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[This is a page of links for a 30 minute session on Data that I’m doing tomorrow.]
Data Trends: Structured, Visual, Interactive
- Wolfram Alpha — Precise, high-quality answers for structured data. “Wolfram|Alpha’s long-term goal is to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable and accessible to everyone.”
- Baby Name Voyager — Visual, interactive exploration of a huge data set
- How Different Groups Spend Their Day — New York Times interactive, visual presentation of a more complex data set.
- Inaugural Words — New York Times mixes word clouds with a simple database of the Presidents
- Who Went Where [screenshot] — An example of Linked Data that lets you search for a college or university, and find recent New York Times articles about alumni [Who Went Where][Build Your Own NYT Linked Data Application]
Data and Tools
- Open : All the Code that’s Fit to Print — The New York Times provides open APIs to lots of data and shares code and other tools for working with data
- Guardian Open Platform — UK newspaper provides a large collection of curated data and tools to work with them
- Free book usage data from the University of Huddersfield — Dave Pattern’s announcement about making the library’s circulation data available under an Open Data Commons license. If more libraries did this, it could be an amazing resource for recommender systems and other analysis
Your Own Statistics
- Flickr Stats — If you have a Flickr Pro account and turn on statistics recording, you can explore your Flickr Stats in many ways.
- Boatwright Library at a Glance — Visual presentation of statistics
- Indianapolis Museum of Art — Visual data widgets provide access to a wide variety of counts and statistics, with the ability to drill down and get more detail, select by department, follow by feed and much more. This site is built on Drupal and has been released as the open source museum-dashboard
- Google Spreadsheet Gadgets — Google makes it easy to create data gadgets in different formats, and offers more powerful tools through Google Code
Sample Motion Chart from Google Spreadsheets
[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
- 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.”
- Nielsen Media: Online + Mobile — Good source of statistics and trend reports
- Pew Internet and American Life — Studies and reports on the way we use technology
- Mobile Web Designs Show Future Trends — A showcase of some beautiful mobile website designs
- Mobile Mammoth — Mobile News and Reviews
“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)
[Links from my MCCLPHEI Presentation]
- Flickr Tags — Showing the most popular tags right now and all-time
- Wordle — A simple but powerful tool for creating word clouds from any text or list of words
- Name Voyager — An interactive chart for exploring the popularity of baby names
- SearchMe — Visual search engine
- WindowShop — Visual interface to Amazon’s new releases
- Tagnautica — Visual search of Flickr tags
- ColrPickr — Search Flickr by color
- Multicolr — Search Flickr by color combinations
- TinEye — Reverse image search engine
- YouTube You Choose — Example of voice-to-text indexing
- Koogle — “Kosher Google” search for Orthodox Jews
- Living Room Candidate — The Living Room Candidate website is a beautifully-designed online exhibit from the Museum of the Moving Image, showcasing presidential campaign commercials from 1952 to 2008. You can explore by year and read a short article about each candidate’s television strategy, or browse by type of commercial (biographical, fear, real people, etc.) or by issue (corruption, taxes, war, etc.)
- Prelinger Archives — A collection of short public service, sponsored and educational films
- JoVE — Peer-reviewed Journal of Visualized Experiments
- Truveo — Powerful video search engine that goes way beyond YouTube
- Google Quotes — Do a Google News search on a prominent person, and look for a Quotes link in the sidebar
- Wolfram Alpha — Computational engine
- Google Squared — Creates a grid of structured information pulled from many sources
- Powerset — Provides structured results from Wikipedia articles
Mapping and 3D
Libraries have traditionally dealt mostly with two-dimensional objects: books, maps and pictures and other objects that are inherently flat. But the world is not composed of two-dimensional objects, and computer technology now makes it easy to present information in 3D so the user can explore different angles and viewpoints. 3D systems are important now in all kinds of geographical work, including meteorology and ecology; in community planning, architecture and design; in forensics, medicine and science and many other fields of study.
Young people typically get their first experiences working with 3D systems in the world of gaming, but there are now powerful, simple, free programs that allow users to explore 3D information in the real world, including Google Earth, which is a 3D mapping program, and SketchUp, with can be used to create models of buildings and much more.
Although Google Maps is not a three-dimensional program, but it is an interactive, highly mixable application that allows many different types of data to be presented geographically. It also has one very important 3D function — it gives you an easy way to create files that can be read in the 3D Google Earth program.
- New York City Photo Map — Historic photographs from Shorpy, the popular history blog
- Diners of Massachusetts — An example of a map in progress
Google Earth is a free software program that you download to your PC. It’s normally used online, and is the best-known example of a virtual globe program. It’s an interactive, three-dimensional geographic program. Anyone can create and share files in the Google Earth format (KMZ) — one way to do this is through Google Maps. Google Earth files are collections of placepoints or markers. These markers can include text, images, links, etc. Additional content is added to Google Earth through layers, which can include travel information, news, images, YouTube videos, historic maps, environmental data, and anything else that has been or can be geocoded.
Google Earth Links
- Google Earth — Download the software, learn how to use it, visit the gallery
- Google Earth AIA Layer — Frank Taylor’s demo of the Google Earth AIA layer
- AIA Google Earth Demo — Program with interviews and demonstrations about the AIA Google Earth project
- Google Earth Blog — The official blog
- Google Earth Blog — Frank Taylor’s unofficial Google Earth blog
- Ogle Earth — A blog devoted to Google Earth and other Virtual Globes
Google Earth Community
- Phillis Wheatley : Slave, Poet, American — LuciaM’s Google Earth file combines history, literature and biography
- On the Road with Jack Kerouac — Another biographical and literary Google tour; this one is by Dorseyland
SketchUp is a separate free program that can be downloaded from Google. It’s used to make 3D models of all kinds, including photorealistic models of real buildings that can be placed on Google Earth. SketchUp can also be used for any other type of 3D models, including household objects, people, animals and imaginary creatures, etc. SketchUp is a simple, versatile and extremely powerful 3D program that can be extended through the use of plugins. The SketchyPhysics plugin, for example, lets users create moving models that obey the laws of physics.
Google has created a lot of interesting content, including models of the American Institute of Architects 150 favorite works. Members of the Google community also contribute individual models and whole collections to the Google 3D Warehouse. These shared models are a great learning tool and are one of the reasons SketchUp has been so successful.
How to Make a Simple House — A very helpful, basic demonstration by a young user — great for beginners!
- Google SketchUp — Download the free software, find videos and other training material, resources for teachers, the 3D Warehouse and more
- Official Google SketchUp Blog — Information and tips
- SketchUp for Dummies videos — Aidan Chopra’s video examples to go with his book, “SketchUp for Dummies”
- SketchyPhysics Examples — A showcase of some interesting models created with the SketchyPhysics plugin
- Project Spectrum — Google teamed with parents, teachers and kids on the autistic spectrum to do some interesting projects using SketchUp. The video here shows how kids used SketchUp to design their dream houses, and the manual of lesson plans has some great ideas for using SketchUp across the curriculum. (Most of these ideas could be adapted for working with any group of kids.)
- Real Life Replicators — Highlights some of the 3D replicating devices available today
- Printing Ball Bearings — Demo showing a Zcorp printer
- Shapeways — Upload a 3D file and order a model; use Creator tools to make some simple projects using a wizard
- ThingLab Zprinter 3D Printer — A business-class printer [See it on YouTube]
Old School: Paper Models
The Novel World of Digital Storytelling
Wednesday, May 6, 2009, 4:00 – 5:15 PM
Massachusetts Library Association Annual Conference
Program Description : The digital world is a literary playground. Japanese schoolgirls tap out stories on their cell phones and end up on the bestseller list; blog novels become the new serial fiction; fictional universes cross the boundaries of media and jump from canon to fan fiction; Machinima turns gaming into digital puppetry, and new fictional forms emerge on every social media site including Facebook, Twitter and Flickr, as the digital and literary worlds collide.
Fan fiction isn’t really new — its roots go back to folk literature and the oral tradition. The web has just made it much easier for people to form flourishing participatory communities of interest to share their work.
“Scarcely had Arthur Conan Doyle begun publishing his tales of the deductive detective when an avid fan base sprang up, the first of a new breed of followers. These early Sherlockians weren’t content simply to read the books. They wanted to enter the world Conan Doyle had created, puppeteer his characters, and design their own mysteries for Holmes to solve…They wrote stories. Lots of them.” [Scott Brown]
“Contemporary Web culture is the traditional folk process working at lightning speed on a global scale. The difference is that our core myths now belong to corporations, rather than the folk.” [Henry Jenkins]
- Twilighted — Fan fiction site devoted to the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer.
- FanFiction.net — General fan fiction site for hundreds of different books, movies, television programs and more.
- SVU: “AU. Olivia dies. Elliot cries.” — This is a YouTube FanFiction alternate universe video for Law and Order SVU
From Blog to Book
Blogging can give writers a way to get more experience and attract a following, and may lead to a published book.
- Mom’s Cancer — In 2004, Brian Fies began writing a web comic about his mother’s battle against lung cancer. “Mom’s Cancer” won the 2005 Eisner Award for the Best Digital Comic, and in 2006 the comic was released as a book by Abrams.
- Anonymous Lawyer: From Blog to Book — In 2004, Jeremy Blachman, a third-year Harvard Law School student, began writing a blog in the voice of a senior partner at prestigious law firm. The blog became so popular that it became the basis for Blachman’s first novel.
Extending a Book
Here are a few ways that authors and others are using social networking tools to promote a book or present it in a different way.
- Websites for book characters is a marketing ploy too far — Linda Jones writes about Steffi McBride and other fictional characters on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
- Samuel Pepys Diary — The famous diary from the 1600s posted as a blog
Brevity is Wit
Twitter, texting and other communications technologies can be used as a creative medium for individual or collaborative work.
- I ♥ Novels: Young women develop a genre for the cellular age — Young Japanese women started writing stories on their cellphones and posting them online, some of which eventually became print bestsellers.
- Six Word Memoirs at Smith Magazine — The basis for the book “”Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure.”
- Six Word Stories — Flickr group for picture stories
- Protagonize — A collaborative writing website, with tools to write “addventures” or branching stories like the old “Choose Your Own Adventure” books
- How to Start a Twitter Novel — Writing a novel 140 characters at a time
- What is Machinima? — A machinima film introducing the basic concepts of making machinima using the variety of settings and resources in Grand Theft Auto San Andreas
- Jabberwocky — A machinima version of Lewis Carroll’s poem made in Second Life
- Depression Memories on Video — My blog post about two projects to capture personal stories of life in the Great Depression : The New Hard Times from the New York Times, and Depression Cooking with Clara on YouTube
“I know only one thing about the technologies that await us in the future: We will find ways to tell stories with them.” — Jason Ohler
For my What’s New with What’s New presentation for the Boston Regional Library System:
- JoVE : Journal of Visualized Experiments — “A peer reviewed, free access, online journal devoted to the publication of biological research in a video format.”
- Design for Dreaming — A young woman gets swept out of her bed and off to the 1956 General Motors Motorama. This film from the Internet Archive is one of a large collection of promotional, educational and sponsored short films that are excellent sources for studying history, social psychology, communications and popular culture.
- Truveo — Go way beyond YouTube with this video search engine. [Truveo Example: Truveo : Search Engine for Video]
- Living Room Candidate — Campaign commercials from 1952-2008 from the Museum of the Moving Image
- Weird Bug in My Backyard !? Help me Identify it! — People post reference questions to YouTube