Going Mobile Links

[This is a page of links and a few notes for a 30 minute session on Going Mobile that I’m doing in a few days.]

More People Doing More Things with More Devices

  • Smartphones, feature phones
  • Devices that aren’t phones (iPod Touch)
  • What about netbooks, iPad, eBook readers, gaming devices?
  • In 2009, data traffic surpassed than voice traffic


  • “People today text 2.5 times more than make/receive calls.”
  • Texting is the most used application across all types of cellphones
  • Google SMS — Ready reference for simple, structured queries
  • ChaCha — Free text reference service with paid guides


Smartphones to Overtake Feature Phones in U.S. by 2011 — Graph showing the rise in smartphone use

  • Challenges: Small screen size, small keyboard (often virtual), not usually hooked up to peripherals
  • Advantages: Available, camera, accelerometer, compass, sensors, Location (GPS, WiFi, cell towers)

Apps or Mobile Websites


  • Programs to install and run on device
  • Platform specific and distributed by app marketplace (free or $$$)
  • More costly to create and maintain
  • Use all of the device’s hardware and configurations

Mobile Website:

  • Use the browser
  • Less expensive to create and maintain
  • Interact less with the device


  • Google Search — Search by keyboard or voice
  • Google Gesture Search — Search the phone by writing with your finger
  • Google Goggles — Search by image for works of art, book covers, landmarks; scan, OCR and translate snippets of text
  • QR Barcodes — Uses camera’s phone to scan 2D barcode to connect with mobile users. QR codes can carry formatted information for contacts and calendar listings, and can be read from paper or screen

Geo-Awareness and Augmented Reality

  • Yelp Mobile — Find nearby restaurants, libraries, etc., and read reviews from other users
  • WolfWalk — NCSU’s mobile campus tour (optionally) knows where you are, shows you nearby points of interest and provides information, historical photographs, etc.
  • Layar Augmented Reality Browser — Look through the camera, see information superimposed on the view
  • Museum of London’s StreetMuseum app — Beautiful augmented reality app…look through your phone’s camera, and see a historic photo from “then” superimposed over the reality of “now.”


“When I was a student at MIT, we all shared a computer that took up half a building and cost tens of millions of dollars. The computer in my cell phone today is a million times cheaper and a thousand times more powerful.” (Ray Kurzweil)

History Trends

This is a collection of the links related to the brief presentation on History Trends that I am doing at the Massachusetts Library Association Conference tomorrow.

Facial Recognition

Picasa and other image management systems have facial recognition that can help identify and tag people in photographs. Systems need to be taught who people are, but the software can be very useful with historic images as well.

Mass. Memories Road Show

Mass Memories Road Show — Official site where you can search and browse images “The Mass. Memories Road Show is an initiative of the Massachusetts Studies Project at UMass Boston, co-sponsored by Mass Humanities and the Joseph P. Healey Library.”

Mass. Memories Road Show Presentation — Great presentation by Heather Cole, Assistant Director of the Mass. Memories Road Show

“Wakefield Then and Now” Photo Contest

“Wakefield Then & Now” Photo Contest — Contest announcement

“Wakefield Then & Now” Photo Contest Winners — Announcement of the winning photographs

“Wakefield Then & Now” — Flickr set

Corner of Water Street and Wakefield Avenue — Record for a then & now set in the library catalog


World War I Monument
Eastman Building, 1888 — Photograph of the Eastman Building in Melrose, Massachusetts, on Flickr

Jenny Greenwood — Photograph of the grave of Jenny Greenwood, 1851-1862, Laurel Hill Cemetery, Reading, Massachusetts, on Flickr

World War I Monument — Transcription of names and dates from monument in Hamilton, Massachusetts


Revolution of 1689

Boulevard Diner — Worcester Lunch Car Company #730, 1936, on Flickr

Revolution of 1689 — Photograph of Massachusetts Bay Colony Tercentenary Marker on Flickr

The Historical Marker Database — Crowdsourced database of historical markers around the world with transcribed text, photographs, longitude and latitude, categories and more

Dr. P.H. Peach, Dentist
Dr. P.H. Peach, Dentist — Screenshot of old advertisement from a book in the Internet Archive on Flickr

Worcester History Images from the Internet Archive — Blog post

$5K homes in Mt. Pleasant, 1905 — From a set of historic images of Washington, DC by rockcreek on Flickr

Solving Mysteries

Hugh Butterworth — Flickr member phototrack123 and his wife buy old portrait photographs, identify the subjects and research the family with a goal of sending the photograph to descendents

Harry Montague as Captain Molyneux in “The Shaugraun” 1875 — Read the comments to see a group working together to identify the subject of this photograph

Unclaimed Persons — Volunteer genealogists work together to identify possible relatives for cases where the identity of the deceased is known but the next of kin is unknown


MobileGenealogy.com — “Dedicated to news, reviews and information about mobile devices and genealogy software”

QR codes in use at the Powerhouse Museum — Linking exhibits to more information

Encyclopedia Virginia — Using Layar with the Encyclopedia’s geolocated content out in the real world

Wikitude — Another augmented reality browser that overlays information and images on your view of the world