This morning, I was attracted by the title to this post “Each State’s Biggest Stereotype, According to Google“. I can just see my teacher-librarian friends shuddering when the methodology for the post was explained. They used Google’s auto-complete and chose the first option. They asked “Why is [State] so…”. It’s not very scientific but it is at least fun.
Then, the Canadian in me kicked in. Where are the provinces and territories? I was off to rectify that.
First, I need a blank map of Canada with Nunavut on it. That rules out the archives here so I went to About.com to get a Free Blank Outline Map of Canada.
Once I had a copy of the map, it was a matter of downloading and bringing it into my editor. In this case, it was Adobe Photoshop. The image was encoded to gray 8 so I had to convert it to accept colours. Then, it was off to Google to see what it had to say about the provinces and territories. The results were interesting – you can’t make this stuff up – sorry Northwest Territories.
It was fun to have a Photoshop project to do.
When it was over, I remembered a comment from a former Program Department Colleague. “There’s got to be a workshop in there somewhere.”
I thought of all the things that needed to be done.
- Download the map;
- Import it into Photoshop. In Ontario schools, you’d probably use the Ministry licensed Adobe Photoshop Elements;
- Do the Google Search to get the content;
- Use the text tool to accept your input;
- Change the colour;
- Type the text;
- Move the text so that it’s over the right province or territory;
- Rotate the text to best cover the area;
- Resize the text so that it’s proportional to the area;
- Flatten the image;
- Scratch your head about Prince Edward Island;
- Type the PEI text and draw an arrow to point to that province.
That’s actually quite a few Photoshop skills for the beginning image editor.
Now, this is a fun little activity using the Google Auto Complete. You could easily make this more meaningful in a study of provinces and territories by digging into statistics for the topic being taught. Imports/Exports/Languages/School Completion Rate or whatever you’re studying. But, it is fun and I would bet enjoyable, all the while learning some editing skills, and undoubtedly sparking some conversation. “How cold is cold?” “How flat is flat?” “How do you know a province is expensive?”