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Jauntful: Create your own travel guides

Jauntful is a great new tool for creating and sharing your own personalized travel guides. Create a guide to share your favorite places with friends. Create one for an upcoming trip with spots you don’t want to miss. Create a guide to your local area and share your favorite haunts.

Libraries could create a guide to the local community or a treasure hunt map for a fun summer event.

Students could use this to create a tour of an ancient or modern (or both) city for a school project. Or map out locations in a book, similar to a Google LitTrip.

Guides can be shared privately or with the world. Full color PDF versions for printing or taking with your offline.

Here’s my map of some favorite spots in Helsinki.


Heading to Helsinki?

A number of friends and colleagues are among the many lucky library folks heading to Helsinki this week for the IFLA World Library and Information Congress. I wish I could be among them. I’ve had two nice long visits to Helsinki in recent years, most recently for 2 weeks this past May. It’s a lovely city, big enough to be cosmopolitan and full of variety, but not overwhelming and exhausting. For me, it’s a “just right” kind of city. And it’s just a short train or bus ride to get out to the countryside, the lakes and the shore. Though I’m certainly not an expert on Helsinki, I wanted to share a some of my experiences & tips.

First, starting at the airport – visit the airport book swap room (Terminal 2, second floor, next to gate 27) and pick up or drop off a book. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to fill the place full of books from librarians all over the world. And maybe with a label of some sort that promotes libraries?

Bicycle lanes – Finns take their bike lanes seriously.  You should too.  If you’re an exhausted, jet-lagged tourist, dazzled by all the sunshine and find yourself walking down a bicycle stenciled portion of the street, (more…)

Thanks to the folks at the Monterey Bay Area Cooperative Library System

Hartnell College Library A huge thank you to all the wonderful MOBAC folks and staff at the Hartnell College Library in Salinas, CA. The Audio, Screencasting and Video workshop last Friday went off without a hitch. And what a wonderful lab and library, a beautiful facility and a pleasure to teach there. Thanks so much for installing all the software and buying the additional audio and video equipment, what a difference that made for the group. And thanks to everyone who attended the session, I really enjoyed meeting all of you and hearing about the projects you’re working on. And finally a big thanks to Steve Watkins who had the tough job of twisting my arm to get me to leave upstate New York in February and spend a day or two in California. As an added bonus, Steve showed me the new library building going up at CSU Monterey Bay, it’s going to be amazing!

Travel info chatter and a twitter mashup

While looking at some travel sites earlier today, I ran across an interesting airport chatter service at

Use this service to find out what’s happening now at your airport(s) and to share your observations with fellow travelers. Chatter topics include security wait times, traffic conditions, tips on airport services, incidents, ground transportation, customs/immigration experiences, check-in conditions and much more. Feel free to add to the chatter!

It’s a great idea, though it doesn’t seem to have enough people chattering at any one time for it to be tremendously useful. Perhaps it will improve over time. I hope so.

This got me thinking about how twitter might be used to accomplish something like this. Still haven’t found if there is a mashup of twitter and aiport chatter, but I did find this very nifty new service call CommuterFeed.

It’s a feed of twitter posts about traffic and transit delays throughout the world. You contribute to it by sending a twitter tweet to the user @commuter, followed by your airport code. So a delay on a Los Angeles highway would be go something like this “@commuter LAX delay on the 405 at the 105”. To receive updates on your location, you can pick up an RSS feed for your region.

Pretty nifty.