Wednesday, August 12, 2009

20,000+ Historical Maps - Many on Google Maps/Earth

The David Rumsey Map Collection is a collection of more than 20,000 historical maps documenting places throughout the world. The maps can be searched by area, by time period, or by cartographer. You can also browse the collection using the LUNA Browser which operates within Firefox, IE, and Safari. For the Second Life users out there, the David Rumsey Map Collection can be viewed in Second Life. The David Rumsey Map Collection also offers Google Maps and Google Earth layers displaying selected maps.

Thanks to Ernie Easter for the link via Facebook and Twitter.

Applications for Education
The David Rumsey Map Collection could be an excellent resource for history and geography teachers. Students could view the historical maps and compare them with current maps. You could also use the historical maps to supplement a history lesson about exploration.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Henry Hudson's Maps and Model Ships
American Memory Historical Maps
The Breathing Earth - Interactive Map

How to Build a PLN

I occasionally get questions or emails from people seeking advice about building a PLN (personal learning network) and recently I was asked if I could create a presentation on the topic. Embedded below is the first draft of a slide presentation about building a PLN. I welcome any and all suggestions for improvement.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Seven Ways to Find Teachers on Twitter
My 21 Must-read RSS Feeds
10 Teachers to Follow on Twitter

Vuvox - Create Multimedia Panoramic Slideshows

Vuvox is a multifaceted multimedia collage and slideshow creation tool. There are so many great tools including in Vuvox that it is tough to choose a feature with to start this review. The basic idea of Vuvox is to allow anyone to create a multimedia panoramic collage. At its most basic level you can use Vuvox to stitch together your photographs into a panorama. Vuvox offers great tools that you can use to edit your images so that they match up perfectly. You can also use the Vuvox editing tools to crop out sections of an image for re-use later in your collage or for use in a separate collage. You can upload images from your computer to Vuvox or import images from your Flickr, SmugMug, or Picasa account.

The multimedia aspect of Vuvox allows you to include video in your collage. You can insert the video into any place on your Vuvox collage. In the sample I created and embedded below you will find a video inserted toward the end of the slideshow. Arranging image and video elements in a Vuvox slideshow is a simple matter of drag and dropping them into the sequence you desire.

There are three free versions of Vuvox. Vuvox Express offers the fastest way to create, but has the fewest options. Vuvox Studio is the most advanced option offering broadest selection of editing tools. Vuvox Collage is the middle ground between Express and Studio.

Applications for Education
Vuvox could be an excellent tool for students to use to create multimedia presentations. Students could use Vuvox to create a documentary-style slideshow that includes images and video. I'm planning to do some more work with Vuvox and will probably have my US History students using it this fall.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Remix America - Make Your Own US History Documentaries
Remix the News on Link TV
How-to Week, Day 5 - Using Animoto and VoiceThread

Free Grammar Ebook from Daily Writing Tips

Daily Writing Tips is a blog that I've mentioned in the past as a good source of content about writing in English. Yesterday, they announced the release of an ebook about English grammar. The ebook is 34 pages long and is free to anyone that subscribes to their email newsletter. Visit Daily Writing Tips for all of the details about the ebook.