17 October 2007

Using Places and Spaces

It is as if the blog is slowly emerging from the fog and getting more and more direct sunlight. We are getting a new spike in volume of web traffic on the blog, so I thought I should offer a few quick thoughts about how to take advantage of the Places and Spaces blog:
  • Places and Spaces Map - One of the more unusual features of the blog is that I try to map some of the places I write about. You will often see a note at the end of a post that actually labels it as (Mapped) which is one way that I let you know it is mapped. But, if you hop straight into the map you'll often find links back to the blog posts, so that it is like a two-way street.
  • Lecture reports - For many of our guest lectures I am essentially live blogging the presentations. It isn't meant as lecture notes, but random thoughts that may or may not accurately reflect on what was said. I often seek out online graphics that I wanted to study more than I could during the lecture, or additional reference materials on the topic. Many of them (but not all) are tagged Common Lecture, which is the RU LA Department's weekly lecture. Recent examples include: Sarah Whiting, Yoshiaki Shimizu, and Carla Yanni.
  • 3 Landscapes - both a silly parlor game and a serious list to consider. We ask many of our guests this simple question: please name your 3 favorite examples of landscape architecture that you have ever visited. They get posted individually, mapped, and eventually added to a composite list.
  • Options - Environmental Planning and Design is a major that is comprised of 4 distinct Options or degree paths: Landscape Architecture, Landscape Industry, Environmental Planning and Environmental Geomatics. Many posts are tagged with one of the 4 labels so that students can quickly seek out posts of interest to their specific Option.
  • Class lectures and test hints - Both for my classes (like JrStudio, IntGeo, EnvPlan, AdvGeo) and the classes with which I interact (like EnvGeo and EDA) I like to drop links, news, follow-up, notes, and test hints on the blog so that students can use this as a meaningful supplement to the class materials.
  • Archival materials - I use the blog as a place to drop materials that are meant to be useful resources for quite some time. There is a search bar in the upper left corner that is moderately successful and I am also trying to tag some long-term Resource of the Day type materials as Resources.
I know that we have visitors from all around the planet. But since the blog is kept more as resource for our current students that anyone else, I apologize if some of the features seem a little parochial. I entertain any suggestions for changes (easy changes) that make a difference.

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