Surf Links: Web sites for browsing Internet content
These links help you browse a variety of Web content; you'll find links about current conditions (weather, time, cams), media (periodicals, audio, video, and Internet), and information (search, subjects, reference, reading, places, and maps).
These links help you explore the Web; here, you'll find organized and annotated links to Web sites about current conditions, media, and information. See the about section to find out more about this list and its use.
Edited by: You can contact the editor of this information with your ideas and corrections; there are different formats of this information.
About: About this index; find out what the Surf Links index is, why I made it, and how you might put it to use
Suggestion?: please send a correction of any information you find here or your suggestion to firstname.lastname@example.org via email with the subject line info-surf
Formats: You can view and link to this information in a variety of ways; find the level of detail that is right for your needs; pages are available for each section; you can link to and use the page that fits your needs.
Surf: index outline; shows sections of this information in outline form; links on the section names take you to a file showing all the entries and annotations for that section; put your cursor over section names or headings to see a popup description
Surf Links: a table showing all the links; shows all entries in a big table of rows and columns; useful to have all links on one page in a compact form; put your cursor over labels or section names to see a popup description; links on section names take you to a file showing all the entries and annotations for that section; useful if you are familiar with the information and want to get to the links quickly
Surf all: everything in one big file; shows all entries and all annotations; useful if you want to search for a text string in this information--use your Web browser's Find feature (Control/F in Microsoft Explorer); links on the section names go to a file showing entries and annotations for just that section
Surf mini: Compressed table; shows all entries and section names with short labels and no linebreaks; put your cursor over labels or section names to see a popup description; links on section names take you to a file showing all the entries and annotations for that section; useful if you are familiar with the information and want all the links in a smaller amount of space
View current conditions online; these sites give you access to weather information as well as information on time zones, traffic for a variety of activities, and links to Webcams.
Weather: Current weather reports are available worldwide; you can check major weather portals for current conditions, maps, and forecasts.
Satellite Composite image; a global montage created using satellite data, sea surface temperatures and observed land temperatures; provided by the Space Science and Engineering Center, part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Graduate School
Weather.Org: Portal to world weather; easy-to-navigate links to information pages on weather world-wide; information on global Weather, National Weather Service, NOAA US Navy Tropical Storm, surface charts, satellite, radar, storm, hurricane, weather graphics, weather forecasts, wind, seas, tropical storm, snow, weather history, marine aviation, space weather
Satellite: clickable world map of current satellite data; infra-red channel imagery from many sources, including GOES 10-13, NOAA 15-18, MSG-8, MTSAT-1R, and many more; provided by the Space Science and Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Global Maps: see weather conditions for Earth; maps include current temperatures, satellite, relative humidity, sunshine, winds, precipitation, and maximum temperatures; specialized maps such as oil spill map, storm tracks, local weather; from Intellicast
Underground: Weather Underground world weather forecasts and information; weather information and forecasts of all kinds by region and location; network of personal weather stations; interactive weather maps
World WIS: World Weather Information Service (WWIS); links to official weather information issued by National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs); World City Forecasts, Climatology and Weather Observations; World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a specialized agency of the United Nations
World Cities: table of world cities with current time, sky conditions, and temperature; tables also available for cities by continent
Ocean Weather: clickable world map showing wave height and direction; regional maps show wind speed in knots (nautical mile per hour) and the wind direction (from which the wind is coming from); provided by Oceanweather, Inc.
Buoys: clickable World Map of buoy data; provided by U.S. Dept. of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service, National Data Buoy Center
Conditions: See current conditions such as time, traffic, and other events; access time zone information, quake information, traffic (Marine, Internet, Airline), Webcams, and astronomical information.
TimeNow: The Time Now; shows world time and weather
Time Zones: map showing current time around the world; clickable map allows you to zoom in on areas to see time zones
Sunlight: world map showing sun and shadow on earth and cloud cover; near real-time computer-generated illustration with clouds updated every 3 hours with current weather satellite imagery; also available is a view of the moon phase
Time and Date: World Clock, Time Zones, Calendar, Astronomy, and other tools; free time and date related information
Quakes: Maps of Recent Earthquake Activity in the World; clickable map allows you to zero in on specific areas; provided by Earthquake Hazards Program, US Geological Survey, a bureau of the US Department of the Interior
Internet Traffic: The Internet Traffic Report; monitors the flow of data around the world; displays a value between zero and 100; Higher values indicate faster and more reliable connections
Marine Traffic: where ships are now worldwide; part of an academic, open, community-based project; free real-time information to the public, about ship movements and ports, mainly across the coast-lines of Europe and N.America; hosted by the Department of Product and Systems Design Engineering, University of the Aegean, Greece
Earthcam: global Webcam Network; directory of Web cams throughout the world; well-organized links connect you to major city cams, weather, news, education, science
earthTV: major world cities Webcam Network; webcams throughout the world offering views; very nice, rotating panoramic views of major city skylines; for example, Paris
Moon: current view of the moon from Earth; shows the phase of the moon as seen from Earth; table gives information about the moon's age, phase, distance, and next phases
Solar System: Solar System Live; see a chart showing the relative positions of the planets from an imaginary point way up above the plane of the solar system; you can customize this map to show the full system or just the inner planets, ephemeris shows numerical right ascension, declination, distance for major solar system bodies
Stars: Your Sky; make your own star map based on where you are and when you want to view the sky
Access worldwide media; gain access to a wide variety of periodicals, audio, video, and Internet-grown forms of media.
Many publications offer Web sites with online content; these links take you to directories of worldwide newspapers, magazines, news services, headlines, and specialized news sources.
Directories: Find periodicals of all kinds worldwide; use these directories to find newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, front pages, ezines, alternative press, and serials. In most cases, you can browse a hierarchical listing of publications to find one by geographic location or subject. Many of these sites also offer way to search for publication title or description.
World Newspapers: directory of world newspapers and magazines (see lefthand column); a directory organized by world region, country, and US state listing links to newspapers; directory of magazines by topic area (see left-hand column)
Newspapers: Directory of world newspapers; easy-to-navigate directory puts you in touch with newspapers all over the world; includes USA search and international search; college newspapers in the USA and world
Press Reader: (fee-based?) access connects you to the world newspapers and magazines; unclear, obtuse Web site and disorganized information--hard to understand what access is included or what it costs; this could be an excellent resource, but it is not explained, and the support information is incomplete and confusing; check your local library to see if they allow you access to this database and perhaps ask for assistance using it from your local library
DOAJ: Directory of Open Access Journals; covers free, full text, quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals; all subjects and languages
EZines: The Ezine Directory; created by Ryan Jensen in 1999 as a resource for ezine publishers and subscribers; lists thousands of the best email newsletters available on the Internet; a human-edited categorical listing of ezines, fanzines, and email newsletters
alt Press: Alternative Press Center directory of Periodicals
Scholar: search for scholarly articles; search articles, theses, books, abstracts, court documents, and patents
Newspapers: Access selected world newspapers; these are widely-read or significant newspapers represent world regions or regions of the USA; see the directories section for comprehensive directories of world newspapers and news in other languages.
NY Times: The New York Times; American daily newspaper; founded 1851; winner of over 100 Pulitzer Prizes; popular Web site; headquarters New York City
Wash Post: The Washington Post; American daily newspaper; Washington, DC; founded in 1877
LA Times: Los Angeles Times; American daily newspaper based on West Coast in Los Angeles, California; founded in 1881
Chicago Sun-Times: American daily newspaper, Midwest; began in 1844 and is the oldest continuously published daily newspaper in Chicago, Illinois
Denver Post: American daily newspaper, Rocky Mountain region
WSJ: The Wall Street Journal (limited free content); largest-circulation American newspaper; business-focused; limited number of free stories available for reading without a subscription, but useful to see the front page and headlines
Guardian: British national daily; headquarters London; established 1821; popular Web site
Telegraph: The Telegraph; British daily morning newspaper; founded in 1855
SCMP: South China Morning Post; English-language daily Hong Kong newspaper
Yomiuri: Daily Yomiuri Online; Japanese daily national newspaper; founded 1874; paper version credited as having the largest newspaper circulation in the world (Wikipedia); headquarters Tokyo
Times of India: English-language daily; credited as the largest circulation English-language newspaper in the world (Wikipedia); founded 1838; headquarters New Delhi
The Age: Melbourne, Australia daily newspaper; business, world, and breaking news; established 1854
allAfrica: multi-media content provider; African news and information; offices in Johannesburg, Dakar, Lagos and Washington, DC; provides articles from content providers from across Africa
Toronto Star: Canadian daily newspaper; established 1892; largest newspaper in Canada; headquarters Yonge St, Toronto, Canada
BA Herald: Buenos Aires Herald; daily English-language newspaper from Argentina; founded 1876
Magazines: Web sites of selected periodicals published as magazines; these publications now include continuous updates of breaking news on their Web sites; see the directories section for more magazines and magazines in other languages.
Time: weekly news magazine; headquarters New York, NY; international editions; world's largest circulation weekly news magazine
Der Spiegel: German weekly news magazine; headquarters Hamburg; Der Spiegel = "The Mirror"
Reader's Digest: monthly general-interest magazine; US and global editions; headquarters Chappaqua, New York
Newsweek: weekly news magazine; headquarters New York; international editions
Economist: weekly news and international affairs; headquarters London; established 1843
NatGeo: National Geographic; Web site of famous magazine established 1888; geography, science, history, culture, current events, and photography; headquarters Washington, DC
Cosmopolitan: international magazine for women; established 1886; relationships, self-improvement, health, careers
Maclean's: Canadian weekly magazine; events, culture, politics
The Atlantic: American magazine; foreign affairs, politics, the economy; founded Boston 1857
India Today: weekly news; established 1975; headquarters Mumbai
USNWR: US News and World Report; news and information
New African: monthly news magazine covering Africa; includes analysis, regions, opinions, interviews, and culture
BHG: Better Homes and Gardens; monthly magazine on home-based lifestyles; covers homes, cooking, gardening, crafts, healthy living, decorating, and entertaining
GH: Good Housekeeping; covers product testing by The Good Housekeeping Institute, recipes, diet, health, literature; founded 1885
Prevention: health; started 1950; food, nutrition, workouts, beauty, and cooking.
Smithsonian: monthly magazine of the Smithsonian Instituion; History, science, arts, nature
SI: Sports Illustrated; covers sports; founded 1954
Headlines: News sites provide a continuous stream of breaking news; you can use traditional news organizations as well as Web-grown news portals deliver headlines that are updated continuously. I've selected these sites to provide a range of world news to browse.
AP: Associated Press; wire service provided to many newspapers; operated as a not-for-profit cooperative; established 1846; headquarters New York City
Reuters: business and financial newswire; covers financial markets, industries, and analysis; established 1851; headquarters London; includes section for photographs
PressReader: world-wide headlines and front pages; view news by category as well as country; click on a country name, and you can see images of newspaper pages; click on the pages to read articles
Front Pages: images of daily newspaper front pages from all over the world; from the Newseum, the museum of news in Washington, DC; browsable via world map as well as a gallery and a list
Newser: Grid of news briefs; grid of headlines and photos in boxes shows off headlines and links to synposes of stories from hundreds of US and international sources; sections for trending news, US, world, science, crime, politics, entertainment, and more
1stHeadlines: table of headlines from a variety of sources; subcategories include business, health, lifestyles, sports, and technology
Google News: wide range of news sources presented in one usable interface; news is available by category or search term; customizable with free google login
Worldpress: news and views from around the world; headlines presented with a brief summary of a story; categories include world regions
Yahoo News: a well-organized breakdown of news categories that is easy to navigate; brings together a variety of news sources; free customization with yahoo account
Bing News: wide range of news sources; customizable
CNN: world news presented in a usable interface; you can look at world news in text and videos by world regions (US, Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East) as well as news categories; draws on CNN's world-wide reporting
Drudge Report: Selected headlines; links to stories from a variety of news sources; some scoops and exclusives; breaking news; established 1996 by Matt Drudge
1st Headlines: terse, text-oriented headlines from multiple sources
MSNBC: web outlet of cable news channel based in the US; news website for NBC news; includes world news, politics, sports, travel, and local news; launched 1996 as cooperative effort of Microsoft and NBC; headquarters New York City
Euronews: world news from a European perspective; multilingual news television channel, headquartered in Lyon-Écully, France; created in 1993
Specialized: Web sites provide news geared to a specific subject or audience; these publications such as magazines or Web portals provide content and continuous news and information updates in specific areas.
Bloomberg: financial markets; covers stocks, rates and bonds, currencies, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), commodities, and economic issues; personal finance; news
CNET: technology and consumer electronics; reviews, news, downloads, video; part of CBS Interactive
New Scientist: daily news from weekly international science magazine; current events on science and technology; not peer-reviewed; founded 1956
Science: peer-reviewed science journal; provides news, commentary, and research; founded 1880; published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science
ESPN: sports coverage; breaking sports scores; major leagues including NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NCAA, NASCAR, Soccer, and more; headquarters Bristol, Connecticut; unit of ABC
Barron's: weekly financial newspaper; financial news and markets; site includes market statistics, blogs, online exclusives, daily analysis
Eonline: entertainment; daily news on entertainment and entertainers; features, gossip, music and movie reviews, live event coverage; unit of E! Entertainment Television; headquarters Los Angeles
digg: user-generated top news; users "digg" stories elsewhere and send stories to the top of the charts in a range of categories including business, entertainment, gaming, lifestyle, offbeat, politics, science, sports, technology, and world news
PR Newswire: press releases; provides press release services for a range of customers worldwide; news releases useful to find out about latest products and information, press, and business research; quarterly earnings reports coverage, market outlook and shopping coverage
Chronicle: The Chronicle of Higher Education; "news, information, and jobs for college and university faculty members and administrators"
Pew: Pew Research Center; covers US politics, media and news, social trends, religion, Internet and technology, Hispanics, and global issues; explores issues, attitudes and trends; conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research
Listen to on-demand and streaming audio; these links guide you to online audio archives and sites where music, radio programs or spoken word content is available. You can access audio books, podcasts, radio stations, international broadcasters, and radio networks. Obtain audio software. The entries at the end are direct links to Web sites I use often to locate radio shows, streaming music, and archived audio files.
Audio Books: a list of sites that collect and organize audio books; spoken performances of written fiction or non-fiction published books, public talks or performances of books or related to books or authors
Audio Archives: audio archives; these sites collect and organize archives of sound files and archives of old broadcast radio programs
Podcasts: serial audio content; created by Net users; podcasts are simply audio files that are offered as they are produced; you can download the files and listen to archived episodes of a particular series
Audio Directories: find radio stations with Web sites; many stream their radio broadcasts over the Internet so that you can listen online
Audio Portals: major audio streaming content providers; these include streaming music of all kinds
Audio International: world-wide broadcasters; these sites represent international radio broadcasters; in most cases, these are the official government-run national radio services that stream content online in addition to providing short-wave or other means of broadcast
Audio Networks: larger radio broadcast networks; these are some of the larger radio broadcast networks, primarily in the United States; most distribute content as live streaming audio or podcasts on the Internet in addition to over-the-air broadcasting through local affiliate radio stations
Software: Audio software commonly used; in order to hear audio on your computer, weather streaming or from files, you'll need audio player software
Radiotime: directory of radio stations and audio streaming links worldwide; browse stations by geographic location or station format (music, talk, sports); links to live streams where available; includes licensed over-the-air stations, HD radio feeds, and Internet-only stations; excellent, simple, clean design makes this site a pleasure to use
Live365: World's Largest Internet Radio Network; streaming audio network; members create their own stations; also some professional broadcasters use these streams to deliver content; wide range of content--over 7,000 broadcasters in over 250 genres from over 150 countries; ad-supported, but VIP membership available and some VIP-only stations; free membership required for extended listening; royalties for the music played are paid to artists and music publishers through royalty collection groups such as ASCAP and BMI
Archive: Internet Archive-Audio section; contains archived audio and MP3 files; over 700,000 digital items including music, spoken voice, performances, radio, and more; part of the Internet Archive, an Internet library offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital form
View online video content; these sites guide you to online video in a variety of forms. From its origins in the early 1990's, Internet-delivered video has now become a major form of entertainment. Today, amateur and professionally-made films, television shows, clips, segments, news reports, documentaries, skits, comedy, slice-of-life reality, user-made videos, live streams--and more--are provided for viewing online. The links here present a variety of ways to encounter video online.
Net Video: Net Video Links; this compact table includes links to hosts, channels, collections, directories, and search engines about online video
Video Portals: Use portals for multi-purpose, multi-channel, multi-producer online video content; these sites serve a variety of purposes and host content aggregated from a wide variety of sources
Video Channels: View videos organized around content from a network or production brand; includes sites grown out of television networks, cable channels, public-service media networks, or web-based producers;
Video Search: Locate videos of all kinds from many sources; some present premium site results, have price comparisons, or have the option to search for free content only
Video Topics: Encounter videos related to a particular topic at many different sites; can be in the form of annotated directories, lists, or a combination with search features; sites might link to videos or embed them on Web pages
Video Mix: Sort through a wide range of popular videos from many sources; usually organized as a mish-mash of clips, user-contributed videos, previews, commercials, trailers, viral videos, gossip, music videos, celebrity news, home videos, advertisements, promotions for movies or TV shows; usually characterized by a loose organization
Google Video: multi-site video search and hosting; pre-dating Google's acquisition of You Tube in 2006, Google hosted many videos; this site now serves as a search engine and host to those videos as well as videos from YouTube as well as many other video hosts
Internet Archive: Moving Image Archive; a library of free movies, films, and videos; thousands of digital movies; classic full-length films, daily alternative news broadcasts, cartoons, concerts, and more; part of the Internet Archive, an Internet library offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital form; subsections include animation, arts, community video, computers, ephemeral films, news, public affairs, Prelinger Archives, spirituality, sports, television, video games, and vlogs
Access media developed on the Internet; these sites help you explore the forms of media that have evolved on the Internet itself. You can look at archives from ancient times, explore popular forms of online activity, or encounter the latest buzz of what is happening now.
Archive: The Internet Archive; a library of content offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital form; this archive contains many multimedia collections that pre-date the Internet as well as the waybackmachine access to Internet Web pages from long ago
Social Networks: listing of popular social networks; these sites provide users ways to engage with each other in Web portals that facilitate individual and group communication in a variety of forms; social networks are one of the forms of media that evolved out of human communication and interaction on networks that predate the widespread use of the Internet itself
Blogosphere: description of blog sites; this page lists major blog sites and services, ways to search blogs, and references to further information; blogs, like social networks, are one of the Internet's "home-grown" forms of media, adding to diary-like entries the immediacy of global publication within a networked community of other bloggers
Podcasts: audio serials; audio files offered for asynchronous listening; this list takes you to major archives and collections; podcasting, like blogging, evolved online as individuals provided their audio content to networked communities of interest
Tools: Internet Tools Summary; index of links summarizing software tools used online to facilitate information storage and retrieval and communication and interaction; resources include utilities for Net information lookups, client-server software tools, the graveyard of ancient tools, group and mass communication, and reference information supporting Internet tools
CMC: Computer-Mediated Communication information sources; index of links covering the technology, use, and study of online communication; resources include technology information, standards organizations, educational and training resources, periodicals, forums, and groups interested in studying or online communication
Alexa: Web site popularity and analytics; you can browse Web sites by the Alexa Web traffic ranking; see hot topics; search Alexa's information database about Web sites; useful to get an idea of popular sites; Web Directory shows top sites (by Alexa traffic ranking) in subject categories
Groups: Google discussion forums; join in a wide range of threaded discussion forums; the origins are in the Usenet groups which rose to great popularity in the 1990's (many of these groups developed FAQs which are still available)
Search and use online information; these sites give you access to a wide variety of Internet content through searching, browsing, guided reference, or collections of reading material, place-based information, and maps.
Search portals connect you to information; these sites provide you ways to search the vast array of information on the Web. You can search online according to keywords, subject trees of information, people-oriented listings, user-generated content, or editorially-selected sites. I provide lists of top sites in each of these categories, then I list direct links to the search sites that I find I use the most. In addition, the general reference sites can also help you find answers to questions you have.
Keyword: Find information on the World Wide Web by keyword queries; Web sites that locate documents based on keyword matches; many of these sites have expanded to searching images, news, maps, blogs, weather, and reference sources such as encyclopedias and dictionaries; some of these Web sites contain or are associated with subject-oriented search directories
Subject: Browse information on the World Wide Web by topic; subject-oriented Webs are arranged hierarchically according to subjects which are broken down into topics and sub-topics; subject trees are the Web's oldest information structure and were the sole navigation tool used by the ancient Geeks; in a subject tree, you navigate down through successive Web pages to find links of interest; or you can search the annotations in the subject directory itself about the Web sites included in it; see also: user-generated navigation, Top site lists for more selective subject-oriented lists or lookup resources for specific, professionally-edited topic lookups
People: Find people through their phone number, address, or other means; includes a variety of Web-based methods such as address and phone lookups; see also: keyword for finding references to names on the Web
User Generated: Discover user-generated navigation sites; a variety of Web sites allow users to contribute, share, participate, and otherwise build or tag information content; this shared content is useful for navigating the Web or discovering Web resources; specific applications include social bookmarking as well as news-sharing
Top Selections: Discover interesting Web sites based on ranked lists; a variety of approaches to ranking Web sites are possible: editorial selection, user nomination, or traffic flow and popularity; these ranking list sites are useful to help locate interesting or useful resources without having to sift through massive directories or puzzle through keyword search results; these sites are also useful for new users of the Internet who want to gain an awareness of notable or excellent sites
Google: keyword and multi-service search; clean interface and fast operation; many specialized search services including patents or scholarly papers and citations; detailed advanced search form; "Lucky" button takes you directly to the first matching Web page; direct links to advanced searching include: Google Scholar, Google Blog Search, Google Book Search; all products have a very clean, usable interface
Wikipedia: free-content encyclopedia; openly-editable content; supported by the Wikimedia Foundation
Pipl: Deep Web people / reverse phone searching; uses a variety of sources including material that is not crawled by Web surface spiders; looks at personal profiles, member directories, scientific publications, court records; language-analysis and ranking algorithms; integrates with other people-finding Web sites, some of which charge for detailed reports; amazing--almost spooky
Subject-specific recommended sites; these sites link you to top Web sites in these selected topic areas. For more general Web browsing, see the search section or the reference section.
Science: general science sites; educational and informative sites for general audiences; these sites provide extensive original content that explores and explains general science topics
Computer: general computer use and hardware; sites about computer news, hardware, and software, in industry and academia
Software: top software and archives; helps you find software to do a variety of tasks; includes freeware, shareware, and for-sale software
Mathematics: Mathematics information sources; organized and annotated links to Web sites about Mathematics organizations, topics, books, and links
Health: general health-related issues; topics include medical treatment, advice, and information as well as prevention and wellness in physical, mental, and nutrition health
Business: companies and business; learn about producers of goods or services and their customers; includes resources about business and for businesses people
Money: tools and information for personal finance; money management; includes information about handling money, investments, and practical advice and tools
Marketing: activities involved in making goods and services known; communicating with potential and current consumers through advertising, promotion, and public relations; online and offline activities, social marketing
Government: governments at various levels; includes information sources about the United States, world governments, and multi-national governmental bodies
Education: knowledge-building resources, information, and activities; sets supporting acquiring, developing, imparting knowledge or skills; includes resources for educators; emphasis on primary education, but some higher-education resources
Humanities: languages, history, literature, philosophy, and culture
Art: human creative expression in visual, performance, language, or musical contexts; includes sites devoted to art practice as well as art appreciation and aesthetics
Entertainment: activities, performances, and information about entertainers; includes sites devoted to online, video, movies, books, theater, and music
Recreation: active life; participatory sports and games, pastimes, hobbies, exercise, and travel
Genealogy: Genealogy information sources; organized and annotated links to Web sites about Genealogy organizations, topics, books, and links
Robotics: Robotics Robotics Information Sources; list of information about robot Research and Study Centers, Journals, News and information, Interesting Videos, Groups and Conferences, and General Reference
4IR: Fourth Industrial Revolution Links; list of information about the Fourth Industrial Revolution/Industry 4.0 Centers, Journals, News and information, Interesting Videos, Groups and Conferences, and General Reference
Ready-reference sites can connect you to answers; these sites include language reference works like dictionaries and thesauruses, fact sites like almanacs and encyclopedias, computational and knowledge sites, and links to further ready reference collections.
Infoplease: Look up almost any fact; an integrated dictionary, encyclopedia, almanac, biographies, and atlas; Information Please's history goes back to a 1938 radio quiz show, an annual almanac starting in 1947; and a Web site since 1998
Dictionary+: Dictionary, thesaurus, Spanish-English, Medical; look up terms from a professionally-edited source, Merriam-Webster
Melissa: Melissa Data Free Online Lookups; free address and ZIP Code-related information lookup services from Melissa Data, a mailing lists, software, and data company; provides a clean, usable interface to a range of free lookup services that could save you hours of time; find campaign contributors, nonprofit organizations, occupants by zip code, business counts by SIC code, income by zip code, US and worldwide place names, etc.
Wolfram|Alpha: knowledge engine (facts, computation, statistics, calculator); NOTE: this is not a keyword search engine--see the directory of examples to get an idea of how to use this effectively; pulls together facts from a variety of sources; for example: find the population of Boston, the square root of 175, the diameter of Neptune, winner of the 1896 Olympic men's marathon, the King of Spain; integrate sin x dx from x=0 to pi; plot the parabola 3x*x + 4y + 3 = 0;
Unit Converter: convert units of measure in a wide range of quantities; note that "Mass" is what you would want to convert weight
HowStuffWorks: explanations of how things work; well-written and succinct articles give encyclopedia-like descriptions, specializing in how things work (steam engines, the Internet, solar cells, etc)
Translation: Google translate; paste or write text into this form and select the language you want to convert it to; you can even paste a text of an unknown language and let it detect the language
Refdesk: reference portal; large collection of links that guide you to a wide variety of reference and information sources on the Web; so massive that it nearly is a subject tree of Web resources itself; edited by Bob Drudge, father of Matt Drudge (Drudge Report)
Online books are available on many topics; these sites provide full-text versions of classics, textbooks, and other books online. You can download some books, read various books online, and buy some ebooks online.
DPLA: Digital Public Library of America; content from libraries, archives, and museums; funded by grants from a number of foundations and government agencies
Online Books: Online Books Page at Upenn; links to free online books; index to books, pointers to directories of books, special exhibits, support for the growth of online books; founded and edited by John Mark Ockerbloom, a digital library planner and researcher at the University of Pennsylvania; lists over 900,000 free books in December, 2010
Project Gutenberg: electronic texts; stated purpose is "to make information, books and other materials available to the general public in forms a vast majority of the computers, programs and people can easily read, use, quote, and search;" electronic texts of literature, science, classics, drama, and fiction; you can search for books by author or title words or advanced search; over 33,000 free ebooks at Project Gutenberg and 100,000 free ebooks through partners, affiliates, and resources; many classics--examples: Jules Verne, "20,000 Leagues (96 megameters) under the Sea," Thomas Paine, "Common Sense," James Joyce, "Ulysses;" formats include plain text, HTML, Kindle, and more
Bartleby: online literature, reference, and verse; full text online of classics like Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Oxford Shakespeare, Lives of the Saints, Bartlett's Quotations, T.S. Eliot, The Harvard Classics & Shelf of Fiction, and more; available for free reading online
Digital Book Index: an index of multiple online books collections; this site indexes other online book collections, major and (like Project Gutenberg) as well as smaller (like McMaster University in Canada); reference books, literature, history, social sciences, medicine and health, mathematics and science, philosophy and religion, law, the arts, childrens' ebooks, and more
Google Books: access to online books for free or purchase; allows you to search the text book books, find books that match your search, download free and public domain books or consider borrowing or buying the book; books come from a partner program in which publishers provide books for search, examination and sale or a library program in which book previews are available online
Wikibooks: open-content textbooks collection; collaboratively edited textbooks; examples: Programming in Ada, This Quantum World, New Zealand History, Formal Logic
Open Library: aspires to be a card catalog of all books ever published and links to some full-text books; a project to have a page on the Web for every book published; scanned versions of books or card catalog records; interface to the Ebook and Texts Archive of The Internet Archive providing free, downloadable fiction, popular books, children's books, historical texts and academic books
WorldCat: find items in your local libraries; not all library systems provide their card catalogs through WorldCat, but many do, so if you are trying to find a copy of a physical book to borrow, this is a good site to check; WorldCat Genres provide collections of book titles in areas such as adventure, spy stories, legends, mystery, and science fiction; the Web site uses location recognition of your Internet connection to figure out your location so as to deliver a list of libraries nearby that have a book you want; you can check out libraries.org to find libraries worldwide that may not be in WorldCat
Access information about geographic regions and countries; these sites give you comprehensive information about world nations, including statistics, travel information, and information about local life.
CIA World Factbook: US Central Intelligence Agency reference; this online reference work presents the countries of the world; the entries summarize the country, including its people, government, economy, communications, transportation, military, and issues
Nations of the World: listings summarizing the nations of the world provided by the US Library of Congress; entries provide an overview of the countries, including governing documents such as the constitutions, links to government Web sites, legal guides, and general sources
GeoHive: Global statistics on places; population, historical, urban, area, provinces, counties, nations
Lonely Planet: travel portal; information about countries around the world; travel advice, news, products, guides, travel planning and sales
Yelp: local reviews by users; covers world cities; users provide reviews of restaurants, bars, stores, services, museums, and more; originated in the USA in 2004
Virtual Tourist: worldwide travel community; travelers and locals share travel advice and experiences
USA Places: Selected USA cities and regions profiled on december.com; these are my indexes of locations of interest in the USA; a compact table provides annotated links to the major Web sites relating to current conditions, facts, activities, events, attractions, sports, government, media, schools, commerce, and guides; areas covered include Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Denver, Minneapolis-St Paul, Madison WI, Milwaukee, Chicago, The Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Miami, Washington DC, Philadelphia, New York City, and The Capital District of New York State
WalkScore: scores locales based on how many features are nearby; helps you judge the walkability of a place; find a walker's paradise!
Many Web sites provide mapping services; zoom in and out and select specific features to view on the map. These sites provide you with free online maps from all over the world. The final entry, USA Maps, is a collection focused on USA-specific maps.
Google Maps: customizable maps; locate just about any place on earth, moon, mars, or the night sky; get a street map or satellite view; access yellow pages information and street views; create and save custom maps with a google account; even look at a map of Earth's moon or Mars, and beyond--the night sky! The separate google earth software is available to browse google maps and satellite views
Flash Earth: explore earth imagery; satellite and aerial imagery from multiple sources
Worldmapper: a collection of world maps illustrating a variety of demographic and geographic facts; territories are re-sized on each map according to the subject of interest; e.g. youth literacy, life expectancy, meat production, national savings, etc.
Yahoo: customizable maps; locate just about any place on earth; get a street map or satellite view; access yellow pages information
Bing: customizable maps; locate just about any place on earth; get a street map or "bird's-eye" view; access yellow pages information
MapQuest: customizable maps; locate just about any place on earth; get a street map or satellite view
SatelliteViews: satellite maps based on place names; browse a directory of locations from around the world and connect to a list of that location's features and satellite maps of those features; features include as city or communities, administrative regions, spot features (caves, dams, forts), land resources, water resources, roads, railroads, areas, vegetation, and undersea features; the benefit of this site is that you can browse these locations by geographic area (country, subdivision, city) and then see the list of features and get the satellite maps--you could do the same thing on google maps if you knew the names already, but this gives you easily-browsable lists of locations and features to discover
USA Maps: list of map sources; these map sources work for USA maps, but many also provide world maps; includes online mapping services, topographical maps, locators, historical maps, map collections