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Around the World in a Flex Mashup

Posted by Sravan | October 14, 2008 .

Most of us like travelling around the world, even though we may not be conscious about Mother Earth. But with the current situation of the world economy, we are forced to tighten our purse strings more than ever. :(

Journeys partially fills our appetite for travel. Through the Flex website, we can go around a virtual world based on real earth maps (using Yahoo! Maps API), visit real places, learn about them from people who’ve been there, and make friends with like-minded folks. And it is a marvellous experience. Don’t believe me? Just see me below greeting you all from the Louvre in Paris. (Higher resolution image here.)

I visited the Louvre, Paris

I had a great time there. :)

Journeys was founded in 2007 by veterans of the Israeli Internet and game industries, with a mission to create an accessible bridge between virtual worlds and real life. They have so far done a commendable job though there is a lot more to do. (The RIA is in alpha.) From a business perspective, they could include travel ads of attractive packages in the future. I think they will.

Journeys.com had been registered by someone else, so they compromised with Jneys.com which sounds fine. I don’t understand why we need to navigate to a pop-up everytime, because http://jneys.com/app.jsp? is the actual URL where the actual stuff is. Although your browser might have cached it, this URL (also the login page) reloads everytime you open it. You won’t mind it thanks to the new breathtaking location that loads in the background. You might notice small mistakes like “Initializing Pulic Place”.

Once you register, you will get to select a location where you want to stay, a building, an avatar representing yourself, and a vehicle to travel around the world. (I chose a cottage in London and a Hovercraft.) Then, you are ready to socialize with your neigbors or visit the places you have always wanted to. Though it is more or less like the Sim games (without points), this is way more real.

I would have become addicted to it by now had it not been for the huge memory it consumes (single tab in Firefox gobbled up over 150MB at times), and the low speed at which it loads. But I’m not complaining. Hey! It costs way more (time and money) to visit your favorite places one a day.

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