Friday, 20 March 2009

Three Friday things - Streetview UK, Media 7, NLNZ Source

The Friday thing is upon us, so I reckon I'll just drop on here for half an hour to share three things that passed my desk this morning. Each has its own audience - story and perspective.

Street View hits the UK
Streetview, the photo tour inside Google Maps , has finally launched in the UK . To view it you go to the main Google Map page, here , give the address you are looking for, [or just head to the area of your choice] and then when you get there look for the little tag, Streetview, on your choice.

It takes a little while to get familiar with it - but once I'd sorted it, I was grooving up and down the street like a natural. I was genuinely intriqued with the experience.

The NZ view
I know Streetview has been on view in New Zealand for a while, but the UK version has taken its own time due to a bunch of concerns over privacy etc. Some of this is still going on. See the UK Guardian discussion, for example.

I have enjoyed playing in the NZ version, I was genuinely surprised by the depth of engagement I had with the UK version.

The London thing
The reason for this is simple enough. London has always been a huge part of my life. I first went to live there when I was 15 years old. I spent the whole of the 80's there, and still go back as often as is possible. It's my home city - and like many other people, its the place where I first really found myself. I miss it a lot sometimes.

London Sreetview
As you might imagine then, I was straight onto Google Maps this morning and went for a stroll around many of my old haunts. No doubt thousands of other people around the world did something similar this morning.

But what fascinates, is that each of us will have constructed our own journey - and like me - people will have unpacked and then re energized a whole bunch of memories and stories as they take the Streetview tour of the places they know and love in London.

Taking the Lambeth Walk
No doubt it helps because like many other people I long since discovered London is a great place to walk in.

So this morning I have been back in my old neighbourhood in Clapham - then walked down onto the Wandsworth Road, and strolled, and sometime ran, [speeding up the mouse] all the way along the road to Vauxhall, then over the bridge [passing the MI6 building] to the north side of the Embankment, up along to Tate Britain, then to Westminster, then Trafalgar Square, and then up through Leicester Square, Shaftesbury Avenue and so to Holborn and the British Library.

Tate Britain and British Library
It was fantastic. I loved it. Better still as I stopped in front of both the Tate Britain and the British Library, I had this lovely feeling of the future unfolding before me - that in the not too distant future, I will be able to easy the mouse forward and get myself inside the body of the Museum and Library and can spend an hour or so inside the [virtual] collections.

Paul Hagon and PowerHouse Museum, Sydney

Actually, down here in Australasia some steps to some of this potential is already on show. When Streetview launched in Australia last year, Canberra-based developer, Paul Hagon, designed an interesting mashup of historic photography posted by the Powerhouse Museum on Flickr combined with images of the same location in modern times captured by Google and displayed on Google Street View.

Flickr API - Google Maps
This re-purposing of museum data uses the Flickr API to create a KML file from the Powerhouse Museum's photographic collection in the Commons and merges it with the Google Maps and the Google Maps Street View.

The Powerhouse has details, here

The BBC did a piece on the UK Streetview launch. No surprise there. But they also made the video an embed. This is first time I have seen this feature on their content. Interesting move to say the least.

2. Russell Brown, Media 7
I don't have Freeview, and so can't watch TV7 and the Russell Brown show, Media 7. However, they have multiple ways of watching it online - including You Tube - TVNZ OnDemand, et al. You can also get a summary from RB's site, Hard News, here.

I went on it to watch the interview with Jonathen Coleman the new New Zealand Minister of Broadcasting.

TVNZ - future of NZ state broadcaster?
I think I just watched a very honest assessment/ announcement that TVNZ long term future as the New Zealand state broadcaster is now very doubtful. Check out for yourself .

3. The Source
Two lovely dry reports from the always useful, The Source at the NZNL:
Measuring the Internet Economy - The ICT Development Index (Note: PDF)
From the International Telecommunication Union website

"This report, published in 2009 by the ITU, compares developments in information and communication technologies (ICT) in 154 countries over a five-year period from 2002 to 2007. The Index combines 11 indicators into a single measure that can be used as a benchmarking tool globally, regionally and at the country level. These are related to ICT access, use and skills, such as households with a computer, the number of Internet users and literacy levels."

Australia: Internet access in public libraries survey 2008 (Note: PDF)
From the Australian Library and Information Association website

"This report is a follow-up to similar survey reports in 2002 and 2005 and a more specialised report on internet filtering in 2007 and provides current information on how public library internet services are managed, delivered and used in responding libraries. This report of internet services in public libraries in Australia is made possible by the voluntary participation of a significant number of public libraries across Australia."

Have a great weekend! Back Monday


Anonymous said...

Listened to you on Jim Mora as I did the school run yesterday. As a reader of your blog not much new, however , being reminded of Streeetview UK gave me an idea for my 85 year old Mother. She has some computer savy so I have introduced her to streetview. She has never been to the UK and may never go, but has just taken a walk around Hyde Park. Having suffered a couple of small strokes she is forever looking for ways to ensure she keeps her diminising memory as sharp as possible. Sending her off around the virtual world is a great way to do this. ... And it occurs that if one were to combine the Powerhouse mashup wih oral history what a resource we would have then. Maybe a project idea for Uncle John to fund for the tenth day?

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