The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Globe Life

October 30, 2009

Database lets you become a Global Road Warrior

The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay began on Oct. 22 in Olympia, Greece, with a lighting ceremony. After a journey across Greece and the Atlantic Ocean, the torch landed in Victoria, British Columbia, and on Friday began its 45,000-kilometer (27,962-mile) journey across Canada.

If I was lucky enough to be able to accompany the torch, I might need some travel information on both Greece and Canada. Global Road Warrior can answer just about any question I might have on Greece, Canada or 173 other countries and territories around the world.

To prepare for my imaginary trip, I accessed this database from home with my library card and computer. I went to www.joplinpubliclibrary.org, moused over the “Reference” tab at the top and chose “Business.” From there I scrolled down to “Global Road Warrior” and clicked the picture of the house right by it.

I entered in my library card number at the bottom of the page. On the next page, I chose Greece from the drop-down menu on “Select a Country.”

On the left side of the screen is a list of categories containing all kinds of information on the demographics, government, culture and society of Greece.

Since I need to pack, I determined what clothes were needed by clicking on “Climate.” I saw for October we could expect 50- to 70-degree temperatures with 65 percent humidity. Under “Money and Banking,” I found that the currency in Greece is the euro; I also found images of the bank notes and the coinage.

The “Travel Essentials” category addressed visa and passport (I’d need a passport and a short-stay visa, plus a return ticket), immunizations needed (yellow fever), tipping (not expected but rounded up is appreciated) and emergency numbers.

Because I’d travel cross country with the torch, I checked out the “Transportation” category on how I’d move about the country. The “Communications” and “Technical/Internet” categories gave me information on telephone and Internet access. I also looked under the “Electrical” link to find out what adapter I may need for a hair dryer.

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