Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Webinar Recording - Digital Storytelling With Comics

On Monday I published a short guide to digital storytelling with comics. This evening I gave a free webinar presentation based on that free guide. More than 200 people registered for the webinar in less than 48 hours. If you wanted to join and missed it, the recording of the webinar, sponsored by Storyboard That, is now available here and as embedded below.

Click here to get a copy of the PDF that I released on Monday and mentioned in the webinar.

Compare the Size of Countries and States With These Map Mash-ups

This morning through Google Maps Mania I found a neat little site called MapFight. MapFight lets you select two U.S. states or two countries to quickly see which one is bigger and by how much. The select states or countries are put into overlays to help you see the size difference. MapFight reminded me of a similar, but more robust tool called OverlapMaps.

Overlap Maps is a free service that can be used to quickly compare the size of countries, states, provinces, and some bodies of water. To create a visual comparison of two countries select one country from the "overlap this" menu and select one country from the "onto this" menu. The comparisons you make are displayed on a map. You can make comparisons from different categories.

Applications for Education
MapFight and Overlap Maps could be a good littles tool to help students can perspective of the relative size of places that they study in their geography lessons.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The European Word Translator Puts Language Into Geographic Context

The European Word Translator is a map and translation tool created by UK Data Explorer. Type a word or phrase into the map's search tool and the translations appear over the countries in their respective official languages.

Applications for Education
Before you  use the European Word Translator in your classroom you should be aware that it does rely on the Google Translate API. Google Translate is known to have some errors (some of my favorite errors occur when translating Icelandic into English).  That said, the map offers a neat way to get some geographic context for languages.

H/T to Google Maps Mania

Google Improves Image Search Tools Menu

Thanks to a Tweet from Matt Cutts, the head of the webspam team at Google, I learned that the tool bar in Google Images now includes "usage rights." Now instead of having to open the advanced search menu you can just click the "search tools" menu and select "usage rights" without leaving the search results page. Screenshots of the two steps are included below.

Step 1:
click image for full size

Step 2:
click image for full size

The New Google Drive Activity Stream Shows You All Activities In One Place

Beginning today Google Drive users have a new option for tracking activity on their files. If it hasn't appear already, a new ⓘ  icon will soon be appearing in your Google Drive home. Clicking that icon will allow you to see a stream of the activity on all of your files. You can also select an individual file to see a stream of activity for just that file. The new activity stream doesn't replace revision history which you can open in the "file" menu while viewing a Google Document, Presentation, Drawing, or Spreadsheet.

The following types of activities will appear in your Google Drive activities stream.

  • Moving and removing 
  • Renaming 
  • Uploading
  • Sharing and unsharing
  • Editing and commenting
This feature will be rolling out over the next week. If you don't see it today, be on the look out for it soon. Click here to see an animated GIF of the new Google Drive activities stream in action.