Learner-Shaped Technology

May 8, 2012

Elevation Profle and Google Earth

Filed under: gis,google earth,mapping — Mike W @ 7:29 pm

I took a field trip with a colleague who is headed to Guatemala in a couple of days in order to test the elevation accuracy of the iPhone, iPad, and Trimble Nomad.  I’ll post the results shortly.  I discovered a feature in Google Earth that I didn’t know existed–the elevation profile.  After adding a track we recorded of our hike back using MotionX HD on the iPad to Google Earth, it was easy to create an interactive elevation profile of the short trip.  The yellow arrows show the point-of-interest on the path and the corresponding location on the elevation profile.  Pretty cool!


May 14, 2009

Geospatial Revolution Project

Filed under: education,gis,google earth,mapping,technology — Mike W @ 10:36 am

Now that spring semester is over, I’m hoping to pick up my blogging pace again. Penn State University announced the geospatial revolution project recently, which involves the creation of video episodes to explain the importance and role of geospatial technologies in our world. Check out the trailer below. This looks intriguing!

Whenever I try to articulate my excitement about the power of geospatial technologies for learning across the curriculum, I’m usually disappointed in my ability to convey the message. It looks like these episodes might do a much better job of highlighting that connection. I’m currently taking GIS courses through Penn State’s online program, so I recognize at least one of the interviewees in the clip!


August 2, 2008

Campus Technology Award

Filed under: data visualization,gis,google earth,history,mapping — Mike W @ 8:21 am

Our project using Google Earth to connect Boston, NY, and Greenville in Lloyd Benson’s Urban History class won an Annual Campus Technology Award. Check it out!

Here’s a little bit more info on the project that I put together for a NITLE conference this spring.


Project FAQs

It’s amazing how quickly things change. Picasa and Flickr now automatically put geocoded images on the map. For Flickr you have to make sure this is set to ‘yes’ in the privacy and permissions section of your profile.


Here’s an example of an image in Picasa that is automatically placed on the map. I took it with an iPAQ with built-in GPS. I almost walked right through the web when getting out of my car. That would have been interesting! It reminds me of the time I put my kayak on my head to carry it, and a big spider that had set up camp started falling towards my face. I closed my mouth just in time!


April 11, 2007

Brief Furman Tour in Google Earth from Geocoded photos

Filed under: data visualization,general,google earth,mapping,technology — Mike W @ 3:46 pm

Man, Furman campus is beautiful in the spring. I’ve been experimenting with a handheld device (ipaq 6900 series) that EES professor Suresh Muthukrishnan has been using in class. It has built-in GPS, so I went out and snapped a few pictures this morning. It was great to have an excuse to walk around campus in the cool air. The latitude and longitude are geocoded into the picture when the GPS is on, so I wanted to see how easy it would be to create a google earth file (kml or kmz) to show a virtual tour of where I’d been. It looks like Google Earth Pro can rip the geocoding information from the picture and create the file, but I can’t spring for the pro version yet.

Instead I used a program called RoboGeo to create the kml file. It looks like the program is very useful if you don’t have a GPS built into your camera as well. It did a good job creating a path from a series of photos. Check out the tour in Google Earth.


In the ‘Places’ window of Google Earth you have to open the ‘routes’ folder and click ‘path’. You can see that it just connects the dots and shows me swimming or boating out to the bell tower 🙂

The trial version throws an error into the latitude and longitude value, so I had to override those manually. That’s why the images are attached where the object is rather than where I was standing when I took the picture. The full version will geocode from the photographer’s location with no kml editing necessary.

I think you’ll also see why I did poorly in photography class.

January 11, 2007

Google Earth and Running

Filed under: data visualization,general,google earth,mapping,running,technology — Mike W @ 10:04 am

mapmyrun.com is a really cool website for runners. It allows you to map your run using Google Maps / Google Pedometer technology, determine distance , share your route with others, and save the route with your profile. You can also put in your time, height, weight, etc.., and it will calculate your pace and calories burned.

If you’re running with a GPS unit, you can upload the data to mapmyrun, and it will automagically map your route. I don’t run with a GPS, so I haven’t tested it yet, but that would save some time.

Another nice feature is that the site will automatically create a kmz file, so if you have Google Earth and open this file, your route is mapped in Google Earth. Here’s my route from Furman to the North Greenville YMCA in mapmyrun and the kmz file for Google Earth.

And to think, I used to get in my car and use the odometer to gauge a route. How early 2000! 😉 Now if they could only add a feature that would map the location of ankle biting little dogs, and it would be perfect!

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