The Scout Report -- Volume 11, Number 23

June 10, 2005

A Publication of the Internet Scout Project
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Sponsored by University of Wisconsin - Madison Libraries.

NSDL Scout Reports

Research and Education

General Interest

Network Tools

In The News

NSDL Scout Reports

NSDL Scout Reports for the Life Sciences and Physical Sciences

The twelth issues of the fourth volumes of the Life Sciences Report and Physical Sciences Report are available. The Topic in Depth section of the Life Sciences Report annotates sites on Harvesting the Rain. The Physical Sciences Report's Topic in Depth section offers websites and comments about Predicting the Weather.

Research and Education

Mixed Communities in England [pdf]

Among urban policy-makers, there continues to be a wide range of opinion on the role of communities that feature a mix of incomes, ages, and household types and how the private and public sector can work together to create such places. This report, published jointly by the Brookings Institution and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in May 2005, reviews the existing research evidence and policy experiences from both the US and the UK on the various prospects for developing these mixed communities. Authored by Alan Berube, the report contains four chapters, along with an introduction and some concluding remarks. The report looks at the factors contributing to economic segregation, the consequences of such processes, and the policy response from both the British and US governments over the past several decades. [KMG]

The Maine Memory Network [Macromedia Flash, pdf]

Once you have visited Maine, it is most certainly not a place that you will soon forget. This website is designed to make sure longtime residents and visitors alike will not forget this tranquil state, as it brings together a very wide range of historical documents and memories from around the state. The site itself was created by the Maine Historical Society, and is supported by monies from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and several other partners. Within the site, visitors can search for historical items and documents, view thematic online exhibits, and learn about how the site may be used effectively in classroom settings. One particularly fine exhibit is the one that offers some visual documentation of rural Aroostook County around the year 1900. In this exhibit, visitors can experience the dense forests and rugged terrain that dominate the landscape of this part of Maine. [KMG]

A Time To Choose: Caribbean Development in the 21st Century [pdf, RealPlayer],,contentMDK:20468612%7EpagePK:146736%7EpiPK:146830%7EtheSitePK:258554,00.html

The World Bank frequently produces reports on the development challenges faced by different regions of the world, and one of its more recent reports offers a critical appraisal of the situation in the Caribbean. The report itself is 303 pages, and for visitors who are pressed for time, an executive summary is provided on the site. In brief, the report suggest that the region needs to "move beyond decades of reliance on traditional markets and trade preferences to swiftly adapt to diversify into new sources of growth, exploiting its natural advantages of location, environment, political stability and democratic traditions." The report also notes that a number of small economies (such as Ireland's) have been able to do so in recent decades, so that the framework for such developments may also be present in the Caribbean. The report also notes that there are several potentially disturbing trends emerging in the Caribbean, including increased unemployment and falling productivity as of late. Along with the full text of the report, this site also contains an interview with Caroline Anstey, who is the World Bank Director for the Caribbean. [KMG]

Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML): Hurricane Research Division (HRD) [pdf, jpeg]

The Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory's (AOML) Hurricane Research Division (HRD) discusses its endeavors to better understand the physical aspects of hurricanes and to improve the forecasts of hurricanes and tropical meteorological systems. Researchers can find information on the field program Atlantic and East Pacific hurricane seasons since 1997. The site supplies the objectives, station documentation, accomplishments and additional information on the numerous projects for the Hurricane Track Forecasting, Hurricane Intensity Change, Climate Variation, and Hurricane Impacts groups. Residents in areas potentially affected by hurricanes can find hurricane awareness materials, current weather conditions, outlooks, and information on shutters. This site is also reviewed in the June 10, 2005 NSDL Physical Sciences Report. [RME]

New York Academy of Sciences [pdf]

Started in 1817, the New York Academy of Sciences works to bring together a broad range of scientists with the hope that they will "advance the understanding of science, technology, and medicine, and to stimulate new ways to think about how their research is applied in society and the world." First-time visitors to the site will want to begin by perusing the "Academy Spotlight" site which offers some brief introductions to some of the Academy's latest research findings, such as those dealing with bio-threats and stem cells. The "Readers & Writers" section offers interviews and discussion with authors who have recently finished books on a variety of scientific topics, including the topics of artificial intelligence and the Big Bang. Also, the Gallery of Art & Science provides some visual insights into the intersection between the worlds of art and science through some creative online exhibits, such as those dealing with plastic surgery and the art of science fiction. [KMG]

Traditions of the Sun: Chaco Culture National Historical Park [Macromedia Flash, QuickTime]

Chaco Canyon is considered one of the most important National Historic Parks in the Southwestern United States and the full import of the area is only now being explored by researchers working in the area. This interactive site was developed through a rather collaborative process between NASA's Sun-Earth Connection Education Forum and the National Park Service at Chaco Canyon, along with numerous other organizations and individuals. The key tool afforded visitors to the site is the ability to explore a variety of sites within the park that are not currently open to the public. This is made possible through satellite photographs and aerial photos, and a creative interface that allows users to toggle through the different areas of the park at their leisure. The site also includes a detailed timeline of events, numerous video clips, and an overview area which discusses the importance of this site. [KMG]

Sharks: Myth and Mystery [Quick Time, Real Player]

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is well regarded for its many educational outreach activities and its fine exhibits, and this online exhibit on the world of sharks can be utilized by visitors of all ages who find themselves at a significant distance from the Golden State. Visitors will want to begin by looking through the gallery tour, which is organized by geographic region, such as Australia and Central America. In each area, visitors can learn about the individual species of shark in each region and how various human communities interact with these magnificent creatures. Visitors can also take a look through the live "Shark Cam" from the Aquarium's Australia Gallery and view stingray and scalloped hammerheads. Younger visitors will also want to take a look through the Shark Activities, Games and Fun Things area where they can decorate a shark mask, create a shark totem pole, and print out shark "critter cards". [KMG]

International Symbiosis Society [pdf]

The International Symbiosis Society (ISS) "is primarily involved with the promotion of research and education in the growing field of symbiosis. The Society seeks also to build ongoing and useful communication between the many researchers working in the various sub-fields of symbiosis, as well as connect symbiologists to those in other areas of ecology and biological sciences generally." Hosted by Boston University, the ISS website contains information about membership, and the international journal Symbiosis. For authors interested in submitting a manuscript to the journal, the site provides brief, downloadable instructions. In addition, the site links to the websites of Society members working in a variety of areas including Bark Beetles/Fungi, Cyanobacterial Symbioses, Lichens, Marine Symbioses, Mycorhizae, and more. Also, be sure to check out the fascinating images in the Symbiosis Gallery! This site is also reviewed in the June 10, 2005 NSDL Life Sciences Report. [NL]

General Interest

The Life and Music of Celia Cruz [Macromedia Flash Player, pdf]

Possessed with a remarkable voice and a flair for fashion, Celia Cruz was an artist who brought the music of her native Cuba to millions of people around the world for six decades until her death in 2003. Recently, the National Museum of American History created this well-done online exhibit to complement an in situ exhibit that is in place until the end of 2005. The site offers three primary sections, including one that offers information about Cruz' life (complete with rarely seen family photographs), and another that discusses her music. In the music section, visitors can view her album covers, listen to some of her songs, and view some archival video clips of Cruz and her colleagues in performance. Appropriately enough, the site is also available in a Spanish version. [KMG]

Art Explorer [pdf, RealPlayer]

An early innovator in the digitization of artwork (its CD of art images "With Open Eyes" was published in 1995), the Art Institute of Chicago presents Art Explorer, an interactive website where visitors can search for art, save selections into scrapbooks with notes, and share the scrapbooks with friends and students. Art Explorer focuses on the Art Institute's Impressionist and Postimpressionist collections, and includes original artworks, as well as additional resources, including texts, video clips, artist biographies, activities, and games. For example, a search on the artist Georges Seurat retrieves eight artworks, and 42 resources, including a biographical text about Camille Pissaro, one of Seurat's contemporaries, a classroom exercise on color mixing based on Seurat's pointillist style, and a Postimpressionist bibliography, compiled by the Art Institute's Museum Education Department. The scrapbook at is based on this search. [DS]

The Rochambeau Map Collection

Military maps continue to fascinate the general public, and this collection from the American Memory Project at the Library of Congress will be of great interest to those with a penchant for American history and cartography. This particular collection contains maps collected and used by Jean Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau during the American Revolution. Rochambeau served as the commander in chief of the French forces during the Revolution, and this collection contains numerous printed maps that cover much of the continent of North America. Visitors to the collection can search the collection by title, creator, subject, and geographic place. The collection has a number of highlights, including a number of views of Quebec City, maps of military fortifications, and the defenses of the city of Boston. [KMG]

Editor and Publisher

While many people get their news fix online from such reputable sources as the New York Times, the Washington Post, or other such publications, some may also want to know more about the newspaper industry itself. For such information, visitors will want to look at the online edition of Editor & Publisher, which contains news updates about the world of the newspaper business. On the site, visitors can learn about recent business transactions between news agencies, read about the circulation statistics, and learn about new technology developments in the field. For those looking for a job in the field, the site also contains a classified ad section where visitors can learn about current jobs that are available across the country. [KMG]

Board on Agriculture & Natural Resources [pdf]

Since the early 1900s, the Board on Agriculture & Natural Resources has served the United States as a unit of the National Research Council. BANR's work largely revolves around providing expert advice on "issues of food and fiber production and related matters of natural resource development, including forestry, fisheries, wildlife and land and water use." On the organization's website, visitors can learn about the events it sponsors (such as conferences and meetings), its reports, ongoing projects, and its well-known Animal Nutrition Program. The report section is well-developed and visitors can view recent works dealing with genetically engineered organisms and the nutrient requirements of nonhuman primates. Cat or dog lovers will definitely want to take a look at Petdoor, which serves as a guide for pet owners who would like information on specific nutrient needs for their animal. [KMG]

The Woodward and Bernstein Watergate Papers [RealPlayer]

Thirty years after their investigations into the "third-rate burglary" of the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate complex, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein remain two of the world's best-known journalists. In 2003, the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin purchased their collected notes, tape recordings, interviews, research materials for posterity and research purposes. Drawing on these materials, the staff members at the Center have created this online exhibit which offers some of the materials used to write such works as All the President's Men and The Final Days. Some of these documents include a Watergate personnel diagram, interview notes with Senator Barry Goldwater, and a page from a gallery proof of The Final Days. [KMG]

Network Tools

StudioLine Photo Basic 2.8.8

As summer begins in earnest across the United States, people have already begun getting out their cameras to record their experiences for future generations. One tool that will help such individuals keep these photos organized online is StudioLine Photo Basic 2.8.8. This application allows users to build a Web gallery of up to 200 images, and its attractive interface allows users to edit several photos at the same time. Users can also use the application to send the images via email. This version is compatible with Windows 98 or newer. [KMG]

Browsershots 0.2.4

Some visitors to the Scout Report may be concerned about how their websites (or other sites for that matter) may appear on different browsers. This application is designed to assist in that process, as it automatically captures screenshots of such pages in different browsers. As one might surmise, the goal of this application is to test the compatibility of webpages across the vast universe of Web browsers. This particular version is compatible with all operating systems. [KMG]

In The News

Google Maps Used in Creative and Compelling Manner

Google Maps Make Demographics Come Alive
Chicago crime database
Citizen ICAM
Florida Sexual Predators
Google Sightseeing

Many online mapping tools continue to be used in creative ways to disseminate information about all types of data, ranging from where to find a new vacuum cleaner to looking for which city has the highest rate of child obesity. One of the best known products is the four-month old mapping feature from Google, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company. While many people have just been utilizing the mapping tool for conventional searches or just to find driving directions, a number of individuals have been making use of the tool to illustrate the incidence and location of various phenomena across different spatial scales, including cities, neighborhoods, and regions. Essentially what many users have started to do is to link Googles maps up to outside databases to create helpful new resources for the interested public. One such example is that created by Adrian Holovaty, who overlaid Chicago Police Department crime statistics on a Google map, allowing users to look for incidences of various crimes around bus stops, L stations, and other such points in space. Other examples include sites that track real estate (using the Craigs List website) and another that pinpoints the whereabouts of sexual predators in Florida. All of these sites are operating without Googles permission, but the company has made no effort thus far to shut them down.

The first link offered here leads to a news story from that discusses these new and interesting uses of the Google mapping feature. The second link leads to the Chicago crime database mapping website that joins information from the Chicago Police database up with the Google maps tool. The third site is the official Chicago Police database mapping system, which also contains graphs and tables of reported crime. The fourth site leads to the Florida Sexual Predators site, which allows users to learn about the location and profile of sexual predators across the state of Florida. The fifth site is a blog that shows "the best tourist spots in the world via Google Maps' satellite imagery." The sixth and final link brings together real estate information from Craigs List with the Google maps feature, and may be of use for those looking to relocate to different cities within the US. [KMG]

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The Scout Report (ISSN 1092-3861) is published weekly by Internet Scout

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