Since this is becoming so common I will probably not highlight individual podcasts talking about GPS/LBS after this but MacBreak Weekly Episode 87 had a great discussion on the utility, usability and future on in-car navigation. The discussion wandered around a users perspective of GPS, LBS, and geotagging. Yes I am a fanboy, but that you should definitely take a listen.
What better way to learn about conservation efforts to save Africa’s few remaining mountain gorillas than playing a mobile game! Silverbackers, a free game that can be downloaded and played on any Java-capable phone with a mobile web access / data plan, lets you help save mountain gorillas as you play through its 8 levels. Silverbackers is for ages 8 and up, and I think it’s great idea to combine gaming with learning about how we can be more responsible in helping conserve our planet’s wildlife and resources.
Google has put up an interactive Google Map where you can share Earth events and ideas with people around the world. It’s a fairly basic site, but there are some neat stuff people are planning to do. For instance in Very Spatial’s own home turf, people are planning on doing more composting. What’s going on in your area for Earth Day?
The Library of Congress has just released a new feature called the Library of Congress Experience. The idea is to place digital collections of some of the Library’s original works online to allow the public a way to interact with the information. The Experience starts rather small, but it is noteworthy that they decided to include a heavy geographic Experience from the onset. Check out “Exploring the Early Americas”, which features “…the Libraryâ€™s 1507 WaldseemÃ¼ller map [the first to use the name "America"] with the cartographerâ€™s 1516 Carta Marina in an interactive display enabling you to explore both maps and the knowledge they embody…”
So today we start a new poll with the request “Pick your favorite name” as a way to get your perspective on what to call the spatial data that is being created by users as part of the Web 2.0 phenomena. The choices we give (which are not all inclusive) are:
Earth Hour is nearly upon us. On this Saturday evening, March 29th, at 8pm (your local time), you just turn your lights out for an hour. That’s it, that’s all you have to do. What you do during that hour is completely up to you, but you’ll be joining people and organizations from around the world who are participating in this event to raise awareness about global energy usage and climate change.
Cities around the world like San Francisco, Phoenix, Toronto, Melbourne, Copenhagen, Bangkok, and Tel Aviv are participating, as well as other organizations and individual people. So, if you want to join in raising awareness about helping the planet, turn out your lights for Earth Hour 2008!
Apparently National Geographic Magazine has a new online support device in the form of the GeoPedia Wiki. The tag line is “the research behind the stories” and it seems to be a great idea to go beyond comments to encourage readers to participate in the magazine whether it is by suggesting a link, offering a pertinent question, or even offering an idea for a story. This definitely has the potential to create a more engaging experience for NGM readers and the denizens of the web.
The Onion knows all…
The Library of Congress is going Web 2.0 by making some of its photo collections available online at Flickr. This is a really cool project that not only allows users to see these amazing photos, but the LOC is also hoping that the Flickr community can help them out by tagging, commenting, and even provide captions or notes for photos that may be missing this information. Flickr is also promoting this project and perhaps others by creating a new publication model called The Commons for publicly held photographic collections. The hope is that other institutions will join in the effort and add their photos. What an amazing resource this has the potential to become!
There are over 3000 photos already up in the LOC’s Flickr collection, including several series of photos from the 1940s and the 1910s. These photos are an amazing visual historical record that document the landscapes, lives, and events of American history from the local to national and events, and if you have some time you should definitely check them out and maybe even add your own tags and comments. And, if you know of any public photo collections that you would like to see online, spread the word about this project!
Want to support Service at Sea? Want to visit Mexico? Anyone who donates to Service at Sea between February 2007 and January 31, 2008 will be entered for a chance to win a trip to Mexico. You get one entry for any donation up to $50 and an additional entry for every $50 after that (eg. $200 = 4 entries).
Even if you aren’t up for Mexico, this is still a great project that is definitely worth the support if you can afford it.