Do you prefer to research locations online, by book, or in person?

With the internet, we can easily research an entire location like Hawaii or Virginia without ever leaving our homes.  Even Google Earth provides a bird’s eye view of what the place looks like.  Books are another source, but obviously, some travel books don’t even provide color pictures of a location.  Plus, as I found out with my family reunion in Indiana, not every place rates a tour book.  An entire state didn’t have one!  What about visiting the location?  Obviously, cost is a factor, but experiencing the location in person is a lot different than simply looking at pictures of reading a book.

My own preference is to start with books and, in I can afford it, visit the location. Internet comes last, and only really to answers questions I might have by seeing photos. Unfortunately, there are far too many sites that pass around misinformation as fact, but a bigger issue is even the reputation sites don’t provide a lot of information.  I get ideas of things to put in my stories by reading books about the area, and things I learn at the location.  But the information on the internet is often so superficial and minimal that I don’t get too much out of it.

What’s your preference for researching locations — online, books, or in person?  And why?

One thought on “Do you prefer to research locations online, by book, or in person?

  1. tekia

    I like all three, but I prefer the internet for convenience sake (especially since travel is out of the question) and I always cross-reference the information from different sites reputable sites ( like sites that deal with the subject, news sites, organization sites etc.) so that I can get enough information. If and/ or when possible I use human resources to confirm my research.


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