Google Earth and Google Maps. It might seem like a no-brainer, but Google is your best friend when location scouting. Download the Google Earth desktop app to view an interactive global map capable of search. Play around and zoom and pan from an atmospheric view down to a 3D street view of places around the Earth. This tool lets you visit an area virtually without leaving the comfort of your home, allowing you to plan your visit for maximum impact. Plan out how to get there and know exactly what to expect when you arrive.
Not running Google Chrome or don’t want to download a desktop app? Google Maps provides a low-tech browser interface to search maps. You’ll still be able to zoom in and out and do database searches by location names. While not the same rich level of details provided by Google Earth, Google Maps Street view will give you enough details of the area to plan where you want to go.
Feeling stuck? Ask fellow photographers! Two great sites for tapping into the wisdom of other photo lovers are Dreamstime and Meetup.
Dreamstime is the global community leader in stock photography and boasts over 22,000,000 members, many of which ready to share their knowledge. Struggling to find a good location? Take to the community message boards and post a thread to receive insight from photography professionals on the best places to go.