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[techbooks] REVIEW: "NetTravel: How Travelers Use the Internet", Michael Sha

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  • Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Tr
    BKNETRVL.RVW 990227 NetTravel: How Travelers Use the Internet , Michael Shapiro, 1997, 1-56592-172-0, U$24.95/C$35.95 %A Michael Shapiro shapiro@sonic.net
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 7, 1999
    • 0 Attachment
      BKNETRVL.RVW 990227

      "NetTravel: How Travelers Use the Internet", Michael Shapiro, 1997,
      1-56592-172-0, U$24.95/C$35.95
      %A Michael Shapiro shapiro@...
      %C 103 Morris Street, Suite A, Sebastopol, CA 95472
      %D 1997
      %G 1-56592-172-0
      %I O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
      %O U$24.95/C$35.95 800-998-9938 fax: 707-829-0104 nuts@...
      %P 312 p. + CD-ROM
      %S Songline Guides
      %T "NetTravel: How Travelers Use the Internet"

      Not too long ago, a user group that shall remain nameless (mostly
      because we don't know what to call it any more) held a national
      meeting in Winnipeg. We discussed the agenda online, of course, but
      also handled all the travel reservations, hotel bookings, and other
      arrangements that way. In the days before departure, some expressed
      concern about the weather, the city not being known as "Winterpeg" for
      nothing. A very helpful member posted the Environment Canada five day
      forecast, showing temperatures in the minus fifty region, with
      whiteout blizzard conditions. He had, of course, accessed the weather
      office's archives for the previous year, and changed the name "Inuvik"
      to "Winnipeg" throughout. We spent a lovely weekend in shirtsleeve

      Practical jokes aside, there are abundant resources for the traveler
      on the net. In chapter one, Shapiro provides a quick overview of how
      people can use the Internet in a variety of ways for a variety of
      types of travel. You can save money, plan an itinerary, book
      reservations, obtain detailed information, go beyond brochures, and
      generally use the Internet for what it is: the largest and most up to
      date library in the world. Generally overview chapters are pretty
      boring, being light on detail and heavy on promotion. Promotion there
      is, here, but Shapiro has also managed to inject some life into the
      material. He is also not content with a mere listing of sites, but
      also looks at the importance of personal contacts, always the best way
      to get local data, and the variety of Internet communication tools for
      contacting people.

      Chapter two looks at transport. Not only do you get listings for
      travel agency and airline reservation sites, but descriptions of using
      search engines to find train information, and even directions for
      subways. Food and lodging is covered in chapter three, with the
      personal stories that are a feature of Songline Guides. Shapiro,
      however, integrates these stories with each other and the main text by
      pointing out the common and successful features of the disparate
      experiences. Chapters four through seven deal with specific types of
      travel: budget, business, vacation, and adventure, all with useful
      suggestions such as using group preferences for corporate travel and
      connecting to the net while on the road. Unlike many similar guides,
      this one does a reasonable job of comparing different services, noting
      which is better for what type of traveler or research. While much
      (but not all) of the material in prior chapters relates to Websites,
      chapter eight discusses mailing lists and newsgroups. Not content
      with a simple list, the text also shows how to search for groups,
      lists, and archived postings on specific topics. A more extensive
      guide to staying connected away from home is in chapter nine. Travel
      agents would seem to be the losers in the switch to online booking,
      but chapter ten finishes off the book by showing how they can use
      Internet resources to add value and stay on top.

      Appendix A lists the Websites discussed in the book, grouped by topic.
      Appendix B is a lightning introduction to the net. The commercial
      online service offerings in the travel area are briefly described in
      Appendix C.

      For anyone who is not already seriously using the Internet for travel
      this book is probably well worth its price. The resources available
      will aid you in planning, and definitely save you its cost many times
      over. Even those who are regularly getting travel data from the net
      will likely find new and useful resources in its pages.

      copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999 BKNETRVL.RVW 990227

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