internet Explorer 9, one thing becomes clear: The HTML5 technologies that Explorer supports are inspiring fascinating new tools for mass collaboration. Take, for example, Rough Guides' photo sharing site, Make the Most of Your Time on Earth.

The site is an extension of a book with the same title, and Rough Guides has posted images illustrating 200 of the book's "ultimate travel experiences," plus another 300 recommended locales. To add the social and collaborative element, the site pulls in user-contributed images from Flickr, where you can post your own ultimate travel experiences, from anywhere on earth, for inclusion.

The real beauty lies in how all this data is delivered within the Web app, which initially presents just a basic world map. But slowly, a grid of whirling squares loads up, some which are filled with tiny thumbnail images (the images are from Flickr, which places a limit on how many images can be fetched at once, so you may need to click on an empty box to delve further). Hovering over the map is a compass-shaped magnifier that you can drag across the screen to get a closer look at these photos of various destinations.

You may also zoom in to particular locations on the map; and in response, the page loads a new grid of thumbnails. So the closer in you zoom, the greater the number of different experiences you can view in a particular locale. And you can use buttons on the magnifier to highlight specific image sets -- for example, those directly tied into the book, or those relating to a particular activity (from architecture to hiking to winter sports).

Clicking on a thumbnail opens an information window with links to other photos of the same locale, presented in a beautiful interactive photo gallery. You may add any location to your favorites collection, which you can share with friends. As you can see, Make the Most of Your Time on Earth is very feature-rich -- too rich to cover exhaustively here. So pay a visit now with Internet Explorer 9 and discover what else Rough Guides supplies to make it fun to discover new travel destinations.

This story, "Mapping the Ultimate Travel Experiences" was originally published by BrandPost.