DIgging through the map archives


As Aviva Dunsiger notes, I’ve been doing a map thing this week.

It’s the advantage of doing your own blog. You can write about whatever you want. As I’ve noted before, I like to document my learning through blog posts and all of what I wrote this week was part of my ongoing learning.  It’s been fun.  Unlike Aviva who claims to have an aversion to maps, I find them fascinating.  I’ve always loved reading maps but what Google, Bing, and OpenStreetMap have done in the digital era just puts it over the top.

To close off the set of posts, I’m going to do something that I don’t do often – show a Post from the Past.  But it’s consistent with the theme and one of the posts that I really got into.  It was all about using Google Streetview to share some places from my youth.  It goes back to 2010.  Have I been blogging that long?  

Just a quick commentary; if I was doing this with students today, I’d perhaps use Streetview for inspiration and see if the timeline feature would be helpful.  I’d take it even further.  So many have cell phones these days; why not send students out to get their own pictures?  There has been a great deal of discussion lately about banning homework – why not take it one step further and have the student go out for an ice cream and a tour of their own with their parents and use mom or dad’s cell phone to take some pictures and do some family storytelling along the way.  Either way, bring back the pictures to create the final story.

Here’s the original post:

My Childhood Community

I was inspired to do this from a project by ZeFrank called “A Childhood Walk”.  I think that it’s a terrific concept and I’m going to try to replicate some of it here.  As a child, we occasionally went for walks but were always on bicycle tooling around town.  Recently, I was actually in my childhood town of Clinton and went out to take a picture of the Cowper Street sign for a friend of mine, @cowpernicus, who used it on his blog and shared it with his father who had never heard of a Cowper Street.  Hey, we had that in Clinton, and more.  What blew me away as I was sending him a Google map showing the place was that this small Ontario town had been mapped by Google’s Streetview.  That makes today’s entry possible.

Read the entire post here.

And, a related post.

OTR Links 09/29/2016


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Another unique option


The past couple of days has seen me taking a look at a couple of mapping options.  To the list, I’d like to add a third – OpenStreetMap.

It’s considerably different from the other two which are managed by Google and Bing.  OpenStreetMap is created and built by the local community.  

Consequently, the community decides what gets added and, probably is more frequently updated as new locations become available.  Heck, just like Wikipedia, it could be edited by you and/or your students.  Details are available here.

I went back to Lasalle and started poking about.  What I found really intriguing here was the various mapping options available via the overlays.

It was kind of interesting to poke around and look at the cycling trails that have been built into the town’s infrastructure.

As for transportation, you can’t take a look around Essex County without checking out the uniqueness that is the Tunnel Bus from downtown Windsor to downtown Detroit.  It makes for interesting trips to Comerica Park, Ford Field, Cobo Hall, Greektown, and all of the other wonderful things to see in downtown Detroit.

Because the integrity is managed by the community, in theory, a chance in bus routes should be changed almost immediately.

One thing that I really enjoy with all three of the services are how clean the display is.  I think it’s important to recognize that there should be more than one tool in your mapping toolkit.  OpenStreetMap definitely is one to add.

OTR Links 09/28/2016


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

In a different way


I’ll admit to spending way too much time playing around with the history features of Street View yesterday.  

As we know, Google isn’t the only mapping service that’s available.  Could I do it using Bing Maps?

The short answer is no, but I found some other interesting things to amuse myself nonetheless.  I’m glad that I chose the Municipal Building in Lasalle for my example yesterday.  It’s my frame of reference for today.  

Let’s go, Bing maps.  

The street mapping view is pretty matter of fact as you would expect with any mapping service.  But, functional.

In the right corner, Bing Maps has a number of different views.

Streetside looks like its exactly what I’m looking forward to.  Unfortunately, when you chose the option, you get the little person icon like you would with Google Street View but it was red when hovering over Lasalle.  Red = not available.  I guess it’s understandable; they just haven’t got there.   But, there’s always the place I lived in Toronto.  I zipped over there and that option wasn’t available there yet either.  Sigh.  Just for yucks, I went to New York City and there’s a great deal of Streetside there but that wasn’t terribly helpful to me at this time.

Let’s go back to Lasalle.

An Aerial view looks like this.

Very cool, and interesting.  This Aerial view was taken while the area was under construction so it predates the image I saw yesterday.  There was a “Previous Version” button but that didn’t do what I had expected.  It took me to the old Bing Maps and not a previous image.  On we go.

Now, I’m motivated to check out Bird’s eye view.  It claims to be a better view of the aerial photography.

This image was done after the construction was complete so it wasn’t an enhanced version of Aerial view as I had expected.  I zoomed in for a bit more detail.  Very interesting; it wasn’t what I had expected, given the description, but I enjoyed poking around and taking a look.  

So, history was shown in a couple of different ways.  It’s dumb luck that I chose this location but I’m glad I did.  By poking around and exploring, I learned a great deal and hopefully have become just a little bit better as a world (well, at least Essex County) traveller.

 

OTR Links 09/27/2016


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Now and Then


I’m a big fan of Google Maps and, in particular, Street View.  I guess that I might be a very visual type of person because, when I want to go somewhere, I’d like to know a bit more than an address.  I’d like to know what the place looks like too.  That way, I know exactly when I get to my destination.  It’s also handy to check out the neighbourhood and see where the parking is as well.

It’s also intriguing to check out some personal history.

We were having a conversation recently about living in Toronto while going to the Faculty of Education.  I yearned for a look at the house where I stayed.  I still remember the address; after all, I had mail sent there for a year.  Off to Google Maps I went and I entered the address and then I dropped to Street View.  What turned up surprised me.

It was a new house or maybe even a small apartment building.  I certainly didn’t recognize it so I spun Street View around to see if could remember any of the landmarks.  In fact, there were quite a number of new buildings on that street but I distinctly remember the house right next door so I was sure that I was looking in the right spot.  I’m guessing my hosts had sold their house to a developer.

That’s not uncommon.  Ah, too bad I couldn’t have just one more look at the old place.

Not so quickly, Doug.  You can.

Street View has a history of all of the images that were ever taken of a particular spot!  I rolled back the clock and, sure enough, there was the old house.  Great memories of living in the apartment over the garage were the result.

How to do this?

I checked out some places locally that I knew had had some reconstruction and rebuilding.  Sure enough, they had some of the older images.

Just for fun, I checked out the Municipal Building in the town of Lasalle which has had a beautiful facelift in the past few years.  I drive by it regularly so I didn’t even need to know the address.  I just zoomed in and then dropped into Street View and adjusted so that I was close enough.

There’s the rough-ish address that I was at when I looked at the picture.  You’ll see that the Street View image was taken in June 2014.  To the left, though, there’s an icon that I’d describe as a clock with arrows circling it.  Click that.  That’s where the magic lies.

Full screen, you have the current image and a little thumbnail of the image appears in the fly out window.  Check out the bottom of the window for a little scrubber bar.  I slid it back to 2009.

Now, the angle is a bit different or maybe the building was moved a bit in its reconstruction.  You can drag things around and relive what was.

It’s a fantastic way to relive at least some of the ancient history anyway.

How about in your classroom?

    • Have you had a reconstruction of the school that the students could look back at?
    • What about all the places that you lived in when you went to university?  Are they still there?
    • If you work at a new school, what was there before the building was built?
    • How about your old house?  Do you remember that car parked in the driveway?

    The sky’s the limit when you start thinking personal history.