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World Taximeter helps you scope out international cab fares

Find out how much that cab ride will cost in foreign cities with World Taximeter.

We're always on the lookout for smart travel tools, and World Taximeter is no exception. It's an intelligent mashup, combining directions from Google Maps with local cab fares. It'll let you know how much the ride should cost using local rates by distance and time of day, and combining that with live traffic estimations from Google. Depending on what country you're in, it'll also give you the heads up on any additional charges, like if you're booking it over the phone, or traveling on a weekend. For anyone who's visiting a foreign country for the first time, the service might be a good way to figure out if your cabbie is trying to fleece you for a few extra bucks, or if they're taking you the extra-scenic route.

The site can be accessed on the Web or on your mobile phone. Each city listing has two or more local cab numbers, which can be helpful if you don't feel like using GOOG-411 or TellMe. Users can also recommend their own favorite cab companies to be added to the directory.

What World Taximeter doesn't do is let you book a cab right on the page, or supply you with information about how far away the nearest cab is. Two services that have been tracking cabs include Google's Ride Finder, and Cabspotting the project put together by the Exploratorium and Yellow Cab nearly two years ago. Between the two, Google's is a little more helpful since it actually gives you the identity and phone number of the cab in question in case you feel like trying your luck at booking it.

The service is currently in beta, and is soon to add the city of Paris and Spanish-language support.

Driving directions on Google not cutting it for things like cab fares? World Taximeter does the math for you and includes local knowledge like special fees or rates by distance and time. It beats finding out the hard way. CNET Networks