Campus maps and Google

Oregon State University campus map using the Google Maps API

Several higher education websites have revamped their campus maps. The map-making-mashup technology of choice seems to be the Google Maps API.

Here are a few examples of university campus maps that utilize Google Maps:

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Optomap of my eyes

My eye doctor has this spaceage device called an Optomap that takes a picture of the back of your eye – the retina. I was getting my eyes checked a few weeks ago and had my eyes photographed using this system. The images were amazing. I asked my doctor if I could get a copy sent to my email address. (Yes, I am a total geek!) Here are Optomap images of both my right and left eyes. My eyelashes appear at the bottom of each image.

Left eye:
Left eye Eric Stoller optomap

Right eye:
right eye Eric Stoller Optomap

Web 2.0 footprint

Recently, the head space that I am devoting to various Web 2.0 sites and applications has begun to feel quite cumbersome. I decided to create a post on my “Web 2.0 footprint.” My usage of each of these sites ebbs and flows. This list represents Web 2.0 services that I use at least once per month. Without further ado, here is a list in no particular order (with links to my personal profiles) of the Web 2.0 sites and services that I currently engage with on the interwebs:

Wordpress.org
WordPress.org: It runs my blog. I’ve tried Blogger and heard a lot about Movable Type, but WordPress has my blogging heart in its php basket.

Twitter
Twitter: I’m still not sure what it’s good for ;-). My virtual journal consists of my blog, my live journal account and my twitter account. Sometimes I just need a few words in the Twitterspace to get something out of my head.

LiveJournal
LiveJournal: Everything that does not get posted on my blog or on Twitter is posted on my LiveJournal account. Private groups get treated to spectacular rants and it serves as a space for me and my local friends to share all sorts of thoughts and feelings.

Flickr
Flickr: Only a few of the gigabytes of photographs that I have taken are on my Flickr account. I really need to upload more when I get some spare time.

Facebook
Facebook: I use Facebook on a daily basis. It’s a great place to connect with friends. It enables me to stay connected with a lot more people than I probably would be able to in the “real” world. Facebook isn’t perfect, but in my opinion, it is the only show in town for my social networking needs.

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Technology and Student Affairs

iStudentAffairs.com: A social networking site for Student Affairs administrators. 661 people have already signed up. The site runs off of Ning. I’m not sure if I have the life space for another website, but the discussions on iStudentAffairs.com have been interesting.

Technology panel: I’ll be on a panel for Academic Advising + Web 2.0 at the regional NACADA conference in Vancouver in March. I guess I’ll be chiming in on anything to do with accessibility, blogging, wikis, web statistics, podcasting, rss, etc. I’m walking out if someone calls Facebook an “emerging technology.”

Academic Advising Wiki:
I have convinced my colleagues that an internal knowledge base a.k.a. a wiki, would be highly beneficial for our office. I demoed an installation of MediaWiki (similar to the Oregon State University wiki) and hope to get it up and running next month. For more information on higher education and wikis, check out these videos on “21 days of Wiki Adoption“:

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Wells Fargo Financial

Wells Fargo Financial
I would like to introduce Wells Fargo Financial to my favorite web browser – Firefox. Apparently, the uber high tech features of the Wells Fargo Financial website are only accessible to Internet Explorer (note, they only list versions 5 and 6!), Netscape Navigator (is it 1999?), and the ever popular America Online browser!

Firefox users (as well as anyone using Safari) who attempt to login to the Wells Fargo Financial website will be greeted by the following Firefox-unfriendly message:

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MediaTemple’s apology

MediaTemple
MediaTemple is my web host. Recently, they have had a lot of technical difficulties with their Grid-Service that resulted in unscheduled downtime and blogosphere frustration. The problem was caused by a hardware malfunction. MediaTemple, a company that is highly aware of the competitive nature of the web hosting world, decided to give their Grid-Service customers 2 months free credit on their accounts. I truly hope that this is the last of the downtime gremlins for MediaTemple. There are a lot of hosting options and I picked (several years ago) MT because they host one of my favorite web authors, Jeffrey Zeldman.

Borrowing designs = confirmed

Oregon State University College of Engineering web site screenshot
The OSU College of Engineering website design was “borrowed” from the Virginia Tech homepage. I received confirmation from a reliable source that the OSU COE site was designed by a student designer who used the VT site for design inspiration. Apparently, VT was made aware of the COE site design and was “not happy” about it.

I emailed the COE’s webmaster email and asked if they were aware of the site design similarities. I did not receive a response. However, a quick check of my web statistics showed a 54 second visit (referred from a Google Search for my name) from “kleinerpbook.engr.oregonstate.edu.” It turns out that that is the host name for Gregg Kleiner’s computer at OSU. Gregg is the Director of Marketing & Communications for the OSU College of Engineering.