Tag Archives: Smithsonian

Google Street View Lets Users Become Virtual Timer Travelers

“A lot can change in seven years: buildings rise and landscapes change. Whether you’re standing near the ocean in Japan or in the middle of Times Square, your view will likely be quite different in less than a decade.

That’s the premise behind Google Maps’ newest time-lapse tool, launched today. Since it was released in 2007, Google Street View has allowed users to explore a given area from the perspective of walking along a sidewalk, but with the new tool, they’ll actually be able to see how the street and its surroundings have changed…”

Read Further at: Google Street View Lets Users Become Virtual Timer Travelers.

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The National Archives Needs Your Help to Transcribe WWI Diaries

The Smithsonian often reaches out to the public to help its transcription projects. The most recent is to help transcribe diaries from World War I.

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The project is called Operation War Diary, and it comes from a partnership between the National Archives, the citizen science initiative Zooniverse and the Imperial War Museum in the UK. The diaries have all been scanned and posted online for citizen historians to look at and transcribe.

To participate, users just pick a diary and get started. They’re then given a scanned page to classify and document. Users are asked to take notes of particular data points—the date of the entry, whether the entry lists casualties, what people it mentions, if it has a map and more.

Currently, these documents are only available in paper form. However, the Smithsonian hopes to change that by making them fully digitized! To volunteer for this important project, please see their blog post here.

3D Printing the Smithsonian

If you’ve been debating about whether or not to get a 3D printer for your school, the Smithsonian Institution has given you another argument in favor of making that purchase. If you’re familiar with the Smithsonian’s X 3D program hosts a repository of 3D scanned items from the Smithsonian’s collection! These high definition scans are not your traditional 3D virtual objects – I promise they feel like you’re view ing it in real life! You can rotate and view objects in 3 Dimensions for free!

Now, the Smithsonian has begun to place objects from the x 3D program into a digital catalogue that will allow you to make a 3D model using a relatively inexpensive 3D printer. The most recent addition the Lincoln Life Mask.

3D Printer, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

3D Printer, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

In a recent article, Secretary of the Smithsonian G. Wayne Clough highlights the boon this provides for both scholars and educators. Check out his article, “How Will 3D Printing Change the Smithsonian?

Smithsonian Looking for Volunteers to Transcribe Historical Documents Digitally

Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 9.32.13 AMIf you’re a history buff and looking to contribute to the world of education and history, then the Smithsonian is looking for your help. They are looking for digital volunteers to help transcribe their repository of historical documents – journals, letters, and more. Visit the Smithsonian’s Transcription Center and sign up as a volunteer. You can contribute to a larger work (transcribing a volume or a book) or work on smaller assignments, such as a letter or a note.

This a great opportunity to contribute to preserving our heritage electronically and helping to provide broader access of this content to the public.

Saturday is Museum Day – Enjoy Free Admission!

If you’re like me, you’re a fan of museums. You’re also probably a fan of free stuff. Saturday, September 23 is Museum Day sponsored by the Smithsonian. Participating museums provide free admission (with tickets) for the day. You can receive tickets for two adults here.

To find participating museums near you, check out their map of venues.

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Smithsonian Center for Learning & Digital Access

The Smithsonian Museums are an amazing repository of knowledge from the fields of science of history. Many of us, sadly, are unable to just head over to the museums anytime we want to learn something new or engage our students. Fortunately, the Smithsonian has established its Smithsonian Center for Learning & Digital Access, where educators, students, and families can access content, lesson plans, online exhibits, and other resources with just the click of a button!

By accessing the educators channel, teachers can navigate content by age level and subject matter. You can also access their professional development opportunities for teachers! It’s a great site for resources. Check it out!

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Smithsonian Online Exhibit: On the Water

Thanks to my colleague Greg Cooper for letting me know about this great exhibit. The Smithsonian Museum has an amazing online exhibit: On the Water. The exhibit, divided by era and theme, explores physical artifacts, maps, narratives and accounts, as well as songs and stories all connected to man’s relationship with the Ocean. The exhibit, primarily focused on United States history, explores whaling, piracy, travel, and more.

In addition to content and material, the exhibit also provides numerous learning resources for educators, including lesson plans and activities.

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