January 19th, 2009 | Published in Google Earth
There is most definitely a buzz in the air. Hundreds of thousands of people are streaming into Washington D.C. to see Barack Obama sworn in as America's 44th President. If you're lucky enough to be in D.C., you'll need some help to get your bearings and map out your inaugural adventures. Google Maps can help, every step of the way.
There are a few things you should do before you set out. First, be sure to install Google Maps for mobile on your mobile device so you can use My Location to pinpoint your current location while on foot and track your progress on the map, making you have less stress about getting lost. If you're driving toward the epicenter of activities either today or tomorrow check live traffic conditions before you set out by clicking on the "Traffic" button on Google Maps or take a look at Trafficland to map streaming video camera views. Closer to the action, this Google My Map (embedded below) has been created by DC radio station WTOP and can help you with bridge, road and freeway closures:
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Google Maps can also be used to plot walking directions, and if you're going to be using public transit, check out Metro's interactive map or this mapplet. You can use Street View to preview the areas to get a better idea of where you're heading. Street View can be especially useful for finding very specific meeting points for you and your friends, since most areas will be flooded with people -- browse the area to find the exact spot to fnd each other, like "next to the fire hydrant at the southeast corner of 7th and E Street".
The Wall Street Journal has a helpful map for Inaugural events taking place day by day, as well as must-see D.C. attractions to take in. You can find some more helpful (and fun) maps here, and I'll be back tomorrow with another roundup of sites that will help you prepare for the parade and also take in the historic event over the web and of course... on a map!