Do you often go abroad? Do you like to plan the sights you want see? Do you always buy a guide from a reputable publisher prior to your departure?

If the answer to these questions is yes, then I suggest you also take a look at the Schmap worldwide travel guides. For starters it’s free (and I always consider something free worth checking out) second, you will not be disappointed. Schmap offers (at the time of writing this post) 200 city guides from across the globe – chances are your destination is covered in one of their guides. The great thing about Schmap is that you have a choice of how you want to view the city guides. You can either go to their website to peruse the interactive maps online or you can download the schmap player and the guides that interest you and check them out offline! Currently the Schmap player is only available for windows based PC’s (but the Mac version is announced for July 2007).

The Schmap experience is awesome and caters to all tastes and interests. Each guide is made up of several sections. An introductory section (history, where to eat and stay…), a top picks section and a couple of sections on what to see and do. Each guide also comes with a boat load of pictures to illustrate the topic or sight that is described. The pictures that are shown on the guides are somewhat small, but you can click on them and that’ll take you to a page (on flickr) where you can view an enlarged version of the picture. Also of mention (even though I have not tried it) is the ability for you to create your very own schmap interactive map – a schmapplet. Found that nice little Vietnamese restaurant that does not appear in any guide? Found an attraction that seems to be the best kept secret in town? Share it with a schmapplet!.

schmap me

miniatureNow, why am I talking about this do I hear you ask – well I’m going to shamelessly plug myself here – it’s because they have included one of my pictures in the Sydney (Australia) guide! The picture was taken during a weekend spent there. The picture is not great either so I was somewhat surprised (but pleased) that they picked it (maybe because you have to relinquish all the rights to your pictures if you accept for them to appear on schmap). The picture in question is one from the Luna Park Wheel, taken from a ferry as we left the jetty.

I have added the picture in question below