Saturday, June 27, 2009

My other blog-Cooking with Terri

I decided to start posting recipes from my cookbook that has never been compiled. I did a cooking spot on KNOP TV for 12 years before I started my job at the North Platte Public library. I intended to put a cookbook together as much for myself as others but I was never motivated enough. So, I'm going to post my favorites at least once a week. I put this blog on my blog list so if you look at this blog you can see if I have a new recipe on Cooking with Terri. RVLS board members will recognize my latest recipe. I served it at a board meeting and they requested again when I hosted the board meeting the last time. It is very good! I like easy and the recipes from my cooking spot had to be easy-I had to demonstrate how to make them in less than 10 minutes. Let me know what you think and follow my cooking blog. Who knows what could come of my blog! I want to use it to explore the potential of blogs as I have seen others do with their blogs. Mostly, however, I just want to have fun and share some great food!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Thing # 25 Assignment 3: My Maps and More

Playing with creating my maps was really a super feature on Google and I would be tempted to call that my favorite. I started a map of our library and surrounding area but since I don't work with our website I decided to map our farm instead and then embedded it in my previous blog post. I was having way too much fun.

I uploaded a picture of my house to my Picasa web album and then embedded pictures from my Flickr account. It took me a little time to remember how to do that. After choosing the individual photo, I could grab the URL of the picture by choosing all sizes, selecting the size I wanted, and copying the URL at the bottom of that page.
Our house-May 09

I also played with the marker icons. I added the water icon to my river location, the hiking icon to our river pasture and a picnic table icon by our pond where we like to picnic if we're not closer to the river. I made the map public so you can actually search it by searching: cranefarm, Hershey, NE. In my first search without our village name, I discovered quite a few places named crane farm. I plan to add a few more pictures and adjust the size of some of my pictures on my map.

Google maps definitely is a good library resource, not only for people locating our library but also for our patrons. I point people to Google maps because of all of the features we've worked on in this class. My son and his wife used a link to a Google map on their wedding blog to show locations of hotels near the church.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The power of Flickr

I signed up on the Purina website, hoping for free product offers and get occasional e-mails from Petcentric. This video caught my attention since the cat, named Yoda, had 4 ears. In the short video, the owner explained how their son had posted a picture of Yoda on Flickr. Within a couple of days, the picture had 25,000 hits. The media picked up the picture and soon Yoda was in British, Australian, and American newspapers and magazines.
petcentric: Cat Videos#V&DCMP=EMC-PETC-PETC-June09_2#V&DCMP=EMC-PETC-PETC-June09_2#V&DCMP=EMC-PETC-PETC-June09_2

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Thing # 25 Assignment 2: Locate and edit

I like the idea of being able to edit an incorrect location but initially found it frustrating. Since I am not the only one in our library doing the assignment, I decided to check our rural church's location first instead of our library. I figured I could safely edit information for Maria Lutheran since I also do a blog for the church. I found our church was identified by its PO box so the location marker was over the Hershey post office. In addition to that listing, there was a listing for the church at the same PO box in Sutherland. I tried to edit the listing 4 days ago and hoped to see it changed this week but no luck. Today I tried another tactic. This time I added a new location to Google Maps, naming it Maria Lutheran Church and Fellowship Hall. In this listing, I was able to add the correct marker and street address as well as the blog which we use as our website. It posted almost immediately. I realized that if we wanted to claim the listing, I needed to have a mailing address so I went back to add the PO box after the physical address. This doesn't post immediately so we'll see what happens in a few days.

Our library was shown in two listings when I searched just by North Platte Public Library. The location was slightly off. I think Google must approximate how many numbered addresses there should be in a certain distance and puts the marker at that point. Our marker for 120 W 4th was east of our actual location. I successfully moved that and added to the city website address so the link opens directly to our library page. When I switched to street view, it was listing the address as approximately 178 W 4th ST when the view was right on our library. Our listing showed two images from web pages and 27 web pages and one review which was very positive.

I decided not to claim the listing but e-mailed the information to our library director and assistant director.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Hello Kitty and Google Maps: Thing #25 Assignment 1

Hello Kitty is alive and well! After playing with lots of the features in Google Maps, I clicked on the link in the Nebraska Learns 2.0 for a random street in Japan and there was Hello Kitty on a huge billboard in the Street View. I've had an attachment to Hello Kitty ever since my son was a toddler and latched onto a little stuffed Hello Kitty toy in a store. My son is 27 and married now. When I visited Japan in both 1994 and 1999, Hello Kitty was very prominent as a toy, on dishes, on clothes, and more so I shouldn't really be surprised. Anyway, so much for unrelated trivia about my life.

I really like Google maps and enjoy using the expanded features. It has become my mapping program of choice for getting directions as I've found it to be fairly accurate in its time predictions and I like the ease of changing the route. We used it in May to play with several routes to and from Ohio and added desired towns as additional destinations to see what Google suggested. Then we further drug the white dots on the suggested route to customize it further to check travel time. On another trip a couple of weeks ago, I took a slower route, thinking it surely couldn't take that long-well, Google was correct and I wasn't! There was too much traffic to fudge the speed limit. Oh well. I discovered that Google maps will actually suggest more than one route. I put in a search from Omaha to Phoenix and it pulled up 3 options to choose from. It can show 2 of the routes on the map at the same time by selecting both, but wouldn't show all 3 routes.

Searching Nebraska libraries, it brought up the area closest to North Platte first. Is Google smart enough to connect our computer IP address with our general location? Elkhorn Public library however, is oddly misplaced into our area. Its marker was round unlike the balloon markers of the others.

My views on views:
I like working with the different views on Google maps. I hadn't noticed the terrain view before and plan to explore that further. I have utilized the satellite view in Google and other mapping programs several times. Traveling in rural Canada, we actually had checked the satellite view to locate a cousin's farm, since their verbal directions were a little unclear. I used it before traveling to Boston to recognize buildings along the walking route from the subway station to my hotel. (Did I mention that I am very directionally challenged in cities, especially.) I did discover that the satellite view isn't always up-to-date. The view of my daughter's UNMC apartment building shows construction going on in the lot next to hers. The apartment building currently in that lot has been there over three years now. I did locate the Nebraska capital and could see the colors of the cars along the street. I have found that satellite views in cities allow you to zoom in closer than in our rural area. I liked the added little icons in the satellite view of Japan. It's always important to know where the nearest KFC is!

Street view is an interesting tool and also controversial, although Google does blur parts of images and gives people the opportunity to object to the view. Over the past year, I have read several articles of cities objecting to Google street view and actually prohibiting the vehicles with the Google cameras from filming their streets. I think both articles I read were cities in Europe. It was no surprise when I looked at Moscow Russia and found no street view. We discovered street view by accident (pulling zoom to the maximum) in May and found the home we were going to visit in Ohio. That actually did help us locate it on our trip since house numbers aren't always prominent.