Research Resources

Trip Advisor is a rich resource for anyone travelling or, more importantly, staying near home. The interface is a little confusing at times, but snoop around and you'll find all sorts of use for it.
Google Earth should not be confused with Google Maps. Google Earth is software you download to your computer and it is a rich resource for exploring your area. Google Maps has all sorts of goodies as well. Virtual Earth is Microsoft's attempt to do Google Earth/Google Maps and in some ways they have out done Google. Although it lacks the rich user input that Google has, it has aerial pictures (called Birds Eye) that can be extremely handy.
Geocache is a game that only could exist in the Internet age. It is basically a world wide scavenger/treasure hunt. People hide cache's of items, provide GPS coordinates and clues as to the whereabouts and others try to find it. Usually the searcher replaces the treasure with a new treasure for others to find. Confluence is another goal based adventure. Participant use their GPS to locate points where whole number latitudes cross whole number longitudes. They then photograph the spot from every conceivable angle.
Highpointers is another goal based adventure. The highest point in every state is identified and participants try to climb/walk/drive to that spot. For some places it is nothing more than a bump. Other's requires mountain climbing equipment.

Photography Resources

Flickr seems to be one of the most popular sites for photos. Searching by local region sometimes turns up an unwieldy amount of pictures, but by adding search terms, things can be narrowed to a manageable level.
Google Picasa is Google's answer to Flickr. Frankly I've never used it, but it is great place to search by location. Search for your area and see what shows up.

Maryland Resources

Maryland Parks is the National Capital area Park and Planning Commission listing of parks in Montgomery and Prince George's county. If you are from this area, it is hard to beat for discovering and getting maps of local parks and trails.
Annapolis Visitor Information for anyone visiting the Annapolis area. My favorite town on earth, this site is a good starting point. The events calendar is well maintained and it has links to lots of good resources for Annapolis. Frederick is a little gem of a town just at the out reaches of the DC commute. Downtown is beautiful as is the surrounding area. We particularly enjoyed their covered bridge driving tour. The downtown at Christmas is not to be missed.
Chesapeake Bay Magazine is a great source for all things Bay. The magazine is more helpful than the website, but there is enough on the site to make it worth your time. They have also published a variety of my sailing articles over the years - so they can't get by without a mention.
Outdoors Maryland is not really a website; it is a TV show on Maryland Public TV (Channel 22 in the DC area). It is a gentle, slow paced show - and my absolute favorite on TV. It is filled with stories about delightful aspects of Maryland. It is good enough to take notes as you watch.

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