SOURCE: VirtualTourist

August 23, 2007 10:02 ET

VirtualTourist Launches Next Generation Travel Map as a Facebook Application

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - August 23, 2007) - Leading travel-research website and online travel community announces the launch of an interactive travel map as a Facebook application.

VirtualTourist's new map application, called Mapster, is the first of its kind. A customizable world map on which users can easily mark countries they have visited, resided in, and wish to visit, this Facebook application is the first internet travel map with the synchronization functionality to automatically update across numerous websites when edits are made by the user.

"There are a plethora of new applications out there, but Mapster leads the charge with its unique capability as a one-stop shop," says J. R. Johnson, CEO and co-founder of VirtualTourist. "Users can take full advantage of its functionality across the Web -- whether it be on Facebook, MySpace, VirtualTourist, or their own blogs -- and then any changes and updates they make to their map are pushed out to every website that hosts their map."

VirtualTourist's Mapster can be created on and Facebook. Customized maps can then be quickly exported for viewing to any Web page that allows HTML coding.

This Facebook application's versatility has made it a hit with initial users. "I have diverse interests, so I spend time on several different websites," says Los Angeles resident Kimberly Fisher. "One of the best things about Mapster is its synching feature, how it links up with all of my favorite sites. I love that it automatically updates on Facebook, MySpace and VirtualTourist anytime I add a new location."

According to Johnson, launching this new free-of-charge Facebook application makes perfect sense for VirtualTourist. "Many of VirtualTourist's web-savvy travelers also have a Facebook account, and those on Facebook who are not already on VirtualTourist can take advantage of a cool new tool to share with their online friends, without any strings attached," he says.

About is one of the largest online travel communities in the world and a premier resource for travelers seeking an insider perspective on travel information, from Las Vegas hotels to New York City restaurants. At, real people share real advice on places they've traveled as well as their hometowns; they research and plan trips, and they interact with other avid travelers via travel forums and email; over six million travelers use the site monthly. VirtualTourist boasts more than 1.5 million travel reviews and 3 million photos on more than 25,000 destinations worldwide. Unbiased, user-generated content on Hotels, Attractions, Local Customs, Tourist Traps and much more is posted entirely by VirtualTourist's more than 900,000 registered members from over 220 countries and territories, and the site's Trip Planner feature allows users to create custom print-and-go travel guides. Among VirtualTourist's awards and accolades: 'Sites that Changed Our World,' The Guardian; 'Favorite Website,' Newsweek; '35 Best Travel Sites,' Travel + Leisure.

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    Susan Derby
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