Building a Tour


One of my reads this morning landed me, with interest, at a new Google experiment.  In this case, it’s called Tour Builder.  It was released for Remembrance Day and there are some nice tours already in place to explore.

I thought that I would explore it a bit and see what I could do.

You may recall a blog post here from a few years ago “My Childhood Community“.  In the post, I took you for a tour of where I grew up highlighting some of the things that I remembered from my youth.  It was a fairly long post and there were a number of screen captures from Google Streetview to show what I was remembering as I took you around town.

I thought, after playing around with Tour Builder, that this would be an interesting way to display the tour.

Off I went.  The results appear below – I had moderate success.  Not complete success, I will admit.  There was at least one location that was misnamed and some of the original locations didn’t quite display properly.  I tried editing and re-editing but wasn’t able to claim 100% success.  However, the site is still an “experiment” so it’s bound to get better.  I think it’s a significant enough resource that you need to tuck it away, play with it, and watch it as it matures.

Creation of the tour is something that’s very Google in look and touch.  In many ways, you’ll feel like you’re editing a Google Presention.

The organization on the left feels like a slide deck.  Only this time, instead of adding a slide, you’re adding a location.  Once the location is added (search or just find it), you can edit the content.

To “enhance the story”, I went back to the original post and used the imagery that I had previously captured and to “tell the story”, it was just a matter of going back to the original blog post for content.  This seemed to work very well, except that Clinton Public School was actually identified as Holmesville Public School.  A quick edit gets past that!

The right pane lets you navigate within Google Earth to a particular location.  Now, Clinton is not in the high resolution area of Google Earth so I tried to use Streetview to zoom in at the various locations at street level.  I had some good results and some not so good.  You’ll see if you actually play the tour.

I was surprised that I couldn’t embed the tour at this point.  However, I can point you to the tour.  It’s located here.

The potential for the Tour Builder is huge!  There are all kinds of ideas for use in the classroom from community to history tours.  Of course, you’ll want to assign research activities to do along with the tour.  Keep an eye on this one; it has huge potential.

 

Tag, You’re It


I had a good conversation with a friend of mind a few years ago.  I was going to visit her and she was starting to give me driving directions.  I told her that I probably didn’t need them because she had been broadcasting her location via her Twitter account.  Surprised, we took a look at her timeline and she had no idea that she was broadcasting her location.  A couple of clicks later and we were looking at her house on Google Streetview.  All because the new Twitter client she was using had geo-location turned on by default … it was probably in the terms of use use but neglected.

A new utility “Ready or Not” is designed to help in the cause of tracking location of Twitter and Instagram users.

It describes itself as:

This app shows how people could use your social-media posts to find you in the physical world. It uses GPS data attached to Twitter and Instagram posts to create a map of where someone’s been posting from recently.

Try to find yourself, your friends, or your favorite celebrity! Where are you most likely to be at 2:00 on a Tuesday?

This app shows how people could use your social-media posts to find you in the physical world. It uses GPS data attached to Twitter and Instagram posts to create a map of where someone’s been posting from recently.

Try to find yourself, your friends, or your favorite celebrity! Where are you most likely to be at 2:00 on a Tuesday?

I poked around with myself and some of my friends with some mixed results.

  • I couldn’t find myself which was good.  I do make sure that auto posting my location is turned off.  But, I was surprised that it didn’t identify that I checked in at Petite Côte during my dog walk tonight;
  • I could find some locations from some Twitter friends that did make sense.  I hope that they read this post and check to make sure that they know what they’re doing;
  • I found some that were out and out incorrect.

How to use it?  Just visit the site and enter a Twitter name.  After a search, you’ll get the location results displayed on a Google Map or a message that no location could be found.

Rather than identify a particular person, I chose a commercial entity.  In this case, it was one of the Big Three Car Manufacturers.  A quick search later revealed posting from the following locations.

Those familiar to the location should recognize Windsor, Detroit, Woodward Avenue

Map

Not included in the screen capture, but you’ll see when you visit the site, along the right side of you screen is the actual messages that help identify the locations.

The site isn’t perfect but the results are certainly interesting.  Some who don’t know that they’re broadcasting their location might even call it alarming.  Regardless of where you stand on the concept, it’s worth checking your own account and those of your close friends – you may decide to pass the information along to others.

If you are concerned, click the padlock to get instructions about to tighten down your location information.

It’s worth the time to check yourself out.  Do it now.