Mara Scanlon recently attended a Google Docs workshop with DTLT’s own Martha Burtis and came away with a pretty impressive idea. One of the projects the Digital Whitman students at UMW (and elsewhere in the Looking for Whitman project) is a video about where they found Whitman. They are making these videos themselves, and they are composed of a reading of a particular poem in a specific place. The idea of place plays a key role in the Looking for Whitman project, and Mara thought it would be cool to have the students embed their videos on a Google map that we then embed in a webpage (how’s that for professors with cool ideas?).
A Quick How-To for the Whitman Video Locator
I told Martha Mara’s idea—which, in fact, Martha had given her—and she built the Whitman Video Locator that we are now using on the Digital Whitman blog. You can see both the embedded map and form for entering data here. And while I didn’t build it and don’t have all the details, it appears that Martha created a Google Spreadsheet with three columns: time stamp, address, and embed code, with an associated Google Form that allows users to add the address in one field and the embed code for where ever their video lives (YouTube, Blip.tv, Vimeo, etc.) in another.
After that, there is a gadget you need to add to the Spreadsheet titled “Map,” and from there you can select the appropriate range of data—which is the address and embed code columns, not the time stamp. Afer that, you click on the Gadget and publish out the map. What’s nice is that the videos get added real time to the map when people add their address and embed code.
I hope Martha will fill in the holes if I missed anything here, because it is a truly slick use of Google Docs for quickly sharing work through a form and aggregating it instantly via a map, and all the crazier that videos of all kind embed within the map. I love the whole thing.