Sunday, October 25, 2009
The World Factbook
For information on countries of the world, their flags, and maps, start your search with the CIA World Factbook.
Select a country from the menu. There are also locations listed, like the Arctic Ocean, the Holy See (Vatican City), the Kingman Reef, and the West Bank. You'll get anything from maps and flags to demographics and government information. You can see larger images of the graphics or get printouts.
The tabs under the menu pertain to the resource itself. You can find maps and flags here as well as definitions ("References") and explanations of abbreviations ("Appendices").
There's not a lot of narrative here, but if you need statistics or an overview or just want to see where a country is in the world, this is a great resource.
As a bonus, check out the link from the list on the left labeled "World Leaders." This resource, Chiefs of State and Cabinet Members of Foreign Governments, is a list, by country, of heads of state, cabinet members, ambassadors, and more. (Both the A to Z list on the right side and the one in the middle go to the same places.) Don't let the initial "updated" dates throw you. It looks like the lists haven't been updated for a couple of years, but once you get to individual country information the dates become much more recent.