Archive for April, 2009

GooglEarthDay-Ann Arbor

April 30, 2009

The first annual GooglEarthDay-Ann Arbor (GEDA2) organized by Sandra Lach Arlinghaus, Ph.D. was held April 22, 2009, at the University of Michigan.  Several researchers showed various applications of Google Earth as a information presentation and decision support tool.  As part of Earth Day 2009, all examples dealt with environmental issues.

Here is the link to the GooglEarthDay Program.

The morning presentations were video streamed live and can be reviewed here and here.  (A bad cable caused some brief audio problems with the first video.  Edited versions of the videos with better audio and more images will be forthcoming.)

Photos from the whole day’s events are here.

Google Earth Mashup of downtown Ann Arbor on UM's 3-D Lab's large display

Google Earth Mashup of downtown Ann Arbor on UM's 3-D Lab's large display

The event reinforced the concept that Google Earth is a great platform for modeling all sorts of information about the world around us.  Google Earth’s ability to depict and manipulate multiple layers of geocoded, time coded information with an easy to use interface makes it an ideal tool from the lone citizen researcher to the largest organizations.

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annarbor.com Developers

April 11, 2009

HUGE, Inc. of Brooklyn, New York, is developing the annarbor.com website to be launched July 1, 2009.

Check out the lower part of this page for more info on HUGE.

HUGE has some huge clients.  I wonder how much attention annarbor.com will get from HUGE.  Will annarbor.com be a low priority for them?  If Ikea, Reader Digest, and annabor.com all have immediate changes to make to their websites, who do you think will get HUGE’s attention?

Some of the sites have web 2.0 features and look promising.  However, when asked at the April 8 community meeting what websites from HUGE might reflect what annarbor.com is considering, the local managment team could not give any examples.

annarbor.com Update 1

April 10, 2009

Why haven’t annarbor.com‘s videos of their April 2 & 3 community meetings shown on on their website yet?  According to a knowledgeable source at April 8’s meeting, the videos are being edited back in New York.  Apparently, the raw video would be too much for viewers here in Ann Arbor to handle.  Better those not at the meetings just view the important parts.

Speaking of annarbor.com’s April 8 Community Meeting, to me, the most effective part were the 8-10 signs that directed people the 200+ yards from Concordia’s parking lot to the basement of their student union where the meeting was held.  I counted about a dozen people there — the same 3 presenters, 3 from the local PR firm managing the venue, the videographer/photographer, at least 3 reporters from other publications, and a few others.  I may have been the only one there with a connection to the news business … except now that I’ve started this blog, I guess that’s changed.

The reason for such a low turnout may have had something to do with annabor.com’s failure to list the event on its website along with the other community meetings… although this was finally corrected a few days before the meeting.

Only new thing heard at the meeting was a commitment to have beta testing of their new site before it is released to the general public.  Since they said it “will be a 100 yard dash” to the July 1 launch, I’m guessing that the beta testing will be only for the last 5 yards.

annarbor.com – the new Ann Arbor News

April 4, 2009

Why annarbor.com Failed

Will this be a headline two years from now?

What can we do to help these folks succeed and preserve a piece of our information infrastructure?
What would be the reasons for the failure headline based on what we’ve learned from the annarbor.com information meetings so far?

Haven’t been to any meetings? Still waiting for their videos to show up online? Here’s a link to an audio file of most of annarbor.com’s 4/3/2009 community meeting at Webers Inn: link .

They say they get web 2.0 social networking, they’re on Facebook, they videoed and twittered the community meetings, but where’s the evidence that they get it?

They video their community meetings… but they don’t stream it live… and it’s not up on their site yet a day or two later… and the video ended after the formal meeting and did not include the 40 minutes of one on one Q&A with attendees after the meeting “ended”. Will the issues in those conversations be blogged? I haven’t seen any blogging about issues raised during the meetings… live or otherwise. Maybe I just don’t know where to look.

Their last Facebook posting was March 31. Thursday night, one could view comments on past meetings and even add to them (but only by re-RSVPing the Facebook event.) But now, past meetings and any comments on them are gone from Facebook.

At Friday’s meeting, they said the next community meeting was next week (Ann Arbor News said it would be 7pm Wednesday, April 8, at Concordia), but that event is neither on their Facebook schedule nor on their annarbor.com home page.

One of their staff tried to Twitter during the meeting Friday, but could not get on Weber’s wireless. I don’t know if they had anyone else there to cover such a contingency, so I think they just let the tweets catch up when they got a connection back at the office. I had no trouble with my connection… I was able to live stream and record the audio of the meeting on Ustream.tv while I tweeted, checked my email, and did web lookups on issues mentioned.

There are some other observations, but I will cover those in subsequent posts.