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All In One

Use this handy online tool to get the lay of the land before you take your business on the road.

Prepping for a business trip to a city you don't know well usually means downloading all sorts of destination information. Now Placely.com's TripKit lets you aggregate all the information you'll need in a single spot. Just enter your travel itinerary, and from there you'll have a page with maps from Google, a five-day weather forecast courtesy of The Weather Channel and user-generated content from Yelp.com.

What sets Placely apart from other visitor information sites, however, is that it is first and foremost a social networking site designed for business travelers. You can see who in your network of friends and colleagues will be in the city you're traveling to when you're there, and whether they live there or are just visiting. On a Google map, you can pinpoint just how far your suburban compatriots are from your downtown hotel. You can also post upcoming trips, so anyone in your network can synchronize schedules with you. If you're interested in meeting someone with similar interests, or alumni from your alma mater, you can use the site to connect with them as well.

As functionality is added (Placely is still in beta), other time-sensitive information, including concerts, sporting events and shows, will also be displayed, says co-founder and CEO Denis Khoo.

Julie Moline is a freelance writer, editor and editorial consultant in New York City.

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This article was originally published in the June 2008 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: All In One.

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