VisiWiki or the Visual Wiki is like visiting inside someone’s head. It almost provides a cognitive map of specific topics such as geography. I looked up Guns,Germs, and Steel and it was like wandering Wiki, You Tube, Google Maps, Flikr, and Yahoo without all the browsing time. The topic Geographic Information Systems of course brings up among other things, John Snow’s map of the cholera outbreak. It’s fun to explore and you can imagine what it will be like as it becomes more robust.
Based on the number of news stories about people intending to go to one place and ending up on a plane to Puerto Rico instead, you would think that Puerto Rico is a plane magnet. According to a recent story, a woman who booked a vacation for Costa Rico accidently ended up in Puerto Rico. Last year, an airline mistakenly put an elderly woman on a plane to Peurto Rico instead of home to NY. I think if I boarded a plane going to a conference, say AAG, but ended up in Peurto Rico instead I would be thinking – Unavoidable Vacation! Although I can’t imagane realizing I was on the wrong flight midway to my destination.
If you haven’t seen Glogster, it’s worth checking out. It is an interactive on-line poster maker, sort of like scrapbooking or collage making on line. If you look under the education section it looks like teachers are using it for school projects, especially the ever important Poster about a country, animal,book, historic event, or other school topic. What’s tickles me is that the map side of the posters are static which makes the map sections look like the type of poster you would make in grade school – - except with video capabilities. It’s still fun to play around with and might be useful for school projects, or as the sight suggests, expressing yourself by making a collage.
Apartment Therapy has a short but sweet post on using globes for decorating in the home. Looking into globes and decorating further I found the George Glazer Gallery, sellers of antiquarian globes, maps, and prints NYC, which has several videoas and articles. I think the coolest ones are the tellurians and orreries. An interesting site about map collecting s the blog Map the Universe about the author’s quest to begin antique map collecting. A recent blog highlights the line between collecting and obsession. It states that, ” Scalpel happy and wealthy British book collector Farhad Hakimzadeh has been sentenced to two years in prison for slicing out pages and maps from rare books in the British Library. “
So Nasa is having a Life and Work on the moon contest for highschool and college students to depict the future moon environment. I think that geospatial technologies won’t be one of the images unless one of you can draw. I was thinking people are going to draw habitats, mining, and other professions people can see but geospatial technologies will be the invisible tool that pulls everything together. I also imagine that geospatial professionals are going to have to do dangerous field work similar to other early explorers in dangerous new terrritory. Probably even more invisible will be the geospatial planners who have to determine political boundaries. In my mind I am picturing all of the scenes from the Red Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson that is now being made into a sci fi series. What do you imaging life and work on the moon will be like for geospatial professionals?
This might be stretching the term virtual bit far, but at Apartment Therapy they posted about a virtual gingerbread house created by Jenny B. harris at Allsorts studio on Etsy. She also has a Christmas Dress Up Doll and some other activities. It’s really fun to decorate your gingerbread house but when I first clicked the link I was thinking 3D virtual environment.
I love Crafster. It’s a great place to get ideas and see how creative people can be. It’s amazing how much geography can inexpensively personalize a wedding. I liked this 100% DIY Punk Rock Wedding everything in it is cool but especially how they used local street names to label the tables. Several people used travel maps to make cards or save the date invitations incorporating the directions into the design. There is even a naughty bachelor party in a globe. Of course these ideas could be used for anything (except perhaps the bachelor party in a globe) but it just shows how much incorporating geography into gifts and planning could help cut down on the costs for things. I even saw on a another site someone had used social networking and maps as ice-breakers on tables to connect people at a table to each other which helps with the… why did they sit me here hierarchy.
Plenty of places are talking about the new picture book A Loo with a View by Luke Barclay which features the world’s tops toilet views. What I find most interesting is that 1) He was able to do it in under two years, 2) He’s looking for submissions from other people, 3)he has a history background. I think I was expecting him to be a geography major!
Note: sorry, Barb posted this about a month ago, but it got stuck in the drafts somehow…
Accodinng to this article in MSNBC news, the book Twilight has created booming tourism in the town where the novel is set… where the author never visited when she wrote the first book, which has now gained Harry Potter status. The town set out to match places in the book with places in the town. What’s really interesting is this quote, “It’s not quite how I thought it would be,” says Yena Hu, a University of Washington sophomore who made the four-hour trek from Seattle to visit. “They’re always talking about all the windows â€” and in the book, the house is on the water.” What expectation does the public put on geograhic realism between fiction and real places. I guess they had an easier job than someone trying to locate Aquaman’s New San Diego which is one of the real places in the DC universe. It is set in San Diego around the convention center where Comicon and the ESRI user’s conference take place, except that it is underwater!
I played Webkinz all weekend with my nephew. It’s a cute stuffed toy with a code to enter a virtual environment with tons of interactive games. Many schools use Webkinz as an educational tool or as a reward for good behavior. Gantz, the makers of Webkinz list the reasons why virtual world is educational but they left out one component – you have to use a map tool to add rooms to your virtual house. If. like my nephew, you have almost every room configuration possible, you definitely need the map to find your way from your beach room to your space room without getting lost. You can see all the different types of Webkinz animals at Amazon.