Archive for January, 2009

Google Maps and Word Press

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

To add a Google Map you’ve created to a Word Press blog posting, first you need to install the XML Google Maps plugin for Word Press.

Then in the plugin’s settings, set URL Display Mode to Map, URL Title without Parameters (title).

You’re now ready to add a Google Map to a Word Press blog posting.

Embedding a Google Map in Word Press

Open up the Google Map you’ve created.

In the upper right, click on the word Link.

Copy the text in the box labeled Paste link in email or IM

Open a new post.

Give the post a title.

In the main text box type in these words: View Larger Map

Select those words and click on the add link button.

Paste into the link box the link you copied from your Google Map.

Click on the Update Post button.

Click on the Preview button to test your map.

The map should open on the page you created in your Word Press blog.

Click on the words View Larger Map to see the full map view at Google Maps.

For more complete instructions, see our tutorial on Embedding Map Mashups.

Jerry’s zeemap test

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

View larger map.

Downtown Pleasant Hill – Closed Businesses

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

These are small businesses in downtown Pleasant Hill that have closed recently.

We’re trying to determine if the closures are related to the economic recession.

View larger map

If you know of a business that’s closed, please enter it on this map and we’ll try to find out why it shut down.

If you have any information about why a business closed, please enter that on the map.

(you’ll need Google and Google Maps accounts to add information to the map)

Maps and Map Mashups

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

Map Mashup Tutorials

See our tutorials on map mashups, especially:

Also see the Google Maps User Guide, which includes instructions on embedding video in a Google map.

Journalism and other projects using maps:

Maps for storytelling

Database driven maps

User generated maps

For more maps go to Paul Grabowicz’ Delicious bookmarks page

Additional resources and readings

Google Workshop at I-School

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

This from Raymond Yee, a lecturer at the UCB School of Information:

If you are into learning about the Google Geo services, please come to the following workshop:

Google Geo Developer Workshop
Monday, Feb 9, 2009
110 South Hall, UC Berkeley

The Google Geo Developer Workshop at Berkeley is a hands-on workshop devoted to Google Geo APIs. You’ll get to see demos of what you can do with Google Maps, Mapplets, and Earth, and spend most of the time working on your own cool project. Googlers Mano Marks and Roman Nurik will be there to provide advice and technical assistance, and guide you through sample projects such as making an interactive campus map, displaying your observational data in Earth, or planning optimal routes between your classrooms and favorite lunch stops.

For those people that are just getting started with APIs, we’ll have some code labs to help you learn the important stuff. For the more advanced developers, we’ll help you out with your code.

Come, bring your laptop, bring your data, and be prepared to code!

(Feel free to send this invitation to others you think will be interested.)

If you have any questions, please send contact the host for the session, Raymond Yee (

Raymond is teaching a course this semester at the I-School on mashups:

He’s also interested in exploring possible collaborations with his class, and I’ll be following up on that. So take a look at the syllabus and let  know if you have any thoughts on this.

Multimedia Proficiencies

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

Decide what you really want to learn in the Advanced Multimedia Class – which software programs, which  digital equipment, which multimedia reporting techniques.

Then make sure you focus the time you spend on the team projects working at what you really need to improve.

Here’s a Multimedia Proficiencies document Jerry Monti wrote that outlines the different skills you want to try to develop while at the journalism school.


Best Practices in Multimedia

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

Best Practices in a Multimedia Project

These are things to keep in mind when you do a multimedia project:

Define your audience

Storyboard the story

  • Segments of the story
  • What media will be used in each segment

Think about the appropriate use of different types of media

  • video
  • audio
  • photos
  • text
  • graphics

Assign team responsibilities

  • Team leader
  • Lead designer
  • Reporters on each segment

Production schedule

  • Milestones
  • Anticipate technical issues

Search Engine Optimization

Accessibility issues

Layout and design

  • Keep it simple
  • Dominant image or story on opening page
  • Short block of text on opening page summarizing the project
  • Hierarchy of content – what’s most important
  • Break up content into discrete, logical chunks
  • Consistent navigation
  • Informative and intuitive headlines and labels

Other elements to include

  • Audience engagement and interaction
  • Sources
  • Outside resources
  • Solutions
  • Credits or About this Site
  • Original source materials


  • Multiple browsers and operating systems – Firefox and Microsoft IE, Mac and Windows
  • Usability and quality of content – non-team members

Post-mortem summary/proof of concept

  • What you set out to do
  • What you did to implement it
  • Successes and failures
  • How might others do this
  • Open source code

For a more detailed version of this, download Jerry Monti’s Best Practices guide:

bestpractices-jerrymonti (rich text format document)

Multimedia Projects

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

Multimedia projects to review at first class:

See also Bill Gannon’s picks for notable projects in 2008 in different categories:

And peruse the multimedia projects showcased at:

Advanced Multimedia Class Syllabus

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

The syllabus has been revised and is now a page on this blog.