Monday, January 27, 2020

How to Remove Image Backgrounds in PowerPoint

A few weeks ago I published Three Ways to Remove Image Backgrounds With Just a Click or Two. I got a handful of Tweets and emails from folks who kindly reminded me that I didn't include using PowerPoint in that list. That was because I hadn't made a video about how to use PowerPoint to remove image backgrounds. This afternoon I changed that by recording the following short video.


Applications for Education
Students can use these editing feature in PowerPoint to remove the backgrounds from pictures of themselves students and then layer their new image onto an image of any landmark around the world. Students can then use those images in stories and reports that they write about those landmarks. For example, students could write travel narratives where they place images of themselves in front of a series of landmarks.

How to Search for Open-Access Datasets

Last spring I had a chance to see Dan Russell give a presentation of a new Google search tool called Dataset Search. It spent 2019 in beta. Last week it lost beta label and is now widely available to anyone who wants to use it. In a recent blog post Dan Russell explained a couple of the features of Dataset Search and highlighted four examples of datasets that you can find through Dataset Search.

Google's Dataset Search is designed to help users locate publicly available datasets. Through the Dataset Search tool you can find datasets in the forms of Excel and CSV files, Google Earth files, zip files of images, and collections of documents. In the following video that I recorded last spring I provide an overview of how to use Dataset Search.



On a related note, Dan Russell's book The Joy of Search is a fantastic resource for learning advanced search techniques.