Google Maps Story- Road trip

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The Assignment

I did this assignment from the web category. The directions are as follows:

Use Google Maps to tell a story! It can be the story of a trip you took, a trip you would like to take, a strange occurrence, a war, anything you like! The only rules are that you have to use Google Maps proper in order to tell your story, and post it here.

The Process

This assignment documents my road trip from Colorado to Los Angeles in the summer of 2010.

I started by going to Google Maps to plot my course again. Then I took a printscreen of the map and opened it up in Photoshop.

I used Flickr advanced search to find CC liscenced photos of the unique places that I travelled on this trip. Then inserted them into the document, using line tools and paint bucket tools to make the pictures look more like photographs. The text I added was TW Cen Mt size 18-22.

The Story

This is the path I drove from my house in Colorado Springs, CO to visit my girlfriend living in Santa Monica, CA. It took my about 24 hours of driving by myself, and was one of my greatest experiences thus far in my life. The sights I saw on my drive, their beauty is inexplicable.

The twists and turns of the Rocky Moutnain Passes, The Colorado River, The sunset in the dusty mountains of Utah, The bright lights and desolate desserts of Nevada, and the crowded 6-lane highways of California. Each of these special places deserves a blog post on their own. All in all, it was a beautiful journey that left me with a lot of time to think about life, the universe, and everything else.

To help me in my journey, I had the musical companionship of Enya, Enigma, Tenacious D, “A Horse With No Name” (which I’ve come to associate with the desolate land of Nevada’s dessert) and even the politcal comedic genious of Stephen Colbert’s “I am America, and so can you!”

I learned a lot on my journey; I fell in love with cruise control, I spent the night in my car at a gas station on the Utah-Nevada border, ate countless Subway BMT sandwiches, cliff bars, and dried fruit and almonds. I really got a sense of appreciation of myself, and my country from this journey. A lesson which I feel everyone should undergo in their lives.

So, go forth readers. Take a challenge, go travel alone and get to really know yourself


Turn down the lights- switch up the mood

Mr eggy CC licensed by sultoner

Train CCl licensed by ELEOTH

The Assignment

I did the Switch up the Mood visual assignment. The details are:

This assignment is to change the mood or tone of a photograph by altering the contrast, brightness, hue, saturation, exposure, etc.

I decided to use 2 photos of trains

The Process

After finding two suitable pictures with creative commons licensing, I opened up photoshop and got to work.

For both pictures I used the Image adjustments feature in the same order, but with different levels.

  1. Color balance
  2. Hue/Saturation
  3. Brightness/Contrasts
  4. Levels

I adjusted the levels until they were appealing.

The Story

There is something magical about a train, a feeling that I have had since early childhood. I still remember my first house by the train tracks. I would run outside when I heard the train coming, hoping to get a glimpse of the conductor. I would wave and pray for his wave back, and on some lucky days he would grace me with a toot of the trains horn. That is why I chose these photos to change-up the mood.

I really liked the original two photos, the ones on the left. I especially was attracted to the redness of these pictures. I wanted to adjust that redness to more of a blue feel, to “Switch up the Mood” T

The top picture reminds me of some sort of scene on the surface of Mars, but I feel that the new mood is a midnight train travelling through the mist of the twilight.

The Second photo has a very rustic and vintage feel to it. I changed the mood for a feel that is more modern.

Autobiography Cover

The Assignment-

This assignment really stood out to me. The details are as follows,

Design (using any programs you want) the cover of your autobiography. What pictures would you include? What would you title it?
Make sure it really shows off who you are what you want your audience to see in you by the cover.

Basically, one must take a picture, and add text which symbolizes their existence. Wow.

The Process-

The first step I took with this assignment was to think of a title. The one I chose was the product of some soul-searching a while back. Perhaps a year ago, I had to stop my seemingly busy life to figure out my purpose. I came up with the idea, “I want to save the world, by teaching people to save themselves.” I will elborate more on this in the section below. For this assignment, I took that quote and changed it around a bit.

Saving the world- One person at a time. I decided to find a picture of planet Earth to complement this idea, after an advanced image search on Flickr I found this one:

Original Picture: Earth Horizon  by DonkeyHotey through Creative Commons

After that it was a simple matter of adding the title. I decided on the font “Narkisim” which I found appealing.

The Story-

The thought of creating an autobiography is a very complex assignment which requires self-reflection and vision. How does one take a photo and one sentence to describe the very essence of their existence? This is the task I have set to accomplish with this assignment.

I have always had a sense of duty, nay, a need to help people. Call it altruistic, or kindness, whatever this may be has lead to the idea that 1) the world is suffering 2) there is a solution and 3) I am able to make a difference. But how can this be done? I have always wondered. Perhaps it is the reason for my chosen career path of international diplomacy. I want to bring peace and cooperation wherever I go. Even if it is not on the grand international scale, deep down, I want people around me to be happy.

This age in my life is truly the time where we set in stone the person we are going to be for the rest of our lives. Because of this,  I have spent many hours in self-reflection and deep thought, wondering what type of person I want to be. To aid me in this endeavor, over the ages I have looked to famous quotations. Here are a few that are guiding me now.

Be the change you want to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi

Hold a picture of yourself long and steadily enough in your mind’s eye, and you will be drawn toward it. Napoleon Hill

Saving the world one person at a time is a play on my original resolution to save the world by teaching people to save themselves. I strongly agree with leading by example. If I am a strong, well-centered individual, I feel that people around me will also work towards bettering themselves. In this way I teach people to save themselves, and if everyone could do the same we can make a difference in the heart of the world.

Coprecipitation-DS106 album cover

The Assignment-

This assignment is a mashup of three random things together to make an album cover. First, take a random wikipedia entry, this is the name of the band. Then, take a random quote (the last 4-5 words of the last quote), this is the title of the album. Finally, take a random flikr image (the 3rd picture) and use it for the album background. I think its important to either add a background story for the band or a song list as well.

The Process-

Wikipedia entry (band name)-

Quote (album title)- “The moment of victory is much too short to live for that and nothing else. “- Martina Navratilova

Flikr image (album cover)- Snowy Owl by Touchlight Photography

I used photoshop to manupilate this stunning image of a snow owl. First I used the grain filter to get the texturized feel. Then I added the texts of the band name and album cover. This assignment did not take too long, so the rest of the time was spent creating the story of the band.

The Story-

Croprecipitation is back with their latest album For that and nothing else featuring their hit single: “Like an Owl in the Dawn”! Inspired by their walkabout through the forests of Washington state, this album will immerse you in the beauty of nature. Soothing pan flutes, relaxing harps, and gentle navajoe drums will take you through a journey of mind, body, and spirit. You won’t want to stop listening once you start! This album can be enjoyed anywhere; in the bedroom to guide you through fantastical dreams, during daily activities, or even on the daily commute to prepare yourself for a busy day.

This album brings the 20 years of relaxation music experience of Coprecipitation that you know and love and adds the lyrical harmonics of gregorian chanters from the Vatican City. The combination of saintly harmonics and earthly instrumentals soothes your soul to levels never before imagined.

Pick up your copy of For than and nothing else today and receive a free set of incense handmade by coprecipitation! This incense made from herbs and oils from the deep forests of Washington State and when combined with Coprecipitation’s music will make your relaxation complete. Relax, enjoy life, and listen to the sound of the Earth with Coprecipitation.

Infographic Analysis- Group 4

Group 4’s info-graphic is about the internet. You can find the full graphic in the link. I am here to analyze the first 3 points.

I have noticed with this infographic and many other ones that visual representation of information is very important. Although this may be self evident in the name “info-graph” visualized information, I feel that this is a very powerful way of portraying information that I was not aware of until now.
1. In this particular info-graphic, the size of the internet is portrayed in terms of amount of dvds or blue rays that could hold it. In my own info-graphic, I want to utilize this type of information representation.

2. The second section represents the internet usage percentage by country. When I saw this there was a very interesting point. 76.2% of all internet usage is in America, although we only account for 5% of the total world population. I think this is an enormous amount of internet usage, it makes me wonder how much of that is spent productively or as a time sink. Speaking of which, I saw the movie Wall-E for the first time last weekend and I was reminded of it while analyzing this info-graphic.

I feel that soon enough America will turn into this.

3. This third point is about emails sent and spam. 80% of all emails are spam…. WHAT? I hate spam and all of the traps and fake links on the internet. What is the point of spam anyways? what a waste of time, energy, and patience. 200 billion spam sent per day… wow..

Accuracy of info

I have to Agree with my teammate Ambiguity on his analysis that this information is not too reliable considering something as mutable, changing, and growing as the internet, it is nearly impossible to provide accurate information. this infographic should be more specific of WHEN the information was taken and that it will be incorrect within a year.

The future of technology

We have spent the last month researching the pioneers of technology. Their work has built a basis for today’s science to build upon in the future. With the fast rate of technology development, imagine the next century and all of the possiblities.

One physicist, Michio Kaku, has done just that. Sit back, relax, grab a drink, and enjoy as this articulate visionary shares his revelations of the future of science.


Michio Kaku: On science’s effects on the future.


Michio Kaku is a highly regarded physicist who remarks on how technology will change daily life drastically in the future. His book Physics of the Future illustrates the possibilities of technology to come.

Wait, Where’d That Pioneer Come From?

The Assignment:

This assignment by shannotate is as follows: “Photoshop someone(s) (or something(s)) into a picture that isn’t supposed to be there.” I thought the original photo produced was absolutely hilarious!! apparently, the Chinese government took pictures of three officials inspecting a road. When the propaganda people got to them, they said the background wasnt interesting enough, and proceeded to crop the officials out and change the background and their positions. The chinese public noticed and photoshopped these officials EVERYWHERE, on the moon, in natural disasters, with dinosaurs, and even President Obama. I was cracking up so much in class that I decided to do this assignment with our pioneer: Grace Hopper. Enjoy.

The Process:

I started by finding a full body picture of a pioneer and ended up with the same picture of Grace Hopper used by our professor for the Triple Troll Quote. I then proceeded to open photoshop and carefully crop her body out of the background. For this process, this entire assignment actually, I heavily relied on the polygon lasso crop tool. I zoomed in very close, and cropped as I went.

Then I needed to choose pictures to put her in. Since the original picture is black and white, I did a google search for Famous Black and White Photos, and found the one of Iwo Jima and Winston Churchill first. Considering Grace’s military history, I thought these were suitable to add her in. But only pictures where she fits suitably wouldn’t be too much fun, so I added in other famous pictures. Finally, for a little excitement, I saved MC Escher’s Relativity piece.

I adjusted her size in the original picture of her, then pasted her into these scenes. To make her covered by the foreground, I lowered the opacity on graces layer, and used the polygon crop tool to take out parts of grace that I wanted covered by the original picture. Finally I returned the opacity back to normal. For every image, I adjusted the grace’s size on the original photo, then pasted it and cropped to fit the scene. I still don’t know how to change the size, and orientation of just a single layer, can anyone help me with this problem??

For the last photo, I meticulously adjusted Grace’s rotation 5 degrees at a time to fit in the right angle on the staircases, flipping horizontally to get her facing the other way. Using Image>Rotate Canvas.

The Story:

Really if you haven’t checked out the original photo for this yet, you really need to. I was hysterically laughing in class when I saw this, and thought it would be perfect for my last DS106 assignment of the pioneers.

Grace Hopper was a pioneer of programming languages. Perhaps this blog is possible through her foundations. Other programming built off her designs and possibly led to HTML and other languages. I had a lot of fun inserting her into  these historic photographs. It started with relevant images such as Iwo Jima and Churchill- She worked on programming in the Navy during WWII. Then I slowly led to more absurd pictures where she just doesn’t belong. The last picture really embodies the assignment I feel. Take pictures of people and just throw them around every different direction and post ’em up!

I hope more of my classmates can complete this assignment, I’m sure that we can find ways to incorporate it into the next sections of the course. Perhaps someone can do the founder of Megaupload, Kim Dotcom in pictures all around the world.

Photo Credits:



Iwo Jima-

Babe Ruth-


Kosovo Refugees-

MC Escher-