Friday, October 31, 2008

My First Venture into Video

I recently attended the Internet Librarian Conference in Monterey, CA. It was an energetic gathering of tech savvy librarians from across America sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm of what they've created for new ways to deliver and find information online.

I attended several sessions covering how to make video podcasts. The idea of making things really come to life with video sounds just plain fun! So I put myself to work and play.

I found a free video editing program online called Jumpcut by Yahoo. It's a great first tool for me to try out because all I had to do was to upload videos and images onto the web. I could easily edit the video and add audio and text. The file is automatically compressed to the right size without me having to know anything about how to do that.

So here are the results of my first Jumpcut videos:

The video of Woods Hole, MA is taken from my camera phone, thus the indie "live action" bumpiness of walking and talking. The video is about twice as large as the original video display, so the film is slightly grainy, but you get a feel of what Jumpcut can do with video from a cell phone.

The Mission mural walk video was made from my digital camera photos.

If you're thinking of making videos to host on the web and want to start practicing, I'd highly recommend Jumpcut as a fast and easy tool to try. Have fun!

Google Quick Tip #13

We've all used Google Maps to find directions and view street level locations, but did you know that you can get Google Maps mashups there too? TaxiWiz is an example of a Google Maps mashup - it's a combination of information of where to find taxis in a city with a Google Map of the city. It even gives you the estimated fare for any route that you map!


When you search a location in Google Maps, look at the very bottom of the left side bar for a link to User-created maps in the results listing. That link will take you to maps created by other people who have made Google Maps mashups.

For example, when I typed in a Google Maps search for Mission District San Francisco, under the user-created maps link, I found a map highlighting the 49 Mile Scenic Drive of San Francisco. This is a great map to use to get acquainted with the city because it also includes photos of most of the locations.

So go ahead, mash it up a little and see what you can find!

Re-Thinking Presentation Design (ppt)

Time to update your presentation style? Everyone can dazzle with a fresh coat of paint in a new color.

This powerpoint presentation by Oliver Adria, an electrical engineering student in Cologne, Germany, is a testament to how revamping your presentation style can make your topic more memorable to your audience.

For other presentation tips, see my blog post in June.

CDC Statistics and Slide Sets

The CDC website has a fantastic collection of statistical data. There is a goldmine of information, but it takes some exploring to unearth these hidden gems.

Here are different ways of getting to stats from the CDC homepage:

(1) Browse the topics under the Data & Statistics section on the right side of the CDC homepage.

(2) Under the Diseases & Conditions section, a statistics link is often in the left margin of major health topic pages.
For example, Heart Disease.

(3) Browse the Injury, Violence & Safety section for statistical information in the left margins of the topic pages. For example,
Injury Data and Maps.

View this short narrated video below that shows how to find statistics and slide sets on particular topics.

Finding Dissertations

Ever think of looking for dissertations that might help your own research? Chances are, if you have a great research idea, there's probably at least one other academic who has delved into the same realm.

The Digital Dissertations database can be accessed on campus or via VPN off-campus.

You can access:

- Full text of University of California dissertations published since 1997
- Abstracts of dissertations and theses from other Universities that you can order
- Abstracts of doctoral dissertations (post-1980) and for masters' theses (post-1988)
- Content dating back to 1861

View this brief narrated tutorial to learn how to search the Digital Dissertations database.