It’s Day 1 of our 3-day Walk With Us project at Mamawmatawa Holistic Education Centre in Constance Lake First Nation. What a cool group of Grade 9’s! Students learned how to capture 360′ imagery today and will be heading out in the community tomorrow morning to take pictures of their hometown to contribute to the northern Ontario coverage on Google Maps.
As you can see from the map above, the province of Ontario’s Street View coverage is sparse, particularly in the northern regions. This is an opportunity for youth to contribute to these gaps in service, and positively affect change for all who use Google Maps for directions and place-based education.
They will also be interviewing Elders to learn more about Constance Lake, share stories and record Cree language to integrate into a virtual tour, as they will be developing a virtual tour of the community as a class! The students hope to showcase their work at the year-end Art Show, and possibly even Constance Lake First Nation’s 75th anniversary next year.
Walk With Us, made possible by CreeGeo and Mushkegowuk Council, will be heading to Constance Lake First Nation the week of March 25th.
Constance Lake is not currently represented on Google Maps’ Street View. Students will be taking 360′ pictures of their community and creating virtual tours of their hometown using Google’s Tour Creator. They will be connecting with elders in their community to learn more about Constance Lake and its history in order to share with others!
Walk With Us will be visiting Taykwa Tagamou Nation on Saturday, June 23rd to capture Street View imagery of the community! We’ll be meeting in front of the band office at 1:00 pm, so if you’re in the neighborhood, please say hello and learn more about the Walk With Us project. WWU thanks Chief Bruce Archibald and TTN for hosting us! Stay tuned for Street View and a virtual tour.
Walk With Us held our May 3rd meeting at the Timmins Museum’s DGTL Creator Studio. Under the guidance of Tyler Levesque; Julian, Natalie and Neebin learned about lighting techniques using LEDGO equipment and portable reflectors – and therefore how to take the perfect selfie. 😉
Click the Spark story below for a glimpse into our meeting!
It’s finally March, and that means the official start of the seasonal cycle in the Omushkego culture. In the Omushkego Cycle of Life (Ininiwi Pimatisiwin), there are six seasons, beginning with Spring, or Sikwan. Next comes the Blooming of the Earth (Miloskamin), then Summer (Nipin), Autumn (Takwakin), Freezing Up (Mikishaw) and finally, Winter (Pipon).
Spring means warmer weather and longer periods of daylight, and the arrival of spring provided much excitement for the Omushkegowuk, according to the Omushkego Cycle of Life document (Omushkego Education Dept). And in the beginning of the Blooming of the Earth season (this begins in May), this was the time to clean up, store winter tools and equipment, and begin preparations for summer.
As we all know and experience in northern Ontario, Spring also reveals the debris hidden beneath the snow from our long winter season – from the coffee cups that once held that delicious dark roast to get us through the work day to the cigarette butts that drivers flick out of their windows. These are obviously examples of some of the negative impacts of human interactions with natural habitats and communities, but whatever types of trash we find, each piece can effectively be turned into data in order to analyze these impacts.
Enter the Litterati app, available on iOS and Android. Litterati started out as an Instagram account dedicated to taking pictures of trash (uploaded with #Litterati), and then taking those already geotagged, time-stamped images and plotting them onto a Google map to visualize this data. Then, others around the world started taking and tagging pictures of trash, until eventually, Litterati became a movement – a way to crowd-source cleaning the planet:
Earth Day is Sunday, April 22nd. A common school activity for the Friday before or Monday after this day will be to supervise students in beautifying their schoolyard or neighborhood as they pick up litter and either recycle or toss it. Why not take it a step further and use technology to record the number and types of trash? Litterati not only allows you to track the quantity of litter, but it also allows you to tag each piece of litter with what it is and even the brand, thereby collecting qualitative data too. And with this data comes questions, which leads to further research, and finally action – a process known as geo-inquiry:
Keep in mind that students need to create their own accounts, and therefore the age rating is 13+, and if under 18, they need to have a parent or guardian’s permission. See the Terms of Service “For Humans” here. One word of caution is that students should not be posting pictures of themselves, as the photos are taken directly through the app and then will be uploaded into the “digital landfill” for use on the interactive map, seen below. Photos should only be of litter, and each photo counts as one piece!
Photos are held in your Litterati gallery until you tag them appropriately and Upload into the Digital Landfill. Maps are updated hourly! Tagging is important because this information is then used to place litter into pollution categories – for example, if you come across a Dasani plastic water bottle, you might tag it using the brand name #Dasani and then #plasticwaterbottle. See below for suggested hashtags.
The Delta Conservatory, Sacramento Area Creeks Council and the Franklin High School Plastics Club has put together a great guide to use in your own trash mapping efforts – here is a list of hashtags found in their guide:
ALTERNATIVE: This activity can also be done by making your own classroom collaborative map using photos you take with your phone/tablet (with Location services turned on so that said photos are geotagged) and Google My Maps. The image below shows a geotagged photo taken by a phone, and imported into My Maps:
If your photos are backed up by Google Photos (How-To here), you can easily import photos (briefly illustrated here):
You can then easily share your class map on school-approved social media, and even start your own trash mapping hashtag.
NB: If you have multiple photos to upload, you can import them using a CSV file, spreadsheet or KML. More info on this method in a subsequent post!
As part of a new online course at the ACCESS Centre here in Timmins, Ontario, I was asked to give two half-day workshops at the end of the month. The students will learn how to use the Ricoh Theta S camera along with the Google Street View app in order to take 360′ images at Gillies Lake. They will then upload these images into D2L’s ePortfolio app as part of their learning journey. Walk With Us Project will be lending eight 360′ cameras to support this unit. My presenter Slides are below:
I thought I’d create a brief, no-talky screencast about how to embed your own Google Street View images into a WordPress site. You can embed these interactive images into any site that supports iframe; I just demonstrated using WP as I personally use this platform. If you have ever taken 360 photos with your phone or a 360 camera and uploaded to Google Maps, you’ll have a tracking list of these photos in the G Maps menu under “Your Contributions”.
If you haven’t taken these types of photos, you can also find existing ones by searching a location in G Maps and choosing a 360 photo within the knowledge card (indicated by a circular arrow – if it’s a still image, the icon would be a camera). Then you would click on the 3 dots beside the photographer’s information to open a menu, and choose “Share or embed image”. Then, Ctrl-C to copy the code and Ctrl-V to paste into a site of your choosing. To illustrate, I searched for Science Timmins in Google Maps:
Here is the result using a pano I had taken of the Timmins Wake Park in June 2017:
And here’s the silent screencast so you can try it yourself!