The Scout Report
August 22, 2014 -- Volume 20, Number 32
Changing of the Guard
This issue of The Scout Report marks the end of Max Grinnell's lengthy and illustrious tenure at the Internet Scout Research Group. We would like to thank him for his wondrous musings, particularly on all things urban and cartographic, and wish him the best of luck with his next endeavor. While we are sure to miss Max, we are happy to welcome Craig Hase as the latest member of The Scout Report editing team. Tune in next week for his first full Report.
A Note From Max:
It's been a joy working at the Scout Report for the past twelve years and it's hard to believe that it's all coming to an end. What other job would let you scurry around the Internet to curate a compendium of fascinating websites every week? It's been marvelous to work with such a great and dedicated group of people here at Internet Scout and I consider myself quite fortunate. Of course, I'll still be writing about cities, giving talks about my writings, and more. Please check out my professional site at http://theurbanologist.com , follow me at Twitter (https://twitter.com/theurbanologist )or drop me a line at email@example.com [KMG]
A Publication of Internet Scout
Computer Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison
The Avalon Project
British Library: Playtimes
Ask Me Another
Journal of Undergraduate Research in Physics
Early Washington Maps: A Digital Collection
Administration for Native Americans: Children & Families
Get the Math
Photographs from the Chicago Daily News: 1902-1933
WPA Land use survey maps for the city of Los Angeles, 1933-1939
Dreaming the Skyline
In Search of Shakespeare: Shakespeare's Sonnets Lesson Plan
Texas Fashion Collection
The Original Epcot Project
How to show up at your desk happy: What research says about your mode of commute
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The Avalon Project at the Yale Law School brings together legal documents from the time of Hammurabi to the most recent Supreme Court Decisions. The materials here are divided into nine chronologically ordered sections. For example, selecting the 18th Century Documents section will bring up everything from The Alien and Sedition Acts: 1798 to the United States Constitution. The site also has the Project Diana files, which brings together full-text versions of human rights cases from around the world. Moving along, the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials and other fascinating documents can be found within the Document Collections section of the site. The Nuremberg collection offers up dozens of documents that were part of these historic proceedings from 1946. [KMG]
What would it be like to play games in wartime Britain? Or any other time for that matter? This remarkable website from the British Library helps curious visitors learn about playground games of all sorts. Visitors can watch a video of girls dancing to celebrate the end of World War One and also look at children performing traditional songs and games. In the Kids Zone, visitors can use the interactive playground to peruse some of these most fascinating pastimes. The Your Stories section lets visitors learn about images submitted by young people themselves documenting their favorite games. Teachers will also find the materials here helpful when teaching their charges about how children play around the world. [KMG]
Hosted by Ophira Eisenberg, the Ask Me Another program is a "rambunctious hour that blends brainteasers and local pub trivia night with comedy and music.? Since it began in 2012, this coproduction of NPR and WNYC has been an immediate hit. It's a true highlight of public radio programming and visitors can listen in right here. Visitors can even learn about attending a live taping or sign up to receive new episodes in podcast format. They have some rather amazing guests, including They Might Be Giants and a host of literati of all stripes. Anyone with an interest in the trivia and ephemera of our time will find much to enjoy in these 60 minutes. [KMG]
This online journal is one of the fantastic projects from the Society of Physics Students and it has been published for three decades. On the website for the Journal of Undergraduate Research in Physics (JURP) visitors can look over the recent installments of the journal, including articles such as, "Hydrogen Production Using Solar Energy,? and, "How Tongue Size and Roughness Affect Lapping.? Clicking on the Archives brings up dozens of back issues available for general consideration. The site also contains a Resources area, which brings together tips on giving great presentations and upcoming national conferences. [KMG]
Originally Published October 5, 2012 -- Volume 18, Number 40
Goodreads is not only a fine place to find your next "good read," but also a great way to keep track of books you've enjoyed. Visitors can log in to create their own lists of books, along with annotations, comments, and ratings. Additionally, visitors can search and browse other readers' profiles, take literary quizzes, and look over hundreds of book lists. Author pages collect writers' bibliographies for an easy way to find more books based on those already read. Finally, the Recommendations area suggests more books individual users might enjoy, drawing from their ratings, tags, and virtual "shelves." [KMG]
Originally Published September 6, 2002 -- Volume 8, Number 35
Documenting "the struggle between Britain and America for the ownership of the region, and the further development of one of the last frontiers on the continent" is one of the primary goals of this digital collection of maps relating the history and development of the area that eventually would become Washington state. Created by a partnership between the University of Washington and Washington State University, the digital collection includes a timeline of early Washington maps that orients its users to the breadth and depth of the digital collection. There is also a drop-down menu that allows visitors to look at thumbnails of each map, organized by different themes such as forests, Puget Sound, and railroads. A general searchable index to the collection is also available for visitors looking for any number of thematic maps. The site will be of special interest to those curious about Washington state history, historical geography, and the practice of cartography over the past few centuries. [KMG]
Originally Published October 18, 2013 -- Volume 19, Number 42
The Administration for Native Americans (ANA) works to promote "self-sufficiency for Native Americans by providing discretionary grant funding for community based projects and training and technical assistance to eligible tribes and native organizations." Operated as an office within the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the ANA provides high-quality information on its grants, training programs, and resources. First-time visitors might do well to check out the Featured Resource, which takes a look at various outreach efforts, such as the Native American Veterans "Storytelling for Healing" program. In the ANA Quick Fact area, visitors can learn about the accomplishments of the ANA in recent months and years. Also, the Resources area includes guides, videos, fact sheets, reports, and webinars organized by topic, such as best practices, economic development, project management, and tribal governance. [KMG]
Originally Published May 4, 2012 -- Volume 18, Number 18
How does math get used in the "real world?" The short answer is that it is used to create hip-hop music, in fashion design, and through a number of other endeavors. This interactive website combines video and web interactive to help young people develop algebraic thinking skills for solving real-world problems. The series is funded by The Moody's Foundation, along with assistance from WNET and American Public Television. The sections of the site include The Challenges, Video, and Teachers. In The Challenges area, users will find video segments profiling the various young professionals who use math in their work, along with interactive tools to help students solve the challenges they are presented with. Moving on, the Teachers area includes resources for teachers, such as a training video showing how to use project materials in the classroom, along with student handouts. Visitors shouldn't miss the Basketball challenge, featuring NBA player Elton Brand talking about the problems presented by free throw shooting. [KMG]
Originally Published January 10, 2003 -- Volume 9, Number 1
The explosion of daily newspapers and developments in printing technology in the late 19th century made a plethora of visual images available to the majority of urban dwellers, and the city of Chicago was certainly no exception. As part of their excellent online collection series, the Library of Congress (in collaboration with the Chicago Historical Society) has digitized approximately 55,000 images of urban life stored on glass plate negatives dated between 1902 and 1933, all taken by photographers under the employ of the Chicago Daily News. As with the other online collections in the American Memory series, the entire collection is searchable by keyword, and users can browse by subject, ranging from African-American football teams to the YMCA track and field exercises. A special presentation located here features several thematically oriented photograph collections selected by the staff of the Chicago Historical Society, including Christmas Activities and Football Becomes a Major Sport. For urban historians, this site will prove to be a valuable place to look for visual documentation, perhaps suggesting new areas of scholarly endeavor. [KMG]
Originally Published May 28, 2004 -- Volume 10, Number 21
Developed as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's massive package of assistance programs designed to pull the United States out of the Great Depression, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was known for employing thousands of artists to paint murals in federal buildings and for also employing thousands of the nations' unemployed in hundreds of massive construction projects around the country. One of these many programs was also designed to create maps of various locales, including many of America's many urban areas. Not surprisingly, one of the areas surveyed by the WPA was Los Angeles. This website, provided by USC, allows users access to 345 hand-colored maps from the 1933-1939 land use survey of the city. The maps themselves identify whether land was vacant or used for commercial, farming, residential, industrial, manufacturing, or recreational purposes. Along with viewing various maps of the different neighborhoods throughout the city, visitors can search the contents of the maps. [KMG]
Originally Published November 30, 2012 -- Volume 18, Number 48
There's so much that architects, urbanologists, and scholars of the American condition can learn from Las Vegas. This digital collection from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Libraries brings together dozens of architectural drawings and renderings from the offices of two major hotel architects who worked in Las Vegas from 1954 to the 1980s: Martin Stern, Jr. and Homer Rissman. The materials here include site plans, master plans, and individual floor plans for many different buildings, including the Thunderbird Hotel, the Flamingo, and the Sands. Visitors can consult the About area to get started, and they should feel free to consult the Drawings, Projects, and Architects areas for more in-depth information. The Projects area is amazing, as it contains drawings and renderings of Circus Circus, the MGM Grand, and Xanadu, among others. Also, visitors can view the interactive timeline and leave their own comments on various items held here. [KMG]
Originally Published July 8, 2011 -- Volume 17, Number 27
PBS has created a wonderful lesson plan on Shakespeare's sonnets that addresses students' most common complaint about the Bard: the inaccessible language. This website for educators has videos and other technology for students, as well as academic articles for educators that are meant to help them better understand how to teach Shakespeare. Visitors should not miss the updated "translation" of Sonnet 18, the classic that starts out "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" Another gem of a lesson plan that visitors should check out is the "Soliloquies Buster" under "Professional Development" on the right hand menu of the website. It includes a handout that gives the step-by-step process on making the dreaded soliloquy not just accessible, but engaging and fun. [KMG]
Originally Published May 17, 2013 -- Volume 19, Number 20
The University of North Texas (UNT) Fashion Collection is "dedicated to the preservation and documentation of historically significant fashion." It's a terrific resource for students, researchers, and the general public. The collection got its start when Stanley and Edward Marcus worked to ensure that these items came to UNT in 1972 to support the growing fashion design program. Currently, there are over 15,000 items in the collection, some of which have been photographed and included as part of this online collection. Currently, over 500 items are available for browsing by decade, country of origin, and other themes. It's fun to look at the dresses, particularly the work from the 1980s by Oscar De la Renta and earlier works from the Roaring 20s. [KMG]
Originally Published December 20, 2013 -- Volume 19, Number 51
Most people do not realize that the original vision of Walt Disney World included a plan for an Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (EPCOT), known today as Epcot. This wonderful exercise in online journalism brings together a veritable cornucopia of material related to the planning and original concept for this proposed community. The site contains over a dozen areas, such as Epcot Model, CGI Rendering, Concept Arts, Essays, and even Walt Disney's Biography. The Essays area is a masterstroke, containing pieces like, "Epcot and the heart of our cities" and "The Mouse that roared." The real core of this whole idea is contained within the 26 minute film crafted by Disney and his colleagues to promote their vision; it must be watched in its entirety to fully appreciate this fascinating master plan. For folks interested in the future and past of urban visions, this site is a true dream. [KMG]
Originally Published October 11, 2013 -- Volume 19, Number 41
The mission of Plus magazine is elegant and wonderful: "to introduce readers to the beauty and the practical applications of mathematics." The magazine offers up a hearty dose of articles and podcasts on a diverse set of topics including algebra, geometry, mathematics in sports, and so on. The website has a number of fun features, including Dark Energy Say Cheese! and a fun sudoku-esque puzzle, Pandemonion! The sections here include Articles, Packages, Podcasts, and Reviews among others. The Podcasts are a delight and a short list of recent offerings includes "Do infinities exist in nature?" and "How many dimensions are there?" The Articles area is similarly rich and visitors can search through their archive, which includes several hundred items. [KMG]
Which Mode of Travel Provides the Happiest Commute?
Guess which mode of transportation offers the happiest commute
The happy commuter: A comparison of commuter satisfaction across modes
Mobility and mood: Does your commute make you happy?
Modes Less Traveled - Bicycling and Walking to Work in the United States: 2008-2012
Compare your commute time to the rest of America?s with this interactive map
Most of us commute to work in some way, shape, or form. But which mode of travel will leave us feeling the happiest and most satisfied for the rest of the day? A group of researchers at McGill University in Montreal have attempted to answer this very question. With a sample size of 3,400 commuters, Evelyne St-Louis, Kevin Manaugh, Dea van Lierop, and Ahmed El-Geneidy compared commuter satisfaction across six modes of transportation: walking, bicycle, automobile, bus, metro, and commuter train. The results may be somewhat surprising. While cyclists have earned quite the reputation for promoting their endorphin-producing mode of transport, pedestrians (85% satisfied) and train commuters (84% satisfied) actually scored higher in satisfaction than cyclists (82% satisfied). Admittedly, a number of factors complicated the survey results, such as winter weather, traffic conditions, productivity on board trains, and the fact that half of the survey respondents were students who may not be completely deflated by years of routine travel to and from work. However, the overall message is helpful in encouraging the use of active as well as public modes of transportation over the more prevalent personal vehicle. Perhaps there is something to be learned from wearing spandex after all. [CBD]
The first link will take readers to a wonderful write up on this study from Eric Jaffe at The Atlantic?s CityLab blog, complete with a helpful chart of the results. A more concise interpretation of the findings from Rebecca Troyer at the Triangle Business Journal can be found via the second link, and the official article from McGill University can be found by following the third link to ScienceDirect. Next up, Rachel Jaffe at TheCityFix explores a similar study from Eric Morris and Erick Guerra titled, ?Mood and mode: Does how we travel affect how we feel?? Counter to the McGill results, this study presents an important connection between biking and happiness. Census.gov is next on the list, and visitors can explore an 18-page PDF on bicycling and walking to work trends in the U.S. over time. Various charts and graphs visually present the trends, and figures 4 and 5 are especially worthwhile as they illustrate the percentage of commuters walking and bicycling to work by region and city size. Lastly, readers will find a fun interactive map illustrating average commute times in the United States. Enter in your city name of zip code to see the expected commute lengths where you live.
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|Tyler A. Stank
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