Travel Guide in eBook format

#1 Oct 16th, 2006, 19:33
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  • beach is offline
#1
Whatís your take on a travel guide in ebook form?

Say for example the whole or parts of a guide like Lonely Planet is available in a pdf (portable document file) format. Buy and print yourself only what you want? Sound interestingÖor a bad idea?

How do you like an ebook for a travel guide?

Good idea

No!!!

Iím not sure
#2 Oct 18th, 2006, 23:37
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#2
I love them!

They're currently freely available to members at Travelfish.org, my fave site for Southeast Asia travel.

You can select country -> city -> what you want inside (hotels, vital info, restaurants), even portrait/landscape and number of columns.

Keep thinking 'it'll be great to have something like that for India'..
#3 Oct 19th, 2006, 00:19
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Print yourself what you want? Well I guess it depends on how many pages you needed. Then most of the time you are printing single sided. It might be cheaper, and lighter, to buy the normal paper guidebook, and cut out the sction you want with a sharp knife.

Tim in England
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#4 Oct 19th, 2006, 00:42
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#4
There are a few ipod guides out there for Mumbai and Delhi!!
#5 Oct 19th, 2006, 00:45
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#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimMakins Print yourself what you want? Well I guess it depends on how many pages you needed. Then most of the time you are printing single sided. It might be cheaper, and lighter, to buy the normal paper guidebook, and cut out the sction you want with a sharp knife.

Tim in England
Print? What's that?

The PDFs go into my phone or PDA. Easy access. Always in my pocket. I can search for specific text. I have yet to find a conventional guidebook that was really worth buying. My own research + online PDF guides work well.
#6 Oct 19th, 2006, 00:59
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#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by beach How do you like an ebook for a travel guide?

Good idea

No!!!

Iím not sure
I think it's a brilliant idea, and one that I'd floated around as part of the Community Section on IndiaMike. My thought was that it would be a "book" in the following area of the Community section: http://www.indiamike.com/community/book

We could have books for the different cities and so on.

This information would be maintained and added to by IM members and would be free for all to use.

If this is an idea that people like, I can setup the basic formats in the section and recruit volunteers to start writing.
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#7 Oct 19th, 2006, 01:06
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#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by beach Whatís your take on a travel guide in ebook form?
Very good idea for those who bring laptops with them especially. Being able to selectively print would also be nice, but as was pointed out the typical user will not have the kind of printing capabilities as a professional book publisher does. So you end up with a stack of inconvenient single sided pages...

For me, not seeing all that well, reading it on the computer would be very helpful. However, PDFs are really kind of a pain. Typically you cannot copy/paste and/or change font or layout. Sure you can magnify them but then you have to start horizontally scrolling to see it all and that is really horrible.

A travel guide in plain text or rich text would be ideal. But with the nature of copyright these days, will not happen.
#8 Oct 19th, 2006, 01:07
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#8
You can try but there are a host of problems!! Like checking the reliability of info.

IM is great but the info here really isn't much better than a host of other books doing the same job!!

I'm with Tim by a book and use what you need if you don't want to carry the whole thing.

We may be gettin ideas above our station if we think we could do a better job than Footprin/Roughguide/Lonelyplanet.

I dearsay out efforts would be just as flawed probably more so!!

N
#9 Oct 19th, 2006, 01:24
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#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberhippie We may be gettin ideas above our station if we think we could do a better job than Footprin/Roughguide/Lonelyplanet.

I dearsay out efforts would be just as flawed probably more so!!

N
Trying to do a whole travel guide would be pretty difficult - especially the accomidations... spam city.

Maybe limit the scope to interesting sights and locations? For instance "Things to see in and around City X."

Guide books can only list so many things due to space concerns after all. With the local knowledge of the IM group I am sure there are plenty of interesting places that get passed over in the guidebooks.
#10 Oct 19th, 2006, 03:02
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#10
Oh - I didn't realise that you were talking about creating your own travel guide. I thought that you were just talking about using electronic versions of the existing guides.

Well, if you are talking of an IndiaMike travel guide, its a lot harder then you think. I have researched for Footprint a few times, and there's a hell of a lot of leg work involved in getting the information, and a hell of a lot of formatting afterwards. The advantage of one person, or a small team, gathering information is that all the recommendations will be graded at the same level, and hence are both consistent and reliable.

If you just have a Wikipedia type of approach where anyone can add anything, it just won't be trustworthy. You'll get all the hotel owners adding their own stuff, all the hotheads complaining about one little error and blowing things out of proportions. Just remember that recent thread - was it 'I'm not going back there again' - people were rubbishing perfectly good destinations just because of personal one-off annoyances. The whole thread was pointless, so a guidebook written by dropins would be pointless for the same reason - its just not consistent or reliable. Some descriptions would go on for many lines, or be too emotive, whilst others would be too short. When you are researching, you HAVE to go everywhere.

The other thing about researching is that you have to make a special point of collecting all the tiny details. People who just pop in a few lines of recommendation won't bother to add all that kind of stuff, so you'll need the established guidebooks for that anyway. And don't think of poaching content: there are always a few false details added to catch people doing that.

Yet another thing is that you have to keep checking that the details you already have are up to date and still correct. So that would need someone, or rather many people, to be organised enough to make sure that every old entry is covered, and none missed out. Who's going to organise that, and check that its done?!?!?!

Tim in England
#11 Oct 19th, 2006, 03:11
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#11
I think it's a great idea, i.e., being able to print out what you want. I really don't like tearing out the pages I want (like I did last time) to take with me, thereby ruining the book.

for those of us who only use a cellphone to talk (oh my god, how prehistoric is that?), don't have a PDA or an ipod (and will never get them), I love the idea. of course the info needs to be reliable and up to date, within reason.....
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#12 Oct 20th, 2006, 00:04
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#12
I could definitely see condensing information available at IM and on the web into PDF or some other handheld format. For me useful info would be names and addresses of restaurants, shopping malls, internet cafes, tourist sites, tour companies, car companies and maps.

I plan to take my Palm TX on my next trip to India and was hoping to boil down some information here into a portable format for my PDA.

Portie

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