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Bioko, Equatorial Guinea

September 11th, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Bioko (spelled also Bioco) is an island off the west coast of Africa in the Gulf of Guinea, part of Equatorial Guinea. In colonial times it was known as Fernando Pó or Fernando Poo, and under the Africanization policy of dictator Masie Nguema Biyogo it was renamed Masie Ngueme Biyogo Island (sp. Francisco Macías Biogo); on his overthrow in 1979 it was named Bioko. It is known as Otcho to the Bubi people.

Bioko has a total area of 2,017 square kilometers. It is 70 km long from NNE to SSW and about 32 km across. It is volcanic and very mountainous with highest peak Pico Basile (3012 m) and in this way resembles neighboring islands such as São Tomé and Príncipe. Like them it lies on the Cameroon Line.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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April 12th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Georgia is a country in Eurasia in the South Caucasus. From 1990 to 1995 it was officially known as Republic of Georgia. It is bordered on the west by the Black Sea, on the north by Russia, on the south by Turkey and Armenia, and on the east by Azerbaijan. Some sources place Georgia in Europe, while others place it in Asia.. However, culturally and for historic reasons Georgians are considered European.

The ancestors of modern Georgians have inhabited the southern Caucasus from the prehistoric times. The classical antiquity saw rise of the early Georgian states of Colchis and Iberia, which laid foundation to the unique Georgian culture. Iberia recognized Christianity as a state religion in 327, making Georgia one of the oldest Christian nations in the world. Georgian lands were first unified as a nation-state in 1008. In 1466 Georgia dissolved to be reunified as an independent state only in the 20th century.


The Principality of Liechtenstein

April 2nd, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

The Principality of Liechtenstein (German: Fürstentum Liechtenstein) is a very small, doubly landlocked alpine country in Central Europe, bordered by Switzerland to its west and by Austria to its east. Mountainous, it is a winter sports resort, although it is perhaps best known as a tax haven. Despite this, it is not heavily urbanized (in the way that the Principality of Monaco and Gibraltar are). Many cultivated fields and small farms characterize its landscape both in the north (Unterland) and in the south (Oberland). Not only is it the smallest German-speaking country in the world, but also the only European country whose bordering countries are also landlocked.

At one time, the territory of Liechtenstein formed a part (albeit a diminutive one) of the ancient Roman province of Raetia. For centuries this territory, geographically removed from European strategic interests, had little impact on the tide of European history. Prior to the reign of its current dynasty, the region was enfeoffed to a line of the counts of Hohenems.


The Dominican Republic

July 29th, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

The Dominican Republic, (Spanish: República Dominicana, IPA [re'puβlika domini'kana]) is a country located on the eastern two-thirds of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, bordering Haiti. Hispaniola is the second-largest of the Greater Antilles islands, and lies west of Puerto Rico and east of Cuba and Jamaica. A legacy of unsettled, mostly non-representative rule lasted for much of the 20th century; the move towards representative democracy has improved vastly since the death of military dictator Rafael Leónidas Trujillo in 1961. Dominicans sometimes refer to their country as Quisqueya, a name for Hispaniola used by indigenous Taíno people. The Dominican Republic is not to be confused with Dominica, another Caribbean country.

The indigenous inhabitants of the island of Hispaniola, on which the Dominican Republic is located, were the Taíno Amerindians. The Taínos were a seafaring branch of the South American Arawaks. Taíno means "the good" or "noble" in that native language. A system of cacicazgos (chiefdoms) was in place, and Marien, Maguana, Higuey, Magua and Xaragua (also written as Jaragua) were their names. These chiefdoms were then subdivided into subchiefdoms. The cacicazgos were based on a system of tribute, consisting of the food grown by the Taíno. Among the cultural signs that they left were cave paintings around the country, which have become touristic and nationalistic symbols of the Dominican Republic, and words from their language, including ‘hurricane’ (hurrakan) and ‘tobacco’ (tabakko).



July 28th, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Barbados is an independent island nation located in the western Atlantic Ocean, just to the east of the Caribbean Sea, found at roughly 13° north of the Equator and 59° west of the Prime Meridian. Located relatively close to South America the nation of Barbados is around 434.5 kilometres (270 miles) northeast of the South American nation of Venezuela.

The closest island neighbours to Barbados are Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines both located to the west, along with Barbados these islands are all considered a part of the Caribbean region's Lesser Antilles.

Barbados posesses a land area of around 430 square kilometres, (166 sq. mi), and is primarily low-lying, with some higher regions in the island's interior. The organic composition of Barbados is thought to be of non-volcanic origin and is predominantly composed of limestone-coral. The island's atmosphere is sub-tropical with constant trade winds off the Atlantic Ocean and some undeveloped areas contain marshes and mangrove swamps. Other parts of the island's interior contributing the island's agricultural sector are dotted with large sugarcane estates and wide gently sloping pastures with many good views down to the sea.


Maldives, Indian Ocean

July 14th, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

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Maldives, officially the Republic of Maldives, is an island nation consisting of a group of atolls in the Indian Ocean, south of Lakshadweep group of islands of India, about 700 kilometers (435 mi) south-west of Sri Lanka. The 26 atolls encompass a territory featuring 1,192 islets, roughly 200 of which are inhabited by people. The country's name may stand for "Mountain Islands" (from mala in Malayalam / malai in Tamil, meaning "mountain" and dtivu in Tamil meaning "island"). It might mean "a thousand islands." Some scholars believe that the name "Maldives" derives from the Sanskrit maladvipa, meaning "garland of islands". Others believe the name means "Palace" (from al-Mahal in Arabic). Following the introduction of Islam in 1153, the islands later became a Portuguese (1558), Dutch (1654), and British (1887) colonial possession. In 1965, Maldives declared its independence from Britain, and in 1968 the Sultanate was replaced by a theoretical Republic. However, in 38 years, the Maldives have had only two Presidents, though political restrictions have loosened somewhat recently.



April 29th, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

The Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (Chinese: 中華人民共和國澳門特別行政區 [in Mandarin, in Cantonese] ; Portuguese: Região Administrativa Especial de Macau da República Popular da China [in Portuguese], abbreviated as RAEM), commonly known as Macau or Macao (Chinese: 澳門, or informally known as 馬交), is a small territory on the southern coast of China. Administered by Portugal until 1999, it was the oldest European colony in China, dating to the 16th century. The administrative power (in Portuguese "potência administrante") over Macau was transferred to the People's Republic of China in 1999, and it is now one of two Special Administrative Regions of the PRC, together with Hong Kong. Macau is guaranteed for 50 years starting from December 20, 1999, provided under the Basic Law, will be over by 2049. (The agreement is raised by Deng Xiaoping to deal with Macau's reunification with the People's Republic of China in 1999, and is stipulated in the Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration of 1987. Macau has played a unique and influential role in relations between China and the West, especially between the late 16th and 19th centuries.



April 13th, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, 240 kilometers (150 mi) in length and as much as 80 kilometers (50 mi) in width situated in the Caribbean Sea. It is 630 kilometers (391 mi) east of the Central American mainland, 150 kilometers (93 mi) south of Cuba, and 180 kilometers (112 mi) west of the island of Hispaniola, on which Haiti and the Dominican Republic are situated. Its indigenous Arawakan-speaking Taíno inhabitants named the island Xaymaca, meaning either the "land of springs," or the "Land of wood and water." Formerly a Spanish possession known as Santiago, then the British West Indies Crown colony of Jamaica, the country's population is composed mainly of the descendants of former African slaves. It is the third most populous Anglophone country in the Americas, after the United States and Canada.

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