The Scout Report -- Volume 16, Number 6

February 12, 2010

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

A Note to our Readers

Research and Education

General Interest

Network Tools

In The News

A Note to our Readers

AMSER Science Reader Monthly

If you are looking to find even more great educational materials in math and science, please take some time to visit Scout's sister site -- the Applied Math and Science Education Repository (AMSER) at AMSER brings together thousands of authoritative applied math and science resources (all of them free and from trusted sources) and includes a suite of built-in free services to help users organize and share their favorite resources with colleagues and students. The newly developed AMSER Science Reader Monthly may be of particular interest to Scout Readers. The AMSER SRM combines resources from the AMSER collection with freely available articles, about applied math and science, from popular journals. These resources can include curriculum, learning objects, podcasts, videos, and websites. The AMSER Science Reader Monthly is designed to be a ready-to-use tool for math and science educators and it is free to use for everyone. The full collection of AMSER SRM issues can be found at .

Research and Education

Columbia Historical Corporate Reports Online Collection [pdf]

The Business and Economics Library at Columbia University has digitized 770 historic corporate annual reports from their very extensive print collection. The reports are from 36 companies, and they range in dates from the 1850s to the 1960s, and are mainly from "corporations that operated in and around New York City." Visitors can search for the reports through an "Alphabetical List" or "Subject List", or browse by clicking on "View the Full List (XLS)". The "Sample Images" that are featured in the lower right hand corner of the homepage are from "Edison Electric Illuminating" and "Hudson & Manhattan Railroad Company". Once visitors choose an image to view, they will be able to view all of the years' digitized reports for that corporation, by clicking on the "Table of Contents" dropdown box. Visitors shouldn't miss the greatly detailed illustration from 1911 of the "Hudson Terminal Buildings", which is one of the chosen "Sample Images". [KMG]

FRONTLINE: Digital Nation

Frontline has created a fascinating website to accompany its television broadcast of the documentary Digital Nation. The website was launched ten months prior to the broadcast, and includes a producer's blog, as well as a feature called "Your Stories", that allowed users of the site to participate in the process of making the documentary. Interestingly, visitors can "Watch Online", the 90-minute video, and then read a roundtable discussion by some of the participants in the film. To the right of the comments by the participants is the "Your Thoughts" area, which contains posts by visitors to the site. The tabs near the top left of the homepage contain short videos which expound on the 90-minute video. The topics of the tabs include "Living Faster", "Waging War", and "Virtual Worlds". Within each tab are several subsections, and each subsection contains about half a dozen videos. In the "Living Faster" tab, under the subsection "Where Are We Headed", there is a brief video called "Your Brain on Google", which compares a brain scan of a person when reading a book to when they are using Google. The results are surprising. [KMG]

The Frick Collection: Multimedia [iTunes]

The Frick Collection was created by Henry Clay Frick's bequest in 1919, and it's housed in the Fifth Avenue mansion where Frick's family used to live. The coke and steel magnate had it built expressly to house his hundreds of works of fine and decorative art, and wanted it to be open to the public after his family was no longer living in the home. The website for the Collection is impressive, and offers a "Virtual Tour" of eight spaces inside and outside of the mansion. The virtual tour offers visitors the opportunity to view a list of artworks in each gallery, in addition to viewing the contents of the galleries. Visitors interested in reading about art, will be interested in the Frick Art Reference Library, which is located around the corner from the Frick Collection. Under "Library" on the menu across the top, visitors will find links to the "Library Collections", "Archival Collections", and "Electronic Resources". Interestingly, the "Auction Catalogs" link will lead visitors to information about the 80,000 auction catalogs held by the library, including over 1,600 that date from before 1800. [KMG]

Carnegie Connections [pdf]

The Carnegie Foundation For the Advancement of Teaching created the Carnegie Connections page to get news from the Foundation out to the public in a timely and interesting fashion. The news releases and reports here are organized into three main areas: "What We're Learning", "What We're Reading", and "What's Happening". In the "What We're Learning" area visitors can read about new research on teaching from the Foundation, along with links and commentaries from other groups, like the National Academy of Education and the Pew Research Center. Moving on, the "What We're Reading" area features links to thoughtful pieces of scholarship and commentary broadly related to education. The "What's Happening" area contains links to conferences of note, including the "Educating Nurses and Physicians" conference and the American Diploma Project Network Leadership Team Meeting. [KMG]

EPA: Science Notebook [iTunes, pdf]

What are those hard-working scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) up to? That's a good question, and the very fine Science Notebook website has the answers. The site "offers a window into science at EPA, through stories, interviews, videos, podcasts, and more." The Science Notebook homepage includes links to "Greenversations with Scientists", an ongoing feature that profiles scientists' reflections on studying indoor air quality, health physics, and other topics. Moving on, visitors can also explore the work of their "Action Teams", which are working on detecting lead paint in homes and sustainable use of contaminated sediment. Each one of these areas features video profiles of various scientists and links to their team's photographs, publications, and related links. Finally, visitors can also sign up for their RSS feed and podcast updates. [KMG]

To find this resource and more high-quality online resources in math and science visit Scout's sister site - AMSER, the Applied Math and Science Educational Repository at

IUPUI Image Collection

The creation of the unified Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) brought together a number of different academic institutions into one large campus. The history of these predecessor institutions (such as the Indiana University Herron School of Art) is an interesting one, and the development of the campus since the late 1960s speaks volumes about the growth of higher education across the United States. This digital collection was funded in part by the Jeannette Morrow Matthew Fund for Archival Photography, and it contains over 9200 images from IUPUI's University Archives. The collection doesn't have any thematic areas for easy browsing, so visitors may have to make use of the "Advanced Search" feature to find exactly what they are looking for here. The collection documents all aspects of university life, including interior building shots, student activities, scientific endeavors, faculty members, campus expansion, and so on. [KMG]

Maryland Map Collection

Down in the Old Line state, the good folks at the University of Maryland 's Special Collections department have digitized over 110 maps that document the state's geography. The materials here are drawn from their Maryland Map Collection, which contains over 2500 different map titles. The site is easy to navigate, and visitors can browse around through thematic sections that include "Cities/Towns", "Counties", "States", "Railroads", and "Rivers/Creeks". A brief narrative introduction on the site's homepage tells about highlights such as their 1590 map of the Chesapeake Bay and the dramatic bird's eye view of Baltimore published in 1869. Also, the site includes several maps which document the natural resources and geological landforms of the state. Finally, the site is rounded out by a selected bibliography of sources related to Maryland maps. [KMG]

The History Education Network [pdf]

Canada's History Education Network "is a collaborative network across the diverse fields of history, history education and school history teaching in bring together people from across Canada and internationally to inform, carry out, critique, and implement research into history education." This website is loaded with resources for Canadian history teachers, but also for history teachers from any country, as there are valuable tools on the site that aid in the teaching of history in general, and at all grade levels. The "Practice" link, near the top of any page, has assessment tools to evaluate the most effective ways to teach history. Visitors should take a look at the "Best Practices in History Education", which includes "Instructional Plans", "Instructional Resources", and "Database of Articles of Practice Awards". The "Assessment Tools" includes "Critical Challenges from the Critical Thinking Consortium (TC2)". The "Make Your Voice Heard" section links to such features as "Forums", "Videos and Podcasts" and "Polls". [KMG]

General Interest

National Naval Aviation Museum [Flash Player]

Based at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, the National Naval Aviation Museum has a collection which contains over 4000 artifacts representing Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard aviation. The materials on their website are divided into five sections, including "Exhibits & Collections" and "Education". Most visitors will want to start by browsing the "Exhibits & Collections" area, which features an alphabetical listing of their aircraft collection and links to their fine online exhibits. One exhibit that's definitely worth a close look is the "Presidents and Naval Aviation" feature. The homepage also features a place where visitors can sign up to receive electronic news updates and an area with basic information about making a personal visit to the museum. [KMG]

Voices of Peabody [pdf, Real Player]

What happens when two schools of higher learning merge into one? There can be a sense of loss, a feeling of a new beginning, and the meeting of two talented groups of people and traditions. Such was the case when the Peabody College for Teachers merged with Vanderbilt University in 1979. This website features interviews with persons involved with this merger, including former students, faculty, administrators, and friends. The project represents a collaboration between the Peabody Library and the Peabody College Office of Development and Alumni Relations. First-time visitors can read the project release notes, look over the finding aid, and then delve into the transcripts and recordings. All told, there are over twenty interviews here, and visitors can also search the transcripts by keyword or phrase. [KMG]

Pew Research Center for the People & the Press: Most View Census Positively, But Some Have Doubts [pdf]

The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press produces a host of reports on issues related to society's general attitudes towards a range of pressing topics. This report from January 2010 takes a close look at what people think about the 2010 Census. The report is based on a survey conducted by the Center in early January, and they spoke with over 1500 adults. The 13-page report summarizes their findings, and it notes that certain segments of the population, such as younger people and those in lower socio-economic categories, are not as familiar with the census, and thus are less inclined to participate. In the report, visitors will find helpful tables and charts that summarize the respondent's answers to questions like "Have you heard of the U.S. Census?" and "Is the census used to decided how government money is distributed?" [KMG]

Entrepreneurship Corner [iTunes]

Started by the Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP), the Entrepreneurship Corner is a "free online archive of entrepreneurship resources for teaching and learning." It's a tremendous resource for anyone broadly interested in the field of entrepreneurship, and the site contains over 1200 archived videos, podcasts, and external links. First-time visitors should start with the "Popular Videos" area. Here they will find videos like "Tips from the Entrepreneur" (featuring the founders of Google) and a talk on leadership and capability from Carla Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard. In the "Speakers" area, visitors can check out the "Most Viewed Speakers", which include Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Guy Kawasaki of Garage Technology Ventures. Also, visitors will want to use the "Subscribe" feature to sign up to receive their newsletter and their RSS feed. [KMG]

To find this resource and more high-quality online resources in math and science visit Scout's sister site - AMSER, the Applied Math and Science Educational Repository at

Edward Weston Photographs

There are almost 3000 digitized images that make up the Edward Weston Collection on the website of the Center for Creative Photography, which is housed at the University of Arizona. What makes Edward Weston's photographs unique is his use of a large format camera, much like Ansel Adams used. Weston kept company with other artists, such as Diego Rivera, Ansel Adams, and Jose Clemente Orozco. A number of the photographs in the collection are portraits of his artist friends. One of the most striking photos in the collection is featured on the homepage on the upper far right hand side. The photo is entitled "Pepper No. 30", and at first glance it looks like a man's muscular back. A search for pepper in the corner right hand "Search" box, yields at least a dozen more photographs of peppers, in similarly unusual "poses". A small sampling of Weston's photographs will reveal some interesting geographical locations, including Oregon, Mexico, Alabama Hills, and Carmel Valley. [KMG]

1000 Cities, 1000 Lives [pdf]

With the proportion of the world population living in cities at over 50%, as of 2007, the World Health Organization has designated a week in April 2010 for 1000 cities to promote health activities. They also hope to collect 1000 stories of people who are promoting health in their cities. The website has a section on its homepage for "Members", "Groups", "Videos", "Forum" and "Photos". Visitors curious about learning what cities can do to promote healthy cities will find the "Know More About..." link near the top of the page useful as it provides examples of such activities. Visitors interested in registering their city for this challenge can click on "Register Your City Now", which is under the City-Counter (currently at 146). The groups that are involved in this challenge can be found under "Groups", on the menu near the top of the page. Some of the groups include "Cities Under Occupation", "Smart Sustainable Cities", and "Healthy Setting Concept for Developing Countries". [KMG]

Minnesota's Greatest Generation [Flash Player]

The Minnesota History Center's online version of their exhibit, Minnesota's Greatest Generation, is both heartwarming and heart-wrenching. The banner on the homepage describes the greatest generation as those who "turned depression and war, into prosperity and power." This website not only features an array of photographs, stories, diaries, films and artifacts, but the "Share Your Story" component of it allows people to submit their own stories from the 1930s, '40s, and '50s. Helpfully, visitors are given guidance on how to share their story, including a "Step-by-Step Tutorial", "Example of a Story", and "Writing Tips". Each story collected is then held online in a searchable database, for future generations to explore. A very sophisticated "Timeline" can be found on the homepage and it can be viewed in typical "timeline" format, a "flipbook", a "list", or a "map". [KMG]

The Secrets of Tomb10A: Egypt 2000 BC [Flash Player]

Who needs Brendan Fraser and CGI effects to see Egyptian tombs and mummies? Instead, let the Museum of Fine Arts Boston take you on a tour of Tomb10A in Deir-el-Bersha, the final resting place of Djehutynakht, a provincial governor in Middle Kingdom Egypt, the period from 2010 - 1961 B.C. In 1915, archaeologists associated with the Museum spent a summer excavating the tomb and discovered possibly the largest assemblage of burial artifacts from the Middle Kingdom period. The find included jewelry, walking sticks, a huge collection of model boats, architectural miniatures, Djehutynakht's coffin, and a mummified head, that might be Djehutynakht's. Beginning in 2009, a Belgian team began retracing the original expedition's path. This web exhibition includes contemporary and historic photographs of the tomb site and the results of CT scans of the head. There is also a section of zoom-able images of the coffin and the boats. A storage jar from the tomb will be opened during the exhibition, and visitors can sign up to get curators' podcasts about its contents. [DS]

Network Tools

Switch Off

This helpful program lets users create a timer that will shut down, log off, or force their computer to hibernate at any given moment. The program can be operated in either the "countdown" mode, or just set up as an alarm clock of sorts. Also, users can set the program to operate daily, or just once. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 2000 and newer. [KMG]


Looking to remember an image you found? Or perhaps a helpful email link? Evernote makes this all possible, and it can be used with a range of mobile devices as well. The program works as a note-taking application as well, and everything a user does with the program is automatically synchronized to their Evernote account. Perhaps the real "killer" feature of the program is that it has optical character recognition (OCR), which allows users to search for text within stored images. This version of Evernote is compatible with computers running Windows XP and Vista or Mac OS X 10.5 or 10.6. [KMG]

In The News

The release of public data inspires programmers and policy types around the world

Data and transparency: Of government and geeks

Brainstorming a better commute

NYC BigApps

Apps for Democracy

There are a number of ways to deal with all the publicly available data on the web. Some use it to keep politicians honest, some use it to help develop meaningful housing policies, while others track trains and buses. These are only a few of the potential uses, and governments around the world have been challenging developers and other wonkish types to create new and dynamic applications using large and small data sets released for general consideration. It's a trend that is gaining traction in Britain, Australia, and the United States. In the past year, a number of government entities in each of these places have released data dealing with housing starts, general economic trends, and population figures. Much of this can be attributed to an increased desire for transparency among average citizens, and leaders are hoping to deliver via this exchange of information. This commitment and initiative has resulted in some interesting projects, and a recent contest held by Washington, DC resulted in almost 50 creative applications. Projects from around the world include mashups that map the location of public toilets in Australia and applications that track buses and trains in Boston. [KMG]

The first link leads users to a recent article from The Economist on the subject of public data, government transparency, and innovation. The second link leads to a recent piece from the Boston Globe which talks about the results of a recent initiative sponsored by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and MIT's Center for Future Civic Media. The initiative was designed to spur new products and projects that draw on transit data released by the state of Massachusetts. The third site will take visitors to the homepage of New York City's "BigApps" initiative, which has a similar focus. The fourth site leads to the excellent homepage of Washington, DC's Apps for Democracy initiative. Here visitors can learn about the winning applications and view a video about the project. The final link leads to the new portal website, which provides access to hundreds of datasets created by various entities within the United States government.

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