Just to quickly share three interesting websites with you:

  • Using Mapnificent you can see how good a neighbourhood’s public transport connections are. Helsinki is one of cities already on the system (sorry – no data from Africa, Asia or South America!), and you can see how very well connected our neighbourhood is to the rest of Helsinki in the screen-capture below (but better yet, play with a dynamic map here – you can vary the travel time using the slider on the bottom right).
White areas represent all the places we can reach from our street within 25 minutes using only public transport (from mapnificent.net)


  • HSBC ran an “expat survey” last year (2010) to determine how expatriates experienced integrating into and living in new countries. There were adequate numbers of respondents from 25 countries, including South Africa, Australia, the US and the UK (but not any of the Nordic countries) – you can find their results here. Interestingly, South Africa was the top-ranked country in terms of ease of integration in the local community – you can find a variety of data on the website. If you are currently are in SA and thinking of relocating overseas for a while… Bermuda, Thailand and Spain are other friendly options according to the survey. I would be very interested to see survey results from more countries!
  • And finally, the National Land Survey of Finland has an excellent website with a wide array of maps and aerial photograph available for the whole country. You can view their interactive map site in English here (you can see, for example, the Kilpisjärvi area where I’ll be doing fieldwork here).


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