jueves, mayo 01, 2008

Más sobre recursos para viajes - y el apego a los estándares

En un comentario a este blog, Arturo Servín señala también la escasez de información en línea realmente útil para viajar en México. Quise mostrarle algo útil que hace Caminos y Puentes Federales (CAPUFE), el reporte del estado de las carreteras - especialmente accidentes y bloqueos en las principales carreteras a su cargo - pero... el sitio de CAPUFE es punto menos que inaccesible con Firefox, y ciertamente esta información sólo se encuentra con Explorer (y algunos dispositivos móviles, o navegando en el mapa del sitio lo cual lleva a la información pero la despliega mal formateada). ¿Alguien puede probarlo con Safari y reportar?

En los próximos días Andrés Hofmann y la revista Política Digital llevarán a cabo su 3er. Taller sobre Portales Gubernamentales. Ojalá alguien de sus ponentes invitados o de los participantes transmita a los creadores y administradores de portales gubernamentales el mensaje de que el apego fanático a los estándares es la norma número 1, y que dar prioridad a la interoperabilidad es la causa no. 1 del éxito de Internet.

martes, abril 29, 2008

Recursos en línea para viajeros

Hace unos días Rich Thoma nos preguntó a algunos conocidos por los recursos que más usamos o apreciamos para viajes. Le contesté lo siguiente, pensando sobre todo en recursos que puedan servir de ejemplo para desarrollar algunos similares en México, o que él no tuviera en cuenta por las industrias con las que trabaja (va en inglés, ligeramente editado):

http://www.rockymountainnews.com has a neat feature, especially during ski high season, to show you traffic cams along stretches of the I-70 you choose from a menu.
It mashes up Colorado Department of Transportation cameras and other information and has a table of the time/speed for each stretch (color-coded for normal, below or
above.) Quite neat, good example of thinking from the traveler's point of view.

And the CDOT site itself is enormously useful (http://www.cotrip.org) - have used it often. Breaks down a bit when things get real bad (big winter storms - cams stop
operating or connecting, web traffic becomes overwhelming; but it can still keep you away from driving into a major mess.)

For the same area, http://www.den.aero, and it works pretty well on a Blackberry too, though sorting through flight lists may be less fun. Includes security check
line waiting times.

I also use http://www.fly.faa.gov to check airport status. Very neat.

One of my top favorites is http://www.flytecomm.com for tracking flights into/out of North American airspace. I use it also to plan picking up arriving passengers in Mexico City. Neat on Blackberry and a very pretty graph with satellite meteo photo as underlay for actual plane route and position.

Google maps on Blackberry, now with good cartography for Mexico.

Weather Underground and also when traveling/staying in the US I make a lot of use of the NOAA weather in detail, http://www.weather.gov. Canada has an extremely good
weather site too, very well optimized for travelers.

The top-level domains .travel, .aero, and .mobi are seeing some growth of good sites; check http://hilton.travel for an example (from a mobile esp.); and see what
happens with ewr.aero or jfk.aero to get the idea of what the guys who sell .travel names are after (not anwyhere close yet; and airports or airlines which point
their .travel name to their standard content, rich with Flash and other plugin-requiring, long-to-download-and-process content may be defeating the concept. .mobi
does check that your content be adapted to mobile devices.

http://www.mexico.travel also works pretty well and it's a good memory device; it does point to http://www.visitmexico.com, the Tourist Promotion Council's original
site (there's an interesting domain-name dispute story behind this.)

Other travel-useful websites (weather for France and Switzerland) http://www.meteo.fr, http://www.meteo.ch; Germany http://www.wetter.de. I wish I could recommend the weather site of Mexico, http://smn.cna.gob.mx, but you'd have to live with a) slow, Microsoft-dependent website, b) bulletins are announced for regular publication at 9 and 21 hrs. but are almost never there on time - they are given to the press instead.

A very nifty tool in planning travel, a Great Circle calculator with graphic display, http://gc.kls2.com/. Use it to calculate miles gained, have an idea what route
you'll be following, and whether certain hubs make more sense than others. Test it with the LAX-HKG route, for example; and you may have some fun with a flight from
my city, MEX, to Mumbai, BOM - see where you should fly, and if it is a detour or not to go the usual routes over Frankfurt or Paris, or through LAX. Find out how
many more miles are added by the detour ;-).

Airline websites, of course, as well as car-rental and hotel sites.

I'll leave for others to comment in detail on Orbitz, hotels.com, and other large aggregators.

Ojalá los lectores de este blog aporten nuevos recursos informativos en línea para viajes, y encontremos algunos buenos sobre México.