Helen Swartz is the owner of letsgosightseeing.com. She is a professional web developer by day and environment/wildlife explorer in her free time.
When Google launched their revolutionary online map service, Google Maps in April 2005, she immediately began excitedly scanning the photos for recognizable landmarks. The site featured stunning photos of large parts of the Caribbean taken using a combination of satellite and aerial photography. After spending an evening tracking down more sights and sharing them with their friends, she decided to share her discoveries with a wider audience and so the Letsgosightseeing blog was born.
The blog has continued to expand and grow, offering readers new and exciting places to visit each day from the comfort of their chair with Google Earth or Google Maps. She has since been covered in numerous online and print publications including The Guardian, Newsweek, TIME magazine’s “50 coolest websites of the year”, San Francisco Chronicle, LA Times, New York Post, Wired, as well as TV coverage on BBC News 24, and FOX 26.
In 2006 she released a photo book based on the website which was published as “Not In the Guide Book” in Europe and “Off the Map” in the United States. Each image was accompanied with a humorous and insightful description of the, often very bizarre, sight to be seen. Reviews of the book were extremely positive and a second volume is under consideration.