Innovative Technology

Possible Uses for Google+ in the Classroom

A recent blog post from the Chronicle of Higher Education discusses the differences between social networking sites Facebook and Google+, and some of the potential uses for Google+ in the classroom:

Facebook does allow some selective sharing, but doing so is difficult to comprehend. As a result, many professors have decided to reserve Facebook for personal communications rather than use it for teaching and research… In Google Plus, users can assign each new contact to a “circle” and can create as many circles as they like. Each time they post an update, they can easily select which circles get to see it.

See also an article from journalism professor Jeremy Littau on “Why Lehigh (and every other) University needs to be on Gplus. Now.” His explanation includes a plan to hold virtual office hours using the Google+ Hangout feature.



Color Images on the Web

Google Scans Kepler, Galileo and Nostradamus in Color

Works from the 16th and 17th centuries by Kepler, Galileo and Nostradamus have been digitally reformatted and are available in color via Google Books. Traditionally, such manuscripts have been scanned in black-and-white; Google’s color scans allow for a more accurate experience of the originals.

Some of the foundational texts now available in color include Nostradamus’ Prognostication nouvelle et prediction portenteuse (1554), Johannes Kepler’s Epitome Astronomiae Copernicanae from 1635, and Galileo’s Systema cosmicum from 1641. All texts can be viewed online, or downloaded as a PDF (although the PDF’s lack color)…

Via Open Culture.

Images on the Web Innovative Technology Museums

Art Project, Powered by Google

Google recently launched its Art Project, a collaborative venture with art museums from around the world. The project aims to provide both virtual tours of museum galleries using Google’s street-view technology as well as high-resolution photography of artworks, allowing for remarkable zoom capability. The site also encourages visitors to sign in and create collections of favorites to share with friends.

For more information, visit the Art Project’s FAQ page.

Images on the Web Innovative Technology

Changes to Google’s Image Search

If you’ve tried a Google image search over the past week, you might have noticed some changes. Google recently launched a “new dense tiled layout,” with larger thumbnails and the ability to scroll through up to 1,000 images on a single page. If you click on a thumbnail, you’re now brought to a “hover pane,” showing the image as it “hovers” above the original website (and thus how the image might look in its original context).

There are other less visible changes, too: more sophisticated technology powers both the “similar images” tool and “similar colors” tool. You can read more about these changes on the Official Google Blog.

Images on the Web Innovative Technology Photography

GPS Technology Takes History to the Streets

Two new projects utilize Google Maps and historical photography to create composite views of contemporary city streets. The Museum of London‘s free mobile application, Streetmuseum, combines GPS and photographs from the museum’s collections to create an interactive visual exploration of London history.

Hold your camera up to the present day street scene and the same London location appears on your screen, offering you a window through time. Want to know more? Simply tap the information button for historical facts.

Historypin, a web-based project created by We Are What We Do in partnership with Google, pairs viewer-submitted photographs and their geographical coordinates with Google Street View, allowing for multiple snapshots of the same space throughout time. Viewers can also submit personal stories about specific places.

Color Images on the Web

New Search Options for Google Images

Google recently announced new advanced search options for images. These options include searching Google Images by size, color, and image type (like photo, line drawing, clip art, and more). You may also search by usage rights. To try out this new feature, click here.