Tour New York with a Google-Wikipedia-GPS mashup

A new Web site provides a virtual tour of New York City using the Google Maps application programming interface, Wikipedia and Geocoding. The site, www.virtualnyctour.com, lets users choose from 17 different trails for a "walking tour" of locations such as Soho, Ground Zero and Central Park. A map pinpoints the user's location while photos show what can be seen along that route (cars, trash bags on the sidewalk, people talking on cell phones, and, oh yeah, amazing architecture). Alongside that are historical and other summaries from Wikipedia.

"For the past 7 months I have been taking thousands of pictures of New York," writes site creator Taher Baderkhan in an e-mail. "Using the website you can navigate the streets of New York while viewing the pictures and using Google Maps as your guide. As you walk the streets, I display descriptions of stores and historical landmarks depending on what is showing in the pictures. Most of the descriptions are derived from Wikipedia."

Another Web site, CentralPark.com, offers a virtual tour of the famous park and photos downloaded by the public.

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