Discover Your Inner Geek!

Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the week 10 category.

UPDATE :: La Grande Finale

I have finished La Grande Finale – the last of my reflections for the Geek in Training course.  I gave our Geek in Residence a sneak peak at the product of my labours yesterday afternoon and we have decided to keep it a surprise until graduation.  I am so excited to show you all what this course has inspired me to create!

(No worries, La Grande Finale will be posted to the blog on Monday so that you can take a look if you missed its premier.)


Map Mashups on the iPhone!

One of the greatest tools I have come across is the Locly application on the iPhone.  It is a mapping mashup that allows users to identify where they are and indicate what they are trying to find.  Need a mall, gas station, restaurant, or library?  It will tell you where all these are and the distance away in respect to your location.  AND once you have identified your destination, it will provide you turn by turn directions!

This is a great tool for all those iPhone users out there!  If a student owns an iPhone and has Locly, the city of Toronto seems a lot smaller and more manageable!

Chris inspired me to show you this video that came together within our UofT community, another “mashup” type video:  It blends art, video, advocacy, sound, and soul!  Enjoy!

Mashup Potential

I like the potential of Mashups.  Why not create a map of places to study on campus?  Students and staff could contribute photos of places to study; photos, personal descriptions, and info (such as a link for hours) could be mapped.  Did anyone come across anything like this?


I think I like map mashups. I thought the Campus Compass was kind of cool & useful. I found a Toronto map mashup that was potentially good–it said it showed where to find chocolate in Toronto (sounds okay, no?), which it did, but it didn’t include Stubbe’s, so I’m not sure how useful it really was. I found a site that should have been there, but somehow wasn’t, or wasn’t complete. I got the feeling that the university (I think it was in Pennsylvania?) was given some seed money to get a project going a few years ago, but never got the money to see the project through to completion (it was a map mashup of Dublin as represented by Joyce in Ulysses).

This made me realize, as an English prof, that map mashups might offer an opportunity to bring texts to life for students. I really enjoy doing literary holidays–you know, finding all the bars frequented by the Beats in NYC, or Bloomsbury haunts in London or the Lost Generation’s Paris. I couldn’t find any of these on the web, but wish I knew how to make them: I could imagine being able to click on designated sites on map mashups and voilà!…suddenly there would appear images, passages from novels, poems, letters, videos from YouTube. I would discover where to get Hemingway’s moveable feast or Virginia Woolf’s cheroots… Uh, what was that about the internet and procrastination…???

Reflection Part I-My Mashup

This geek in training has reached her maximum geekiness capacity and has created a mashup

This is the process

  1. Go to Popfly
  2. Click on Create/Mashup (I think you have to sign in before this, but it’s through your hotmail account)
  3. Learn about popfly and watch a video
  4. Try it out (I actually used something different, see below)
Popfly Environment

You have to go into the tool image to adjust the settings of each box, on the facebook box I changed the value of friends to “0” (to see all friend) and I changed the value of virtual earth to “address” (see below):

I also changed the last value (it doesn’t show here) to “false” in order to see the pins instead of photos (which is also cool).

I did all this investigation because I needed to understand mashups. I actually started with Yahoo Pipes but it was too complicated.

One more thing to share is EveryBlock, this website is great you get to see the news by clicking on map and it provides information about restaurants (inspections), crime, fire alerts, etc. If this can be used by a city, it can certainly be used by a campus.  You can also ask them to add your city!

This is Part I of my reflection because I want to think more about how we (mortals) can use mashups in our practice.