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FlickrCC for Creative Commons photos

I love using flickrCC to search for Creative Commons licensed photos on flickr. It’s faster and simpler than the advanced search on flickr itself.

But I had blindly not noticed that they have incorporated Aviary photo editing as an option right off the main screen. (Thanks to Judy O’Connell for a Facebook post mentioning the change. Go read her HeyJude post for tons of info on free image sources!)

To edit in flickrCC: 

1: Do a search, making sure you have the FOR EDITING option checked.  (forgive my Helskinki obsession….)  Select an image and image size. Note that the attribution info is all set for you to copy and paste!

 

2: Click on the EDIT link, make your edits, save and close the editor. (more…)

Google Goggles on my Droid

Google Goggles uses pictures to search the web. This conjures visions of magic glasses that  capture the world around you and flash back info right through the magic glasses. Anyone remember the tv show Romper Room? I really, truly believed that the magic mirror was real.   Well Google Goggles is indeed real and it’s kind of what I was imagining it to be, sans glasses.

It currently runs on Android mobile devices and takes advantage of the great camera, GPS and tight integration with all things Google.

Open up the Goggles app, take a picture of product, a logo, a book – and the search tries to find something about the items in the image. (more…)

Google Books – Barcode scanning & Search your collection

Barcode your bookshelf with Google Books features a short video that shows how to use a bar code scanner to enter your books into your personal library on Google Books. I don’t have a scanner, but I bet lots of you do! Handy, fast way to get lots of books entered quickly.

Why bother adding books to Google Books? As they note at the end of the video, once you’ve built a collection, you can easily search the full text of just your own book collection. Handy for those  times  that you can’t remember which of your books has the information you’re looking for.

It’s NOT a search engine – Wolfram Alpha – try it!

A new tool for finding data and doing calculations was released in March. I just heard about it today – several times in fact – I’m a few weeks behind on the “buzz”.

Wolfram Alpha is NOT a search engine – “It’s a computational knowledge engine: it generates output by doing computations from its own internal knowledge base, instead of searching the web and returning links.” (source)

What does that mean? If you’re looking for data or something that can be computed, Wolfram Alpha will try to figure it out and give you an answer. It’s not searching the web and returning web pages that might have an answer. It’s drawing on a big collection of data to try and get the right information for you.

It can be a bit fussy about what you put in, so do take a look at their page of examples to get a feel for what it can do.

A couple of searches I tested:

And my all time favorite that was used in an NPR piece on Wolfram Alpha

Try it out. What do you think? Did you find some great searches to share?

50+ Google and Yahoo Search Shortcuts Cheat Sheet

Nicely organized and handy cheat sheet of search shortcuts for Google & Yahoo. Also available as a  3 page doc file and a separate html page for easy printing.

Google Gadgets & Library Search

Last year I fiddled around with creating some simple Google Gadgets for the catalogs of my local library systems. Mostly to figure out how to create them, but also because I’m lazy. I wanted easy access to all my local library catalogs in one place, on an iGoogle page.

I haven’t looked at editing gadgets since then, so I was excited to learn  that it’s much easier to make gadgets now. Sometime during the year, Google added a nifty gadget to help create gadgets. That sounds confusing, but it’s just another little iGoogle tool that helps you edit, preview and launch your own gadgets. This tutorial helped explain how to use it.

So, while looking at other library catalog search gadgets tonight, I wondered if I could ‘borrow’ code to make something slicker than my original clunky gadgets. I found Andrew Schulz from Pierce County (WA) Library System had a very elegant gadget for their Polaris catalog. A quick copy of the code and editing of the catalog URL and it was working for my local library. Woohoo!

Any recommendations on good models for other systems?