I love geography. "Maps and globes," was the term my son used, back in elementary school.
The Missus enjoys historical fiction. She reads it in the evenings just before sleepy time.
By contrast, if you look at my bedside, you'll find Rand McNally's USA Road Atlas. (Rand is my favorite author!) Idaho and Oregon Gazeteers. Etc. Looking at places I've been, and other places where I hope to go. I've got a drawerful of softcover atlases (atlii?). And boxes full of accumulated highway maps, visitor's guides, pamphlets and the like. (I hope someday to organize them better, so they are actually useful.)
Since I love maps and globes, I s'pose it's natural that I'd love Google Earth. And I do - it is fantastic! If you don't have it... and enjoy maps and globes, and have an internet connection (preferably a speedy connection), you should have (free) Google Earth.
[If you're not familiar with Google Earth, let me try to explain. The folks at Google have accumulated a world's worth of aerial photos, and you can look down on any place on this little blue planet. In some places, particularly remote, non-populated areas, the photos are low-resolution satellite views. But in many places, they are quite detailed aerial (airplane-level) photos. I can see a car parked in the street, in front of my house. And the photo was obviously taken in the summertime, because the trees and grass are green. In the most recent version of Google Earth, they also have added the cosmos - looking UP instead of DOWN.]
I've recently been getting more familiar with Google Earth. There are some neat tools - including the ability to create "points of interest" and routes, save them, and share them with others. (Other people can even do a "flyover" of routes... interesting stuff.)
If you have Google Earth, this is my first effort to share some info.
It's one of my most-often-ridden bicycle recreation/exercise routes. It starts near downtown, goes north on 15th, northwest on Hill Road, south on Gary Lane and Glenwood and southeast through Garden City, back to the starting point. I probably ride this route 120 or more times a year; I'm familiar with every stripe and pothole.
Click HERE to see the route. (If you don't have Google Earth installed on your box, my link isn't worth opening.)
GIVE ME SOME FEEDBACK! If you're interested, I've been plotting out my favorite bicycle roads, other "loop" rides around town, and a "Loop Tour de Boise" - a route that would almost take you around the entire city limits, that's probably 50 miles of riding. (I'm doing the same with some of my favorite motorcycle adventures - both completed and anticipated.)