|Google Maps Mania|
The Google Maps of the Week
The New York Times' Your Biking Wisdom in Ten Words
is a handy reader's guide to biking in the Big Apple. The map includes
readers' tips on good and bad biking locations and a number of popular
cycling routes, care of Strava users.
I like the use of the red and green markers on this map to indicate where positive and negative comments have been made. I also like how some of the small information windows are permanently open to highlight a section of the comments across New York.
Pier Paolo Pasolini was an extraordinary Italian poet, writer and
director. La Cinémathèque Française in Paris has developed a Google Map
to explore Pasolini's life in Rome. The map is a "journey to the heart
of what constituted and defined him: friendship, literature, politics,
love, sex, cinema."
The Pasolini Roma Map contains locations important in the life and work of Pasolini,
interspersed with commentary, photos and clips from the artist's films.
The map also includes a number of entries by Žilda, a street artist from
Rennes (France), whose collages summon the phantoms of Pasolini at the
corner of Roman alleyways.
I'm always a sucker for these clever Google Maps based marketing campaigns. What is very clever about this campaign from Burberry is that the use of Google's Geo API's is so subtle that most users probably won't even be aware of the mapping technologies driving the application.
Burberry Kisses uses a number of Google's geo-apps to present the journey
of a (sealed with a loving kiss) message from your lips to the home of your loved one. The app presents skylines of famous locations around the world which
have been captured from the 3d buildings used in Google Earth.
Google Geocoding API and the Google Places API are used by the app to
identify locations and important landmarks on the journey. Google Maps
Street View is also used to show the reflections of famous landmarks in
puddles in the city street scenes used in the app.
|16 Jun 2013|
Hopewell Culture National Historic Site
A review of Mound City: the Archaeology of a Renowned Hopewell Mound Center, the final report and synthesis of 50 years of study. Misc. Earthworks in USA. Mound City Group - Hopewell Culture NHP, Lower Ohio Valley, Ohio. A religious and civic centre consisting of earthwork enclosures, burial mounds, misc. mounds, and the location of a timber building.
|10 Jun 2013|
November 2011: York Archaeology wins Queen's Anniversary Prize
The Department of Archaeology at York University, which hosts the ADS, has been given a Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education. Introduced following the 40th Anniversary of the Queen's reign in 1992, the prizes, which rank alongside the Queen's Awards for Industry are awarded biennially for 'work of exceptional quality and of broad benefit either nationally or internationally'. This is the fifth to be conferred on the university in 15 years, only the second time it has been awarded to a whole Department.
|08 Jun 2013|
|The Map Room|
The Sixteenth-Century Origins of Fantasy Maps
|One of the things I'm interested in for my fantasy maps project is the origin of fantasy map design: where does that tell-tale fantasy map look come from? Look at enough fantasy maps, and it's hard...|
(Click through to read the entire post.)
|07 Jun 2013|
'Engaging Visitors Through Play' - the Museums Computer Group in Belfast
|Last week I was in Belfast for the Museum Computer Group's Spring event, 'Engaging Visitors Through Play', fabulously organised by Alan Hook (Lecturer, University of Ulster) and Oonagh Murphy (MCG Committee member and PhD Researcher, University of Ulster) with support from the MCG Committee, and hosted by the University of Ulster's Centre for Media Research.|
Like other recent MCG event reports, I'm also writing as the Chair of the group, so you may think I'm biased when I say it was an excellent day with great speakers, but if I am at all biased, I promise it's only a tiny bit! I've posted my talk notes at 'Digital challenges, digital opportunities' at MCGPlay, Belfast.
The MCG's Spring Meeting is an opportunity to take a wider theme than our annual Museums on the Web conference (which as the name suggests, is generally about things that touch on museums on the web). This year's topic was 'Engaging Visitors Through Play', with presentations on playful experiences from site-specific theatre, rapid prototyping and hack days, big budget and experimental games. The event was an opportunity to bring museum staff and researchers together with game and interaction designers, and the 'regional showcase' of lightning talks about projects from local practitioners further helped introduce people to the great work already going on in Northern Ireland and hopefully start some local collaborations. As Alan pointed out in his introduction, it was also a chance to think about the impact of research and start conversations between museums and academia.
The first session after my talk was 'Play: A Northern Ireland Showcase' and began with Lyndsey Jackson (@LyndseyJJackson) of Kabosh talking about 'Immersive Theatre and Digital Experience' and their site-specific theatre company. Their material is the buildings, people and stories of Northern Ireland and they work with unusual spaces - anywhere but a theatre. They're dealing with two interesting constraints – the stories of buildings might be complicated, contested or difficult, and while they want to give audiences the chance to navigate an experience for themselves, they're aware that 'theatre is a game - it has rules, boundaries, you can bend them but it confuses people when you break them'. In a lovely departure from some museum experiences, they don't try to give their audiences all the answers – sometimes they want to give people some information in a way that starts them asking questions so they have to look things up themselves if they want to know more. I wish I'd had longer in Belfast to see one of their shows or try 'Belfast Bred'.
Oonagh (@oonaghtweets) presented some results from her audit of the online presences of museums in Northern Ireland and the question she set out to test: that professional development hack days can help the sector. Find out more at her MW2013 paper on 'This is Our Playground'; but one fascinating snippet was that museum studies students are quite conservative, 'museums have rules for a reason', and take a while to warm to the concept of prototyping. Alan (@alan_hook) talked about MYNI photo competition, asking 'is Northern Ireland ready for play in these spaces?', games that work with 'civic pride', the realities of designing mobile experiences around 3G coverage and expensive data plans, and shared some reflections on the process, including his questions about the ethics of crowdsourcing images and the differences between academic and industry timelines.
The next session was 'Games: Best Practice and Innovative Approaches'. First up, Sharna Jackson (@sharnajackson), czar of Tate Kids, presented on the past, present and future of play at Tate. She pointed out that games can bring in hard-to-reach audiences, can be a gateway to engagement with deeper content, and can be a work of art in themselves. I loved her stance on web vs device-specific apps – while tablets are increasingly popular, their aim is to reach wide audiences so jumping into apps might not be right choice for limited budgets. Her lessons included: know your audience, what they expect; start playing games so you know what mechanics you like so you've got context for decisions and so you get what's great about games; your mission, content and goals all influence what kinds of games it makes sense for you to make; if planning to let users generate content, you need a strategy to manage it. Be clear about what games are - respect the medium.
Danny Birchall (@dannybirchall) of the Wellcome Collection talked about 'Truth and Fact: Museums and Public Engagement, including the High Tea evaluation's findings that 'piracy is the most effective form of distribution' so designing games to be ripped or seeded on portals can help achieve wider goals. He also talked about the differences between history and science games, as well as some of the unique hazards of working in museums with large, closely related collections - one memory game was 'punishing you with intense sense of similarity of items in Henry Wellcome's collection'.
The final presentation in the session was Alex Moseley on the educational potential of low budget games. His talk included a tiny taster of alternative reality gameplay and discussion of some disruptive, slightly subversive elements of ARGs you could use independently. His seven step process: identify key concepts or constraints want to get across; situate them in real activities; think of a real problem or challenge; add narrative to deepen the context; create a prototype; test it with colleagues/visitors; refine, retest and release. He also raised some challenges for museums: if players suggest something good in an ARG, it could be incorporated and effect the outcome - but this might be tricky for museums to manage with limited resources.
One interesting test that emerged from the panel discussion was whether something was 'Belfast good'. As Oonagh said, 'Is this good or is it 'Belfast-good' because if it's Belfast-good, then not good enough'. Asking whether a project is 'museum good' or 'academic good' might be a useful test in the future... The session also lead to 'chocolate covered broccoli' references overtaking 'gamification' as the new buzzword bingo winner.
The lightning talks covered a range of interesting projects from local organisations, in part with the idea of helping start local conversations. Some of the projects we heard about from @takebackbelfast, @stephentshaw, @designzoo and @Lancorz were really inspiring and just plain cool. It was also refreshing to hear outsider's perspectives on what museums do:
one guy said 'people
bring their own knowledge, experiences and devices to museums - why do you need big interactive installations?'.
The day finished with a twenty minute play test of Alex Moseley's 'curate-a-fact' game then we headed off to the pub for some well-deserved #drinkingaboutmuseums.
The MCG usually holds its Spring Meeting somewhere outside London, but it's a long time since we've been in Belfast - it might have been a long time coming, but Belfast did themselves proud. I was really encouraged by the excellent work going on in the region and the creativity and energy of the people and projects in the room. Huge thanks to all the participants, chairs, speakers and organisers for putting together a great day!
Thanks to the university, we were able to (mostly) live stream the talks, and had people watching at their desk in Leicester or London and even from a train in New York! We also had a live tweeter @JasonAPurdy on the @cmr_ulster account plus loads of tweeters in the audience to help capture the day. Alex has also posted his thoughts on 'Engaging Visitors Through Play' - well worth a read.
|07 Jun 2013|
Under the Ice - New Antarctica Map
|Under the Ice - New Antarctica Map
Bedmap2 is a collection of three datasets—surface elevation, ice thickness and bedrock topography.
Bedmap2 is a...|
Map and GIS News finding blog. With so many Maps and GIS sites online now it is hard to find the good from the not so good. This blog tries to cut the cream and provide you with the newest, fastest, cleanest and most user friendly maps that are available online. News has location and it is mapped.
|05 Jun 2013|
|Wessex Archaeology: Events|
Prehistoric Ceramic Research Group
Wessex Archaeology will host the Prehistoric Ceramic Research Group's Spring meeting at its Salisbury office on Saturday 11th May 2013 (10.30-4.00).
The theme is pottery from Wessex and the South-West with an opportunity to hear about new research and recently excavated sites (Lyde Road, Somerset, Salisbury Plain and Amesbury), view and handle material of Neolithic to Iron Age date.
Speakers will include George Kirke (University of Bristol), Grace Jones (University Bournemouth) and Matt Leivers, Rachael Seager Smith and Alistair Barclay from Wessex Archaeology.
|07 May 2013|
|UK Archaeology Conferences|
In, Out and In Between: Dynamics of Cultural Borders
|17/10/2012-19/10/2012: Session focussing on dialectical relations between culture, social relations and landscape, with special interest in the reflections of ethnic boundaries in material culture..|
|03 Jul 2012|
|Computing, GIS and Archaeology in the UK|
Portable GIS vs OSGeo Live
Over the last couple of weeks, a few people have asked me the same question, which is (to paraphrase) “what’s the difference between Portable GIS and OSGeo Live or USB GIS?”. You get asked something once, and that’s fine, but more than that and it’s worth a blog post! The main difference between the two [...]|
|23 Mar 2012|
Scientists discover Oetzi's last meal
|Oetzi's body was discovered in 1991 inside a glacier near the mountainous border between Italy and Austria, where it had been naturally mummified about 5300 years ago. Previous analysis concluded...|
|18 Dec 2011|
Digital Approaches to Cartographic Heritage
|I’ll be giving a paper on Ptolemy at the ICA annual workshop on Digital Approaches to Cartographic Heritage at the Hague and it’s been a great excuse to finally put some ideas (old and new) down on paper. Comments welcome! |
|12 Mar 2011|
|Professional GIS / GPS Developers Google Group|
New stable version of gvSIG Desktop available: gvSIG 1.9
A new stable version of gvSIG Desktop has been released: gvSIG Desktop |
It's available on the Downloads section of the gvSIG website:
This new version has many new features which are listed next.
|12 Nov 2009|
|Online Archaeology Blog|
OPEN ARCHIVE - a new web based system for accessing our past
|The wealth of information gathered by local archaeological groups and societies on excavations, surveys and documentary research is one of the important sources of data for the study of archaeology in the UK. Currently, this archive of British archaeology is stored locally, within libraries and local history centres as well as with the originating group [...]|
|16 Sep 2009|