Wow, what a final class we had last Wednesday afternoon when everyone from the class presented their final projects. It was very clear that many of the projects were unfinished and as Bill Turkel promised us at the beginning of term, “you will fail and that’s ok. Its part of the learning process.” He was right and the sooner that we came to terms with this idea the quicker the learning experience became one of discovery, imagination and investigative learning and not one of frustration and self-condemnation. The philosophy of not actually achieving a final completed project is over shadowed by the quantity and quality of learning new stuff while on the road to what in the end turned out to be not failure but a sense of accomplishment especially when your class mates tell you how cool your project is!!
Before I get into the finality of cycling through Dundas Street in 1926, I would like to point you in the direction of my classmates so you can take the justified amount of time to view their progress on their projects. This sounds like a cop-out from me but I don’t think I could give their projects the time or description eloquently enough to really convey the true genius behind their ideas. Below therefore is a list of each of my classmates blogs and a brief description of their project. Just a note, Matt Ogglesby’s blog has a collection of pictures that he took of all the projects and as he helped me in my quest of taming Google Earth with an XBOX 360 controller I’ll start with him!
Matt Ogglesby and Dave Sikkema created an interactive time-line based on The HMS Glatton by combining a Kinect receiver and a Simile Timeline in Google maps.
Mohammed and Antonio de-constructed a cute white plastic duck and recreated a flapping, quacking, possessed duck with red eyes that responds to certain commands from Twitter. Do not leave this switched on at night!!
Adriana and Lindsay went back to Alberta and created a travelling suitcase that uses RFID tags placed in passports to show and explain some of the immigrant groups to Alberta. At least they made the connection to Scotland with the tartan surround!!
Sushima and Laura stayed close to my childhood with a Lego “History Squares” where you answered historical questions on the computer and if you answered correctly you place a Lego figure in a game of noughts and crosses. Their prototype was based on Henry VIII.
Shaun and Catherine built a very good model of the White House that was linked to a “Democratic Donkey” (you have to see the photos to get this one!) which when depressed gave you a tour of the rooms in the White House. Good seeing you in the pub this past weekend!!
Cynthia built a spectacular “peepshow” based on the opening of the Crystal Palace at the “height” of the British Empire”. Her interactive display coincided with a sound byte that narrated some of the opening speeches and focuses on the printing press.
Adrian introduced us to the history of Prime Ministers of Canada by scanning Canadian paper money over a light sensor. Once initiated the computer produces a slide show on the relevant Prime Minister on the note. Funny how politics and money go together!!
My GIS classmate Heather introduced us to the magic of a baseball home run with her “homerun helmet”. A movement sensor is attached to the front of the helmet which sends a signal to an Arduino at the back. After hitting a home run the computer plays one of four audio tracks based on a “historic” home run.
Hilary produced a very imaginative and funny comic book sketch where a plagiarizing octopus was stealing all the knowledge from the library. In trying to protect citations a Ninja defeats the octopus with footnotes!! Undergrads beware!!
Ok, we are nearly there. Javier and Roberto were ingenious with their algorithmic based interactive pressure sensitive paintings that recognized facial features by touching their screen. What was interesting about this was that the images that they used to create facial features were based on icons.
Sarah completed a couple of projects which included a penguin that vibrates when it points South…. and a reconstruction on a Van Gogh painting with blinking lights. Unfortunately due to the location of our class room, her GPS project was proving difficult maintaining a satellite connection.
Well enough said of my classmates projects and I am pretty sure you have given them all the justice they deserve. I only wish I had remembered to bring in my camera so that I could have posted some cool photos. Ah well, I’m getting old and forgetful!! So, what was I saying?
Ah yes, my last blog detailed the difficulty I was having in deciding which medium to use to convey my project. I finally decided on SketchUp, my trusty 3-D program, to make a video of what I was trying to achieve. Luckily I had the images from the archives of London for the relative time period. However I forgot how clunky SketchUp can be at producing high quality graphics for a large walk through. Ah well pixel count isn’t everything. I must admit that finally admitting defeat at 11pm on Tuesday night was a welcome relief. I drew out a couple of scenarios for each image and even found an arduino in the model files. Wow.
Having set up a wall for each photo I wanted to look at it, and then placing each photo to the right scale on the screen, I created a series of camera setup spots with which to take the images. After three films in .avi and lots of jiggery pockery I managed to finish the video below which you can view on YouTube. So now from the safety of your home you can travel down Dundas Street in 1926 without getting run over by a tram, horse, car or worrying about an emergency stop for a pedestrian. All from the comfort of home……. I hope you enjoy. What a great class!! Google eat your heart out!!