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General Information

This website was originally conceived while Tom was living as an expatriate in Germany.  After doing a little bit of traveling in the area, he decided that it would be worthwhile to write about these locations on the web.  The originally intended audience were fellow expatriates looking for places to go and things to do.  The early pages had little text and were limited to convincing the reader that the place was worth visiting (or in cases, not worth visiting).  But as the site grew, the audience and focus changed toward travelers and curiosity-seekers around the world, and the pages evolved to true first-person travelogues simply relating the experienced of being there.

Beginning in 2006, while in the US, Tom has going back through the website in an attempt to make the information more uniform, applying the first-person construct throughout and being more consistent with the choice of photographs, the layout of the maps and other graphics, and the type of information available.  This will probably take up to two years to complete, as this is a lengthy and painstaking process, so your patience is appreciated.

The pages are organized by country, and the subdirectories under http://www.tompgalvin.com/places are identified according to their ISO 3166-1 Alpha-2 two-letter country code (so Germany, for example, is http://www.tompgalvin.com/places/de, and not 'ge' or 'gm' as used elsewhere).  Currently, only Germany is further subdivided into one directory per state ("Laender"), with the state name spelled out using underscores in lieu of spaces.  Travelogues are generally named <city>.htm but there are exceptions.

There are three types of pages.
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One-page format is the standard format, containing prose with three to six photographs in a newspaper layout.  The most common layout contains five photographs.

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Photo gallery format for locations where it was better to show more pictures and less text.  The main content is expressed as a table containing eight to fourteen photographs with captions underneath.

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Multi-chapter format for large cities or districts that I visited multiple times and/or had the opportunity to explore in depth.  These would be constructed as an introductory main page with two or three photographs (repeated from the subchapters) and a cartoon linking to the chapters.  The chapter pages follow either the one-page or photo gallery format.  Most chapters will be organized geographically, dividing the city or region into subregions.  However, some chapters will be photo galleries covering a specific event or theme.  The chapter file names are given a two-letter code that is attached to the city file name.  For example, Salzburg, Austria is found at http://www.tompgalvin.com/at/salzburg.htm.  Its chapter discussing the Hohensalzburg Castle is abbreviated to "_hs" making the full file name is http://www.tompgalvin.com/at/salzburg_hs.htm.

There are also a set of feature stories, lists, and e-cards on the site.  Once the travelogues have been rebuilt, these too will be overhauled.

Brief History of This Website

In times past, we used to maintain a history page that included every addition or update.  However, that became unwieldy and long, so instead this summary is offered.

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June 2001 -- The site was first launched with eight travelogues -- Heidelberg and Cologne, Germany; Strasbourg and Paris, France; Basel and Rheinfelden, Switzerland; and Sarajevo, Bosnia.  Site grew to roughly forty travelogues by the end of the year.  Site was built in Microsoft FrontPage and all photos managed in Image Composer (which no longer exists).

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May 2002 -- Second launching of the site as I decided to add E-Cards, Lists, and Features to the site to cover things outside the realms of the normal travelogues.  Travelogues hit over 100 by this point. 

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July 2003 -- Third launching of the site takes place.  Adobe Photoshop replaces Image Composer as the software of choice for building the maps and pictures.  Travelogues number over 250.

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August 2004 -- Temporarily suspended regular maintenance of the site.  Getting ready to move to the states and had tremendous commitments.

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January 2006 -- Resumed maintenance of the site, primarily for the purposes of doing a full site update.  All the maps are being replaced by simpler cartoons, all photos being redone (including significant retouching, which was not previously done), and several travelogues being expanded to multiple chapters or photo galleries (trying to be more consistent on which are which).  Also, the content of each page is being reviewed to remove annoying things like grammatical errors (I won't promise I'll catch them all).

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April 2006 -- Temporarily suspended maintenance again as I was moving.

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August 2006 -- Finished moving and resumed the full site update.  Progress will be slow, so your patience is appreciated.  As of 10/28/2006, the following updates have been completed.  Some completed pages will be corrected later based on reader comments, but the priority is on plowing through the full site update.  First will be the Places service, followed by the Features, then Lists, and afterwards I'll decide whether or not to continue the E-cards or replace them with a different service.
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Sections completed:
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[P - AT] Austria (10 of 10 travelogues, 21 of 21 pages)

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[P - BE] Belgium (8 of 8 travelogues, 12 of 12 pages)

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[P - BH] Bosnia and Herzegovina (1 of 1 travelogues, 2 of 2 pages)

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[P - CH] Switzerland (13 of 13 travelogues, 14 of 14 pages).

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[P - CZ] Czech Republic (2 of 2 travelogues, 7 of 7 pages)

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[P - DE - BE] Germany > Berlin (1 of 1 travelogues, 6 of 6 pages)

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[P - DE - BR] Germany > Brandenburg (2 of 2 travelogues, 3 of 3 pages)

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[P - DE - BY] Germany > Bayern (25 of 25 travelogues, 41 of 41 pages)
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Note:  2 travelogues and 5 pages will be added in next iteration (Rosenheim, Chiemsee plus 3)

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[P - DE - HB] Germany > Bremen (1 of 1 travelogues, 4 of 4 pages)

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[P - DE - HE] Germany > Hessen (14 of 14 travelogues, 18 of 18 pages)

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[P - DE - HH] Germany > Hamburg (1 of 1 travelogues, 1 of 1 pages)

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[P - DE - NI] Germany > Niedersachsen (1 of 1 travelogues, 5 of 5 pages)

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[P - DE - SH] Germany > Schleswig-Holstein (1 of 1 travelogues, 2 of 2 pages)

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[P - DK] Denmark (5 of 5 travelogues, 9 of 9 pages)

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[P - EE] Estonia (1 of 1 travelogues, 6 of 6 pages)

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[P - FR] France (18 of 18 travelogues, 35 of 35 pages)

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[P - HR] Croatia (1 of 1 travelogues, 2 of 2 pages).

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In progress:
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[P - HU] Hungary (0 of 3 travelogues, 0 of 7 pages) -- Photos, HU_MAIN, BUD+BPV, EGE, SZE

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[P - ID] Indonesia (0 of 0 travelogues, 0 of 1 pages) -- ID_MAIN

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[P - ID - BL] Indonesia > Bali (0 of 14 travelogues, 0 of 15 pages) -- Photos, ID_BL_MAIN, BES, GIA, JIM, KLU, KUT, LBA, LBR, LEM, NUD, SEB, TAM, TNL, UBU, ULU

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[P - ID - JV] Indonesia > Java (0 of 9 travelogues, 0 of 14 pages) -- Photos, ID_JV_MAIN, BOG, BOR, CJV, JAK+AGST, PUN, SEN, TKP, TIL, YOG

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[P - IE] Ireland (0 of 4 travelogues, 0 of 5 pages) -- Photos, IE_MAIN, COR, POR, WAT, WCY

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[P - MC] Monaco (0 of 2 travelogues, 0 of 3 pages) -- Photos, MC_MAIN, M-V, M-C

   
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