Favorite Places was a project we launched a few months ago to celebrate local businesses and places around the world. This month we worked with a few travel editors and authors from Lonely Planet to share their favorite places in New YorkLondon, Melbourne, and Vancouver.

We were also lucky to get Tony Wheeler, one of the co-founders of Lonely Planet, to take a break from his travels and share his favorite places around the world with a map and a Google Earth tour:

Here are some of the highlights from some of the Lonely Planet writers:

Robert Reid, US travel editor in New York- reveals one of the city's "secret" bars, the USA's largest mausoleum, and the newest park built on old rail lines in his favorite places.

Tom Hall, Travel Editor in London shares where you can find London's best hangover cure, a smuggler's pub, and a tunnel under the mighty Thames.

Vivek Wagle, Travel Editor in Melbourne recommends the Chocolate Buddha, exploring a four-story monument to movies, and where to go to find the best crepes.

John Lee, Travel Writer in Vancouver shows what to do in this Olympic host city whether its boozing at a cave-like back alley wine bar, eating at a sustainable seafood shack, or a jogging a nature hugging park trail with beautiful views of the skyline.

I'm used to keeping a Lonely Planet guide in my backpack when traveling, relying on its local knowledge of a big mix of things to see and do, but now I can access its great content through my mobile device or a nearby computer. In fact, when you browse the Lonely Planet website, you'll find that they're using the Google Maps API. This is one example of how our mapping technology is used to help our users plan their trips by allowing them to explore new places and see what other users are saying. After a trip of your own, you can share your adventures and experiences with My Maps, highlighting your favorite places to sightsee, sleep, eat, and explore.

Whether you're a global traveler like Tony or a local expert like Tom Hall, it's always nice to have a friendly travel guide to point you in the right direction. If you want to see more favorite places from local and global experts, visit www.google.com/favoriteplaces.

Posted by David Kim, Associate Product Marketing Manager