If a picture is worth 1000 words, using multimedia in your travel writing speaks volumes.
Thanks to numerous open source applications, travel writers can now quickly and easily include video, timelines, data visualizations, and other interactive media directly into their travel articles.
The following lists five indispensable tools for travel writers looking to add content in new and exciting ways:
Umapper  makes it simple to customize maps, which is especially useful for travel writers covering numerous locations in their piece.
For example, if you’re writing an article on US road trips, you can create an interactive map of your route.
Umapper also lets you include images, annotations and video within your maps.
For example, if you’re doing a travel piece on cooking schools in France, you can record a short video at each school and add it atop the map.
Created and maintained by IBM, Many Eyes  lets you take your data and publish it in interesting new visualizations.
For example, let’s say you’re researching the average travel expenditure per country on tourism.
After finding the data online, simply upload it to Many Eyes and create a global map like this .
As you drag your mouse across the screen you’ll notice each country pops up. This
provides an interactive backdrop to your travel piece.
Socialcam  is a mobile app lets you instantly upload videos from your smartphone to blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites.
If you’re doing a piece on the top New York City bars, simply record a short snippet of each bar and upload it using this app.
The ability to upload videos to social networks make Socialcam a must-have for any video-blogger or journalist.
Shrink the Web
Shrink the Web  allows you to quickly create snapshots of websites which can then be added into your article.
The site saves significant amounts of time when reviewing websites in a blog post (like this one for example); plus, it adds a nice visual appeal to your stories.
So there you have it: five easy ways to improve the look and feel of your travel articles. Did we miss any? Leave your own favorite tools below in the comments section.