Thursday, February 7, 2008

Location Blogging for Free without Software!

Finally! After much research I have found a great and free web2.0 application that couples with cell phones for location blogging. It is called Flagr. Flagr allows anyone to create an account. And Flagr works with just about any basic cell phone (no smartphones needed), and no need to download software! In Flagr you can participate in the large global community Flagr map (similar to the Twitter public timeline) OR you can create your own maps. You can make your maps public, semi-private (guests need an invitation to post to the map), or private (you are the only one that can post to the map). Once you create an account, you just click on Create a New Map. Name the map and give it a subject (such as "my spring break travels" or "local biological organisms"). Then hit Save and you will immediately see the map and a mobile Flagr email where you can send your text messages or cameraphone pictures!

For example if you wanted to ask students to document local historical landmarks in their everyday experiences to the map above, they can take a picture with their cell phones of the historical artifact and immediately send it (m02pe@flagr.com) to the class Flagr map, along with a text message of the location and any other information to describe the item. So it would look like this on your cell phone...

Send to: m02pe@flagr.com
Message: Ann Arbor, MI. house of original residents

Now it will post a new "flag" on Ann Arbor with the message and or picture. Over the course of the entire school year, the class could have a large collection of finds!

Here are the Steps:
1) Login to Flagr.com and create a new account, by clicking on Sign Up.
2) Click on Create A New Map in your account.





3)Select the type of map you want to create (Public, Semi-Private, or Private)







4) Give your map a topic, name, web location, and icon









5) Now your map is ready for posting. It will automatically generate a mobile address for your map! Flag away!










Another example could be student mobile journalism, where students report on current news events happening locally or globally. Another feature of Flagr is that you don't actually have to be at the physical location in order to post from your cell to the map. For example, if I wanted to text message about a current event happening in Tennessee such as the Tornadoes, I could text the message from my house in Ann Arbor, MI, but when I send it, I could identify Nashville, Tenn as the location so it will post a "flag" in Nashville on our class map. It really forces students to know and understand geography!

1 comment:

Joe said...

Cool idea! Thanks for sharing!

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