The British Library Image Collection

It was with real interest here that I read that the British Library was donating millions of images to Flickr.  People are encouraged to explore and reuse as needed.

Flickr image, courtesy of the British Library

In my case, “reuse” meant just wandering through the collection, bringing back memories of history classes long forgotten.  With a million images, it’s going to take a while to enjoy them all!

As an aside, WordPress offers additional related articles to supplement the original post.  You might find the “15 of the Weirdest Images” interesting.  I found it after posting this and checking out the related articles.

What a wonderful way to bring history alive!  Behind every image there’s a story.  I hope that this move inspires other organizations with huge historical collections to make their content available as well.


Patti’s Great Northern Cottage Adventure

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Patti Henderson asked me if I had ever used the Flowboard application.  I had read and bookmarked an article Flowboard App Will Be The Most Important Free App You Download This Month [Daily Feebie] but that was about it.  She indicated that she was going to give it a workout to see what she could do with it.  Yesterday, she published “Going with the Flow” to her blog.  The post was a prelude to a Flowboard that she had created titled “The Great Northern Cottage Adventure“.

In the Flowboard, she used the tool to document her recent trip to Georgian Bay and environs.

Now, I’ve been known to go to a destination and take a picture or two.  In fact, yesterday, we visited Amherstburg’s Fort Malden for the Military Muster days and I took a few pictures to post.  If you’re friends with me on Facebook, you can view the complete set.  It’s what I think many people do with collections of images – you put them in an album on Facebook, Flickr, Google +, or whatever and share with the world.

Sometimes, you can enhance the images by adding a description to the album or to the individual pictures.

With the use of Flowboard, Patti made her collection of images into a fully documented story.  Within the Flowboard, she took the time to document where she was, what she saw, and the significance of what you’re viewing.  The result?

A full-featured story of her trip!

Navigation is simple – click the arrows and work your way through her vacation story.  However, at each slide, she’s included a related gallery packed with images.  In this case, the galleries get displayed in full context by location.  You still can’t go over the top without great pictures.  Patti uses her photographer’s eye to take some unique pictures – I love the waterfall – and some have been enhanced for your enjoyment.

The net effect is a gorgeous story of her vacation.  Of course, anyone who has made the trek there knows what a dream the place is for a photographer.  Patti’s work truly reinforces the concept.

In the classroom, I think of how many times field trips are accompanied by the class camera (and now with student smartphones).  Wouldn’t this be a terrific way to assemble the results at the end of the trip and incorporate storyboarding, image editing, and an authentic writing experience for the class?

Check out Patti’s vacation story at the link above.  Patti, very well done!

A Great Confluence

I’ve had FourSquare on my portable device for a while.  I wouldn’t say that I’m a power user by any extent and mostly use it to check in to restaurants after the food is ordered and we’re waiting delivery.  I’m also a mayor of three locations.  Two involve park benches and seagulls and the other a Tim Horton’s.  I wouldn’t exactly say that I’m changing the world with my check-in habits.  But, I do like the potential of discounts from vendors if I give them a little notice when I check in to their stores.  I just have to find such a place…

One of the recent upgrades to the service was announced just before Christmas included the ability to post pictures and comments as you check in.  What a great concept – now when you’re checking, you can also document it.  That certainly makes things more interesting.  I remember thinking at the time that it might inspire me to use FourSquare more often if I could find an interesting angle other than the exhaust pipe of the car in front of me.  At least, my current use amuses Ron_Mill.

But, when you think about it, it does diversify any photos that you might want to share.  So, you’d have FourSquare pictures documenting where you’ve been and another service like Flickr where you share and document your life.  Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a meld between the two?  There is now.

The service FlickSquare fills that gap.  It seems like a natural evolution.  Post your FourSquare pictures and they’re posted to your Flickr account at the same time.

The concept makes both services immediately more valuable and it’s not hard to see that this functionality is a natural match.  The most immediate use that springs to mind is staying in touch with folks as you holiday.  (Of course, you have a housesitter…)  But, for the vendor that will give discounts or recognition for folks that check in, they get more advertising for free immediately.  For you, there’s no more finding time when you’re home to locate and upload the pictures after the fact.  In education, imagine parents staying in touch as you document a field trip on the fly.

Right from the start, this is such a great idea.  Perhaps it will be the inspiration that FourSquare needs to build right into their application or to acquire this startup.  The natural extension would, of course, be to extend posting options to any of the other photo sharing services so that you can update any of them as well.