Microsoft Open-Sources WorldWide Telescope

Microsoft has open-sourced WorldWide Telescope. “WorldWide Telescope began in 2007 as a Microsoft Research project, with early partners including astronomers and educators from Caltech, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, the University of Chicago and several NASA facilities. Over the past eight years, millions of people have downloaded and used WorldWide Telescope, coming to rely on its unified astronomical image and data environment for exploratory research, teaching and public outreach.”

Super Searcher Tricks from MEB

From the always-awesome Mary Ellen Bates, a couple of super searcher tricks. One of the tricks she mentions is restricting search to .gov sites only. If you want to search just government sites but want to search a slightly larger data pool than just .gov, check out this Google custom search engine I put together that restricts results to government Web sites (but it uses .gov and .us, so it’s got more resources to search. You can also narrow your results by city or county if the mood takes you.)

TNW on Interesting Twitter Chats

The Next Web has a roundup of 10 interesting Twitter chats. They seem to be mostly social media oriented. Which reminds me, as long as I’m complaining about things it’s hard to search for, let’s talk live Google Hangouts. Does anyone know of a good directory/calendar of live Google Hangouts? I know Google has a list of what’s live now, but I’m thinking about something where I can say, “Oh, I have a little time Friday, let’s see what’s going on.” I know I spend most of my time under this desk, but occasionally interacting with other humans has its appeal.

Using Twitter to Detect Earthquakes

Interesting: using Twitter to detect earthquakes. “The Tweet Earthquake Dispatch (TED) system uses an API that compiles tweets based on keywords such as “earthquake” and its equivalent in multiple languages. Specifically, the API searches for significant increases in tweets containing the keywords. In addition to searching for keywords, the API has parameters to remove tweets that are more than 7 words, contain numbers, the ‘@’ symbol and words such as ‘http,’ ‘predict,’ ‘drill,’ and ‘song’ to eliminate tweets that are not related to an actual earthquake.” There’s also a Twitter account you can follow to get earthquake information.

The Edublogger: How to Embed Just About Anything

Nice roundup from The Edublogger: how to embed just about anything. “Embedding videos, photos, or other types of content in your blog posts is a relatively simple way to enhance your posts with informative, attention-grabbing content. In this round up post, we’ll share posts from the Edublogs community (and beyond) explaining how to embed just about anything into your blog!”

Museums and Hashtags

Good stuff: the Digital Content Strategist at Blanton Museum talks hashtags, specifically standardizing on a museum-wide hashtag and strategies for developing exhibit-specific hashtags. “If you’ve been a longtime visitor to the Blanton—or just oddly interested in the design of our title walls—then you might have noticed that about a year ago, we started including hashtags on the entrance walls to our exhibitions. A little backstory: after I began working at the Blanton and ramping up our social media profiles, I noticed that visitors who posted about our shows would often make up their own hashtags to include in posts. For example, we had people tagging, #blantonmuseumofart, #blanton, #bma #blantonmuseumaustin, or a variety of other combinations to show that they had been at the museum. This made it hard for me to monitor what people were posting about us since there was no consistency. Now we have a dedicated hashtag (#blantonmuseum) […]