Tag Archives: minnesota

April's Map of the Month

I’ll resist the urge to play an April Fool’s Day joke on you – tempting though it may be.  Now that it’s April, it’s time for a new Map of the Month.  Currently on display for your viewing pleasure is a 1911 map of the State of Minnesota.  It was published by The Geographical Publishing Company of Chicago, Illinois, and was apparently an advertising piece as the top of the map says, “Compliments of The First National Bank of Little Falls, Minnesota.”

Stop in at the Weyerhaeuser Museum and have a look.

23 Things on a Stick – Thing 5

Thing 5 of 23 Things on a Stick had us exploring Flickr in more depth, mostly by playing with 3rd party applications (or apps, as they are called). I worked on Thing 5 at home, where I have high-speed internet. When you’re dealing with data-heavy things like photos, video, or music, it’s critical to have a high-speed connection in order for things to load quickly and correctly.

Thing 5 introduced several nifty 3rd party apps, most of which I checked out. There’s Flickr Color Picker, which gives you a diagram made up of color dots and allows you to select a color. Once a color is chosen, Flickr gives you a selection of photos that match that color from the millions that have been uploaded to its site. Each photo loads with a little jiggle, behaving like a water droplet. What’s fascinating about this is that there are so many photos available on Flickr that a number of them can be found with one major color dominating. If you click on one of the photos that the Color Picker has picked, you’ll be taken to that photo on Flickr. Once you’ve messed around with the regular Color Picker, you can select from one of the other Color Pickers, like Urban Decay, or Graffiti, or Crayon Box.

A 3rd party app called Spell with Flickr allows you to type in some words and it will spit out what you’ve typed by culling pictures with those letters from Flickr. The site will also give you code in order to display your results on your website or blog. I’m going to try to insert that code here and see if it works.  (Yep!  It works.)
coloured card disc letter h Here I goes S T o Copper Lowercase Letter r Y_McElman_070718_3104 Exclamation bag

While Spell with Flickr was cool, I found the Splshr app more intriguing because you could choose photos by their tags or subjects and then choose the format in which you wanted those photos to display. I created a mosaic using the tags ‘Minnesota’ and ‘winter’. Here are the results (if the code works). (Addendum: Hmm. All I get when I click the link below is a window with a bunch of colored squares, but not pictures. If I embed the image directly into this post, it takes up the whole screen. Not as successful an app as I’d hoped.)

My Presentation

All of the apps I experimented with were fun because I never knew what the results were going to be. They also introduced me to photos I might never have found by simply searching Flickr.

One of the blog prompts from 23 Things on a Stick was to discuss how we might use these apps in our organizations. One thing I keep coming back to with Flickr is capturing history through location and being able to find it through the tags. This is why I chose Minnesota as one of my tags for the mosaic. When you think about it, most people’s photo albums showing scenes of life (and thus history) remain tucked away in their homes, to be seen by only a small number of people. Flickr changes all of that. And the 3rd party apps are an interesting way to showcase those photos and make you see them in a different way.

23 Things on a Stick – Thing 4

Thing 4 of 23 Things on a Stick had us exploring the online photo service Flickr.  Of course, I had to take the difficult path.

I had no problem coasting around Flickr looking at photos and I found a feature that’s really intriguing – the geotagger.  You can place a dot on a world map showing exactly where your photos were taken.  People can search Flickr’s map and see what pictures were taken where.  If you visit Flickr, just type Morrison County, Minnesota, into the map’s search feature and have fun looking.

I uploaded a photo to Flickr from our Uncommon Focus photo project that we completed in 2003.  I called the photo “Fishing in Grass” because that’s what appears to be happening in the photo.  I figured out how to geotag it after fiddling with the map.  Flickr wants you to be precise about location, so you have to zoom in very close before it’s satisfied with your geotag.

The next step in Thing 4 was to post a photo to your blog directly from Flickr.  Here’s where I had the problem.  Because Skimming the Cream runs through our website and server, and not through WordPress, I had trouble getting Flickr and Skimming the Cream to talk to each other.  I was finally successful, but ran into another problem.  Once they’re on speaking terms, Flickr is supposed to display a “Blog This” button above our photos.  It doesn’t.  I guess they’re still not on proper speaking terms, but I don’t have enough experience to figure out what’s going wrong.

Good thing I know how to post photos here the old-fashioned way – I upload them directly to our server and link to them, which I shall do without further adieu for the “Fishing in Grass” photo.

Fishing in Grass, near Bowlus, MN

Spring sucker fishing at the junction of 30th Street & 120th Avenue, Two Rivers Township, Morrison County, Minnesota.  Photo by Dave Blahna, April 13, 2003, for MCHS’ Uncommon Focus project.  Copyright 2003, Morrison County Historical Society.

I can see some interesting possibilities for the geotagging feature on Flickr, so even though I had an issue I couldn’t solve, the service is worthwhile for everything else it provides.