Reference Links - Geography
The World Factbook
Whenver I research information on a specific country throughout the world, I immediately start with The World Factbook from the CIA library. I was quite surprised that this publication is so freely available since I am not a citizen of the United States but just a curious friendly neighbour to its north—Canada.
As an example, I was trying to get information on the relative size of Australia to the United States and was able to determine that Australia would just fit inside the continental United States. Another interesting comparison was that the net population growth of Australia was much larger than the U. S. and Canada was right in the middle.
I strongly recommend it as a research source for all kinds of detail on a country. Since the CIA drives the input, it is about as up to date as one can expect since census taking and other data collection doesn't happen on a daily basis.
If the information I am looking for is more about directions and satellite imagery, then Google Maps is my choice. The easiest way to use the program is to set your starting address to your home or office and just type something in as a destination. The program will give you step by step directions for walking or driving and many other interesting features such as places to stay, interesting sights and other valuable information. In the above example, I was able to determine equivalent distances in various continents to get a feel for how large Australia really is.
And here is another good fact book on all sorts of information about other countries from the OECD. Look under statistics and then find the OECD factbook.
Since you will be visiting places that might not use your system of measurement attached is a good link for conversion. And you might need to know the locat time there so check this world map. You may also like to know about the weather and particularly historic averages where my choice is Intellicast.