Monday, December 13, 2010
More Place-Based Technology
A slushy rainstorm was an unpleasant place for recording nature observations electronically or on paper, but now that the rain is turning back over to a dry, soft snow across the Northeast, it's a great time to get outside and explore and document the oncoming winter. If it's not too cold, one of the best ways to do this uses quite old-fashioned technology - a paper and pen. Today I listened to a friend give a talk about the importance of a good field notebook. It's true - it is a cheap and fun and useful way to document nature.
If you happen to have an Iphone or Droid, you have the opportunity to explore and document nature with some high-tech tools as well. The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy just posted a link on their blog to a really neat 'learning cloud' project for Schenley Park. It doesn't look like anything is available quite yet, but it will be soon! Meanwhile, I'm trying to set up a little meta-app for documenting the way water moves through urban areas. I set one up on Epicollect but right now it's a bit buggy. If you're feeling adventurous, download that app and load the project SlowWaterMovement (it is caps sensitive). Finally, for animals, plants, and other urban nature, try Project Noah.
And most importantly, get outside! The temperature is just now dropping below freezing after a 30 hour thaw, and I can't wait to see how the forest will respond!