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Sunday, December 11, 2005

BobF at 12:21 PM [url]:

Looking Back from Above

And now for a lighter post (though you can look at http://www.frankston.com/publics/writings.asp for more current "issues" posts).

Browsing MSN's Virtual Earth I happened across their high resolution aerial photos. One contains the first three places I lived in when I moved to Boston. Nice to have them framed in a single view.

Note that if you clink the link you'll see the road view -- in the current beta of Virtual Earth you'll need to ask for the bird's eye view separately to see the image. You still might not get quite the view I've thumbnailed here -- you may have to pan around and rotate and explore. You can zoom in also see the neighborhood. That's nice but I would like the ability to point to exactly the image I'm trying to write about. Maybe in a future version ... but we shouldn't let these details get in the way of our imagination.

While it's nice to be able to look at my past in the present, I also want the dimension of time. I would like to know when this particular photograph was taken and also be look at images from when I lived there.

Though keywords such as those used to tag photos on flickr are nice I also want to be to link on various axes. Some links may be direct to a particular photo and others would be linked by a desciption or common characteristic. Tags are a crude start but we haven't even begun to understand how to richness that comes from in the information already available. The richness is not inherent. It comes from what people see in what they see and in what else they can contribute.

While the "social web" is exciting, we already relate to things and concepts because they represent our past and future and trigger the imagination.

Well, better not let myself to get too distracted -- there are so many other interesting things (and places and people) to discover, to create and to do. But first, gotta get back to what I have to get done.

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