New Google search by image
Jun16

New Google search by image

I was told about a neat little application last week called TinEye. With it you could upload an image and TinEye would tell you all the sites that used that particular image. I thought it could be useful for teachers to check where students got particular images for coursework – it should be possible to backtrack and find the source. It reminded me a little of the Google Goggles app for the iPhone which would search based on a photograph. I was wondering why Google hadn’t rolled a similar feature out to their desktop search tool. Well now it turns out they have been working on a similar idea, and this week they’ve begun to roll out a new feature for Google Image Search which lets you search from an image. Similar to the Pixolu2 tool I wrote about yesterday. Apparently the new feature will be rolled out to users this week. You’ll know you have it when you see a camera icon on the Google Image Search page. (I now have the feature in my Firefox 4 browser and in Internet Explorer 9) Click on the camera and it opens up to let you either enter a URL of an image or upload one of your own. The image search tool will check for identical copies of that image, and also return similar images. Handy if you want to find lots of variations on a theme for a particular presentation or piece of work. I uploaded a photo of a sunflower I had taken with my phone, and Google returned lots of yellow/flower pictures It’s an interesting development, but maybe not brilliantly useful just yet. Keep an eye on it to see how it develops.  ...

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Tracking Blogs with RSS in Google Reader
May29

Tracking Blogs with RSS in Google Reader

There are some excellent blogs out there with a wealth of information for teachers. The biggest problem is keeping track of them. It can be very time consuming to go from blog to blog to see if there’s any new content. A much better way is to get the blogs to come to you. And you can do that very easily using a Blog reader and RSS. RSS stands for ‘Really Simple Syndication’. Many people describe it as a ‘news feed’ that you subscribe to. Using RSS readers you can monitor lots of blogs from one place and be informed when they have new content. For more about RSS, here’s a guide to RSS in plain english One of the simplest ways to do this is to use Google Reader, which comes free as part of a Google account. If you have Google Mail or Google Docs, you already have access to Google Reader. If you don’t already have an account, sign up for one. It’s totally free. Add blogs to your reader First, visit a blog that you’d like to follow. Then all you need to do is click and copy its web address / URL. Switch to Google Reader and click the “Add a subscription” button. Then paste the URL in the box. Google Reader should automatically find the RSS feed of the blog and add it to your list of blogs. If not- take a look on the blog for an RSS icon – usually it will link to the address of the feed for that blog. It should look something like this: For this blog – its towards the top right of the page (it’s grey not orange). Click it to see my feed page. Then copy and paste the URL address for the feed into Google Reader as before. List blogs Whenever you visit your Google Reader page, it will list all the blogs that you have subscribed t0 that have unread posts. As you click on them you’ll see the latest updates and can read it right there in the feed reader. Typically it will show the titles of the blog posts. Simply click on a title to open up the post. You are given the option to click through to the actual site or move onto the next unread item – marking the last one as ‘read’. If you want to visit the actual blog site – to add a comment or to pass on the URL, then click on the title of the blog post and a new window should open up. Some blogs are set up so you only get...

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How Now Google Cow
Apr04

How Now Google Cow

Just a quick post to point out that if you haven’t seen Google Body Browser, it now comes with added Bovine goodness. (Firefox 4 or Chrome needed to access) In addition to the female body that was used in the beta version, you can now explore a male body and even that of a cow. I heard initially that this may have been an April Fools prank, given the day it was released, but someone from Google tweeted me to say it was staying. Which I think is great. [blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/arthurblume/status/54526493073743872″] I’m now hoping for more animals to get added. It would be great for comparative anatomy – compare the skeletons of a human, a cow, a giraffe and a whale for example. How do they compare? Do giraffes have more bones in their neck or just the same bones, bigger? How about a bird or a fish? To access the body : a href=”http://goo.gl/body”>http://goo.gl/body and to access the cow use a href=”http://goo.gl/cow”>http://goo.gl/cow Nice one Google!...

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Smart Notebook Search Engine
Mar26

Smart Notebook Search Engine

While at the Teacher 2 Teacher conference, it was a pleasure to meet up with Obe Hostetter, who runs the Smartboard Revolution Ning. Obe has created a very useful search engine for finding Smart Notebook files – this used to be featured on the Smart Website but I can’t find it anymore! You can access the Search Engine Here  ...

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Firefox 4 and Google Body
Mar23

Firefox 4 and Google Body

If you were interested in running Google Body when I wrote about it a few months back, but couldn’t get it to work in your current browser then there’s some exciting news. The new version of Firefox – version 4 – was released yesterday and this version supports OpenGL which lets the Body Browser work. If you haven’t seen Google Body, I wrote about it here. Science and PE teachers should definitely check it out! (Update – also check out Chris Betcher’s Video here.) Download Firefox 4 now and take a look....

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Google Image Slideshow
Mar22

Google Image Slideshow

Google Image Slideshow is a simple tool allows you to easily generate and view an online image slideshow based on search results from Google Images. http://theslideshow.net/ If you are using this in the classroom – be aware there is you can’t preview the images you are going to get in the slideshow website. I’d suggest doing the same google image search first on the regular google image search page to check no unexpected images are going to turn up. You’d also be better off using the slideshow website in Advanced mode which will let you set SafeSearch to Strict before you start. Google restricts all automated search results to a maximum of 64 results. So, there is no way to include more than 64 images in any slideshow. If you want to save the slideshow to access later – once you have created the slideshow simply copy & paste the URL at the top of the page. You could add this hyperlink to an IWB / PowerP{oint page or add it as a bookmark. Updated 31/1/13 – new link...

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Google goes off-road with Street View
Mar02

Google goes off-road with Street View

Google Street View has got to be one of the most amazing projects available on the internet. It still amazes me that from my home computer I can tour cities like Rome or New York and move around as if I was there. But on the whole the places you could see were only those accessible from the road, since their special camera cars could not get everywhere. Although you could take a look at the penguins in Antarctica, which was great (check out the icon on the map). So after two years of work, Google have now unveiled a new batch of locations that have been captured on screen using a specially adapted tricycle. The trikes allow them to access areas where cars aren’t allowed, such as backstreet alleys, piers and forest trails. The first batch of images include shots from France’s Château de Chenonceaux in Civray-de-Touraine, the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin and the gardens of the San Diego Art Institute in California. It’s these off road locations, such as Kew Gardens in London for example. that might be of interest to teachers – as it opens up more areas that can be visited for virtual field trips. Hopefully more nature reserves and other parks will be added in the future.  ...

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What Was There – Historical Google Maps
Feb27

What Was There – Historical Google Maps

What Was There is an interesting site that looks like an alternative to History Pin which I’ve written about in the past. History teachers in particular should take a look! It allows visitors to upload historical photographs of an area and tag them with a location and year. These are then displayed on a Google Map. From the Explore Photos page you can move around the world to find places you’re interested in and then view photographs of what they looked like many decades ago. You can even overlay the old photograph onto Street View to compare today’s scene with the past. The plan is that if enough people upload enough photographs in enough places, it will weave together a photographic history of the world. The coverage of the UK is a little thin at the moment, but like all these sites it is dependent on content being uploaded by its users. I’m sure it’ll grow into a very useful resource. As an alternative – don’t forget to take a look at History Pin.  ...

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Google Fractal Viewer : Julia Map
Feb01

Google Fractal Viewer : Julia Map

Following on from the Google Art Project, here’s another cool Google utility I hadn’t seen before. It’s called Julia Map and it’s a way of exploring Fractals in HTML5 on your computer. Julia sets are fractals that were studied by the French mathematician Gaston Julia in the early 1920s. Fifty years later, Benoît Mandelbrot studied the set z2 − c and popularized it by generating the first computer visualisation. Generating these images requires heavy computation resources.Modern browsers have optimized JavaScript execution up to the point where it is now possible to render in a browser fractals like Julia sets almost instantly. Julia Map uses the Google Maps API to zoom and pan into the fractals. The images are computed with HTML 5 canvas. Each image generally requires millions of floating point operations. You can choose to view different data sets, and play with the colour palettes. Zoom in on new areas You can also see what fractals others have created and posted on Twitter under hashtag #juliamap. Check out the site for yourself at : http://juliamap.googlelabs.com...

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The Amazing Google Art Project
Feb01

The Amazing Google Art Project

Today Google unveiled the Art Project, a unique collaboration with some of the world’s most acclaimed art museums to enable people to discover and view more than a thousand artworks online in extraordinary detail. Basically its Google Street view inside various art museums. You can move around the halls and explore all the artwork in detail. Over the last 18 months Google has worked with 17 art museums including, Altes Nationalgalerie, The Freer Gallery of Art Smithsonian, National Gallery (London), The Frick Collection, Gemäldegalerie, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, Museo Reina Sofia, Museo Thyseen – Bornemisza, Museum Kampa, Palace of Versailles, Rijksmuseum, The State Hermitage Museum, State Tretyakov Gallery, Tate, Uffizi and Van Gogh Museum. The results of this partnership, which can be explored at www.googleartproject.com involved taking a selection of super high resolution images of famous artworks, as well as collating more than a thousand other images into one place. It also included building 360 degree tours of individual galleries using Street View ‘indoor’ technology. With this unique project, anyone anywhere in the world will be able to learn about the history and artists behind a huge number of works, at the click of a mouse. Each of the museums has worked in extensive collaboration with Google, providing expertise and guidance on every step of the project, from choosing which collections to feature; to advising on the best angle to capture photos; to what kind of information should accompany the artwork. Works of art included in the project range from Botticelli’s ‘Birth of Venus’ to Chris Ofili’s ‘No Woman, No Cry’, Cezanne’s post impressionist works to Byzantine iconography. From the ceilings of Versailles to ancient Egyptian temples, a collection of Whistlers to Rembrandts all over the globe. In total, 486 artists from around the world have been included. Here’s a video that explains more: This is a fantastic resource for Art teachers. You could explore museums before going on school trips there. Plus explore ones you could never hope to take a trip to! A fantastic resource for any interactive whiteboard! Visit it now at : http://www.googleartproject.com/...

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Google Science Fair
Jan18

Google Science Fair

Google is looking for the brightest, best young scientists from around the world to submit interesting, creative projects that are relevant to the world today. To help make today’s young scientists the rock stars of tomorrow, in partnership with CERN, The LEGO Group, National Geographic and Scientific American, Google is introducing the first global online science competition: the Google Science Fair. It’s open to students around the world who are between the ages of 13-18. All you need is access to a computer, the Internet and a web browser. Find out more on the Google Blog here, or check out the Google Science Fair website. You have until 4th April to enter. Even if you don’t enter, there are some useful resources in the teachers area for teaching investigations. (this post was copied across from Teaching Science)...

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Google Body Browser
Dec18

Google Body Browser

This is something I have been waiting ages to see. I love Google Earth, Google Sky, Google Moon etc. But there was nothing for a biologist like me. I remember asking on Twitter in October if there would ever be a Google Maps for the human body. And now there is. Google Body browser. Google Body gives you a fully-explorable 3D body. You can move about, zoom in, like you can in Google Earth. And it’s fast – very responsive – at least on my home computer anyway. At the moment it wont run in every browser (see later) but hopefully that will change very soon. The slider on the left hand side lets you reveal different body systems, such as the muscular, skeletal, digestive and nervous. You can turn labels on or off. You can choose between one global slider – or switch to having a slider for each system (the bottom icon does this) Double click on any organ to isolate it from the rest of the body. It will stay visible while the rest of the body fades out to make it clearer to see it. Unlike other web based body models that I have seen on, you don’t need to have Flash, Java, or other plugins installed. Google Body will run on any browser that supports the WebGL standard. At the moment this means that only developer or beta versions of FireFox and Chrome will run it right now, but expect to see WebGL will be supported by all browsers in 2011 for sure. This will make teaching about the human body much better on an interactive whiteboard. Combine this with the desktop annotation or image capture and annotate to label organs and systems, or to just explore different organs in detail. Hopefully in the future there’ll be links to microscope or internal images, and maybe links to pages of information about each part. For now the tool is in beta, so there’s scope for more features to be added. Thanks to Dai Barnes for the tip off on Twitter last night! [blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/daibarnes/status/15818762632560640″]...

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