Travel the Globe from Your Chair with 360Cities

360CitiesCzech photographer Jeffrey Martin and his partners host this collection of “panos” or 360-degree panorama shots taken all around the world and even under the sea. To virtually travel the globe, just do a keyword search for your favorite destination or just browse locations on the world map.

To orient viewers, all panos are pinned to a location in Google Maps. This is helpful because some panos are disconcertingly fish-eyed, causing vertigo as you swivel in the photo by swiping your mouse across it.

360Cities not only showcases and indexes panos, it offers tutorials about how to make your own. It invites photographers to contribute their work. 360Cities is now integrated into Google Earth in the gallery layer. All the panos are interesting; many are stunningly beautiful.

360Cities
http://www.360cities.net

Jump Back and Forth in Time with WhatWasThere

What Was ThereEnlighten Ventures, an Ann Arbor marketing firm, invites users to upload their scanned historic photos. The company then matches these contributed snaps to the current street view in Google maps. The photos are placed on a map and superimposed over photos of the buildings that exist today in the same location.

Search WhatWasThere to find the photos and then use the screen fader to change the transparency of the overlaid historic image. The effect is like moving backward and forward in time. Download the free iPhone app to have an “augmented reality” experience of the history that surrounds you as you travel. Join the site for free to upload your own historical photos.

What Was There
http://www.whatwasthere.com

Map the Past with Historypin

HistorypinLondon’s “We Are What We Do” is a non-profit that aims to enable the public to help with environmental and social issues. In 2010, it partnered with Google to create Historypin, a database of user-supplied historical photos and information which they collect and superimpose over Google Street Views. The point is to connect people and their stories across geography and generations. Libraries, schools and historical archives are encouraged to scan and upload old photos to create virtual “tours”of the past and collections of memories. Historypin plans to add the ability to play sound and videos soon.

Sign in to Historypin with your Google password. Historypin is also available as a free Android app.

Historypin
http://www.historypin.com

Free iPad app offers U.S. airport info for pilots and passengers

AOPA AirportsThe Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) has a great website for pilots (and passengers, too) that describes conditions at airports around the country and, more importantly, where to get good eats around every landing facility (http://www.aopa.org). Their free iPad app offers the same information, showing runway configurations and giving details about fuel availability, aircraft parking fees, and the operating hours of the tower.

http://www.foreflight.com/aopa

WingX Pro turns an iPad into a moving map for pilots.

WingX ProSoftware art coordinator Jeremy Bishop uses his iPad as a backup GPS and weather station while flying his plane. “I’ve got several aviation apps loaded that allow me to reference my location on FAA maps, check airport and weather conditions en route and look up important info as needed. Then when I reach my destination, I can find the nearest good lunch spot!” Here are the iPad apps that keep him on course.

WingX Pro
http://www.hiltonsoftware.com
Jeremy uses this mobile aviation GPS app, which costs 99 cents to download iPad and $99 per year for access to current VFR sectionals, IFR low/high enroute charts and even fuel prices. Synthetic Vision, 3-D route-envisioning software, is available for an additional charge.

Search Criminal Check to ID registered sex offenders in your area

Criminal CheckEnter your zip code on this commercial site and then choose the “Map Zip Code” button to see the location of the registered sex offenders in your area. Click on the individual entries to get perp pictures, addresses, and all the gory details.

http://www.criminalcheck.com

Crime Mapping.com visualizes area crime patterns.

Crime Mapping.comIf you live in the purview of one of the hundreds of law enforcement agencies in the United States and Canada that have implemented this software from the Omega Group, you can track the crimes committed in your district on this map. Search by address, law enforcement agency name, or state/province. Crime types are represented by icons: a ski mask for robbery, a fist for assault or a prone body for homicide. Filter by crime and date range. This application makes it easy to visualize patterns of local home burglaries, for example, which may help to prevent crime by clueing us in to the need to increase home security.

http://www.crimemapping.com