Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tracking Snowmen with Google Maps

The Geolocated Snowman Project

What do you do when school has been cancelled because of the snow?

As every schoolchild knows, you cheer loudly, grab your mittens and start building GPS enabled snowmen.

At least that is what you do if you are a student in in the MobileLab class at the University of Texas at Dallas. UTD MobileLab class was cancelled last week due to record snowfall in the area so the students were set an interesting assignment instead, the Geolocated Snowman Project.

Here's the assignment in full,

"Geolocate your snowman! If you don't make one, then some other only-possible-in-this-record-snow object/image. We can then put them all on a Google Map layer. A snowman army (or collective if you like). Take a picture with an iPhone & you'll have GPS coordinates. Send it to me with a map link and I'll create a layer. Now our snowmen will never melt..."

Of course the MobileLab class at the University of Texas at Dallas is also responsible for some more serious projects. Next month at SXSW they will be debuting placethings, an iPhone app that generates map layers from video, pictures, sound and 'stories' about locations.

Check out this demo page to get a sneak preview of placethings.

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