More Great Work from Google

While the map linked from this slideshow isn’t actually accurate because nearly all of the images are from the University of Florida’s original Library, Smathers East, and I spread them out for easier viewing, the map does accurately show why there’s reason to be excited because Picasa has improved once again. Not only can the images in Picasa be mapped, the images now show as small icons of the images instead of the generic picture icon, and the individual images can be clicked on and enlarged and they can be played in a slide-show format across the map.

The slideshow with the map is a great way to embed complicated information (this picture taken here, before this picture which was here, and after these pictures which were taken in this sequence in these places) and makes it allow easily visible. Plus, this is all available online without requiring any additional software so it’s even easier for users. This sort of elegant design is exactly what more programs need and it’s exactly what the Digital Library Center needs for many of our projects. We need ways that our users can easily access our materials in ways that contextualize the materials. While we still need more functionality because we need the same material-mapping onto a real map and we need it added to a chronological mapping system so we can locate materials in space and time, and over time (years, time periods, timeline-event markers). Other downloadable applications like Google Earth offer us more functionality and almost as much ease for our users, and each step toward more data integration and ease takes us closer to our current goal of modeling systems for a historical virtual world that users can see through time and space.