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Last Updated: Friday, 11 November 2005, 16:21 GMT

By Kate Russell
BBC Click Online Webscape-r

Kate Russell gives us her latest selection of the best sites on the World Wide Web.

Google Sightseeing website

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With the summer now a distant memory, I wonder how many of you got the chance to take a break?

If, like me, you missed out on a holiday this year, never fear. Thanks to another extension made to exploit Google's excellent Maps technology, you can now see the wonders of the world from the comfort of your own computer.

Google Sightseeing is not a part of Google Maps, it simply links to the data found there, but is an excellent way to quickly locate many of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

The layout is pretty straightforward. You can choose to tour in a number of ways which are listed as tabs across the screen, or if you already know where you want to go simply type it in the search box on the right.

All the locations are suggestions by visitors to the site, so if you cannot find what you are looking for, use the link in the right hand panel to make your suggestion. Make sure you read the instructions about how to link to the Google Map page thoroughly before posting.

There is also the option to add comments to all the places you virtually tour, allowing you to tell the world what you thought of the picture, or maybe share a real life experience of having been there.

Contact Juggling website

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Karen Emsley from the UK, who says she has recently taken up the art of Contact Juggling, sent in this next site.

Contact Juggling is the art of ball manipulation. In other words rolling a specially designed ball around your hands, arms and even various other parts of the body.

It is an incredibly impressive act to perform, though extremely hard to master and will take a lot of practice, but get it right and it looks magical.

The site itself is simple in design, but really well laid out.

All the sections are available on the left, with some essential notes for beginners appearing in the main panel.

Click through to the FAQ to start with, as it will tell you the best areas on the site to get you going.

I also strongly suggest taking the time to just watch some of the videos posted here by the site's creators and various other users. It will give you a great idea about what can be achieved if you put enough time and practice into the project.

There is so much here to see and try, just surf round at your own pace for the best results.

There is also a lively and friendly forum where you can share your experiences and get help perfecting those killer moves.

Now, go out and impress your friends.

Mitch Fincher's website

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

Next up, a personal homepage.

We have not featured one of these in a while, and whilst this one is quite bland to look at, it contains some fascinating information, and was created by Mitch Fincher.

Fincher.org is a site of simple layout that is easy and fast to surf about, even with a narrowband connection, partly because lot of the sections are text-based only.

You can access the various sections with the menu on the left or using the links across the top. Some of it is fairly specialist interest, like the content under Knowledge Base. And it is worth bearing in mind that these are Mitch's own thoughts and opinions, and may not prove to be accurate fact.

It is the Miscellaneous section that gave me most pleasure.

Have a look at all of the links in there, especially the Did You Know? section full of random trivia and the feature about raising the albedo, which is all about ideas for combating global warming.

The thing that particularly drew me here though was the pictures under Pennies. It is the only part of the site that takes an age to load, but it is worth the wait as there are some amazing structures built using one-cent pieces. A great way to while away a rainy afternoon.

Tokyo Plastic website

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

Finally a website suggested by a member of my Yahoo Online group, Nex. It is a site full of stylised oriental animations and is a real joy to explore.

Tokyoplastic is one of those click and enjoy interactive sites that turns the simple act of navigating its pages into an experience in its own right, and is a lot more visual than the last site we looked at.

It is also riddled with great ambient audio and music, so make sure you have your sound turned up high to enjoy the full experience.

Entering the site opens another page with a graphic menu. On all of the pages generally, hovering your mouse over an active area will set an animation in motion and, where appropriate, reveal some text giving you a clue as to what's in that section.

You really just have to browse around this site in your own way for the full enjoyment, but my particular favourite is the Drum Machine an animated sequence with music and sound effects that is just too off the wall to describe.

You are better off taking a look for yourself.

Click Online is broadcast on BBC News 24: Saturday at 2030, Sunday at 0430 and 1630, and on Monday at 0030. A short version is also shown on BBC Two as part of BBC Breakfast: Saturday at 0645. Also BBC World.

Kate's downloading advice
01 Jul 05 |  Click Online


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