The Real Paul Jones

Accept no substitutes

Date: 8/1/2007

Geocaching without GPS

Just posted to GeekDad at the Wired blogs.

Where’s Tucker?
–He’s out looking for a geocache.
We don’t have a GPS.
–He says he doesn’t need one. He has Google maps.

It’s not as hard as you might think go geocaching without any equipment other than an iPhone or even staring hard at a laptop before you go or, carbon watchers close your ears, print a map. In this case, we live within a quarter mile of the cache. But here’s what Tucker had done (and you can do too).

Go to
Enter your address in the "Search with Google Maps" box.
Hit enter and be amazed how many geocaches are nearby!
Get the coordinates and description of a nearby geocache.
Put the coordinates into Google Maps and switch to Satellite view.
Zoooooom waaaaay in.
Memorize or bookmark on the iPhone.
Wander around and let the clues lead you.

Once you find the geocache, fill out the finders log at the site and online.

Repeat at other geocaches.

Eight random facts meme

I’ve been tagged by someone who already knows all of my secrets and wants to know more. So’s I’m to reveal eight random facts about me and then tag 8 people who are asked to do the same. Here goes:

  1. My head was completely shaved until I was 13 year old. But I’m making up for that now.
  2. As far as eggplant goes, I’ve had my fill. I experienced complete Tantric overkill one summer in Turkey during which a different eggplant dish was served to me every day for two weeks. I now avoid eggplant dishes.
  3. I have never been in South America.
  4. Every morning I finish the NYTimes Crossword before going to work — except for Fridays.
  5. One of the poems I first published in News and Observer disappeared from their archives but no matter a copy ended up on a website in South Africa.
  6. I failed freshman English the first time through. Two misspelled words and you were out. I was always out. Thank gawd fore cumpoterz.
  7. For a year, I lived in an airy farm house that I heated with wood in the winter. That as a bad idea. But now that same place is the home to Mark Hewitt’s Pottery.
  8. I spent one Spring Break during college working for Manpower and bagging little pine seedlings for Arbor Day. The rest of the crew were alcoholic Viet Nam vets. I got the boss to buy us all rubber gloves on the second day. We all had cracked hands on the first day. As a reward I was allowed to seal the bags instead of sticking my hands in the water. And my friends the vets all offered to buy me drinks.

I tag Danica, Kevin, Bora, Cathy, Anton, Kelly Jo, Jeff, and Bascha.

The Context of “Keeping the Context”

The Proceedings of the 6th ACM/IEEE-CS Joint Conference on Digital Libraries are out and they contain the poster lead by Cal Lee from our “Keeping the Context: An Investigation in Preserving Collections of Digital Video” that was presented at the conference. The participants in the Video Archive project and the authors of the poster are Christopher A. Lee, Helen R. Tibbo, Dawne Howard, Yaxiao Song, Terrell Russell, and Paul Jones. As you can guess by the listing, I take pride in the good work done here even though my contribution on this particular part of the project was much less than the others.

We say:

In the Preserving Video Objects and Context (VidArch) project, we are developing a preservation framework for digital video context. Access systems for text collections often rely on surrogates, such as indices, catalogs, and abstracts. In addition to facilitating discovery and retrieval, surrogates provide valuable contextual information. In archival description, attention to context is expressed through finding aids, which include not only inventories of the contents of collections, but also background information about actors and activities that generated the materials, and the ways they were organized by their original creators or recipients. Recent research has produced and investigated an analogous set of surrogates for digital video collections. These include textual descriptions, title, captions, and annotations, but they also include surrogates that are still or moving images: video segments, keyframes, slide shows, and fast forwards.

VidArch is focused on two collections within the Open Video repository: videos that NASA produces to advance learning and appreciation for science; and videos of presentations to annual ACM conferences. The two collections reflect several forms of documentation that may be valuable to preserve in order to convey context: text-based surrogates, image-based surrogates, links to related videos, use history data, and supporting documents (e.g. lesson plans). We have generated finding aids to the two collections in order to reflect contextual information that is not readily available within Open Video. The poster below presents aspects of an evolving framework for digital video context and illustrates points of potential contextual information creation/capture within the lifecycle of the NASA videos.

JCDL Context Poster

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