Sites that are redrawing the map of Mexico
In its promotion of destinations in Mexico, Sectur, the country's tourism secretariat, heralds the "endless opportunities" for exploration, but travelers may end up frustrated by the lack of good maps. They certainly aren't available on the Sectur website ( http://mexico-travel.com/). In many areas, Mexico is quite advanced in terms of the Internet, but in this niche, it's far behind. For those looking for a map or address in the United States, it's easy to be spoiled with resources such as Yahoo's Map and Driving Directions ( http://maps.yahoo.com/yahoo/) that provide everything a traveler needs to get from one place to another--provided you don't cross an international border. No such map service exists yet in Mexico. What you will find, however, are some imaginative city maps and some useful historical resources.
***** (out of 5*)
This innovative Web site features virtual maps for Guadalajara, Acapulco and Taxco. It's easily the best of the lot this month, as this creative and dynamic site provides practical atlases as well as information on tourism, business and cultural destinations. It also contains links to related Web sites: For those interested in Guadalajara, you can check out the streets of Mexico's second largest city and find info about the legendary Chivas soccer team (http://www.chivas.com.mx) or the state's environmental program ( http://mexplaza.com.mx/coese/).
Mapavirtual is first-rate, and it will be very interesting to see how this service develops. Hopefully, other cities will be added in the near future. Contact the administrators via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publisher Guia Roji produces maps for the entire country, but its Web site features only the Mexico City map. The site is very easy to use. Just point and click or conduct a search by street name or colonia. If you're planning a visit from out of town or if you want to locate an obscure street on the other side of the city, this Web site does the trick. The publisher also produces a CD-Rom with the data found here so that you can conduct searches on your home computer. Either way, you'll be able to surf your way through the sprawling megalopolis. Contact the publisher via e-mail at email@example.com.
Excite's Mexico Maps
This is a fair collection of maps, but could use immediate improvement. The Excite Web site boasts some of the Net's best features--stock quotes, personalized pages, free e-mail--but you'll find only one general purpose map --for oceanside Ixtapa/Zihuantanejo. What merits mention here are the historical maps--fascinating depictions of the routes of the conquistadors and U.S. campaigns of the Mexican-American War. If you're doing a school project or brushing up on your history, check out these two historical resources.
This index service provides maps of the country's major volcanoes and political divisions. Both are good reference materials. The site says that the webmasters are developing a collection of city maps as well.
I have yet to find a comprehensive on-line index of maps, but many individual cities and states have maps.
Find your way to Pachuca ( http://www.pachuca.com/index.eng.html),
or Cancún ( http://www.cancunweb.net) ,
or Querétaro ( http://www.intelnet.com.mx/queretaro/general/default.htm)
or Puerto Vallarta ( http://www.go2vallarta.com/).