Google Maps Unveils Its Coolest Feature Yet: Helicopter View

Getting driving directions just got easier, thanks to Google Maps’ latest feature. Helicopter view, known in tech circles as 3D Preview, lets you see your drive from the comfort and safety of a fake chopper. Compared to the 2D, top-down view we’ve become so accustomed to, helicopter view is a more realistic portrayal of how we see the world—horizontally, not vertically.

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Google Flight Search Finally Takes Off

Google has launched its new airfare tool, dubbed Flight Search, that allows users to search for cheap flights in a simple, attractive way. The new service was supposed to be rolled out quietly in true Google fashion, but an unfortunate snafu involving the World Trade Center made for a very bumpy takeoff.

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Crowdsourced Travel Magazine Coming to an iPad Near You

Everyone loves a good social media experiment—especially when it involves free stuff.

Travelati, an upcoming travel magazine, is giving away tons of freebies for the best travel tips and unique stories. They’re crowdsourcing all of their content, so travelers can receive American Airlines Advantage miles, airline gift cards and lounge access in exchange for the best photography, video, writing and spoken word. If you’re not a writerly type but still want a shot at magazine fame, you can phone in your story.

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Have Tripbod, Will Travel

Travelers naturally gravitate toward referrals and recommendations. They’re social creatures who trust other travelers more than traditional marketing, and they’re always on the lookout for atypical tourist activities. Social media is a great way to get the most current insider info, but what if you could skip the planning and get a personalized itinerary from a trusted local? It’s kind of like Rent a Friend, only less creepy.

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Victoria Rides The Google Transit Bus

Last week, BC Transit rolled out a new trip planning tool, Google Transit, for its Greater Victoria schedule. Although it’s a pilot project, users have access to the entire system and its bus stop locations, route numbers, departure times, arrivals, trip lengths and walking routes.

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Why You Should Follow Airlines on Twitter

Over the past year, a few high-profile incidents thrust airlines into the spotlight. Scandalous highlights include Kevin Smith being kicked of a Southwest Airlines flight for being “too fat”, Air Canada breaking a young boy’s wheelchair and a Twitter hoax about JetBlue and American Airlines flying doctors to Haiti for free.

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Social Media Statistics for Hostel Travelers and Backpackers

Traveling with a tiny budget doesn’t mean you have to resort to a tiny vacation. More than ever, budget travelers are tapping into the wealth of online travel information to find the best promotions and the most current information. And by foregoing brand name hotel chains, they have even more cash for activities, food and those irresistible last minute deals.

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