We just re-organized our Language Learning collection to make it a little easier to browse. We used to shelve these books in order by their Dewey Decimal numbers — long numbers that go something like 468.3421, and made little sense to anybody other than us librarians.
Our new system is much simpler; the books just go alphabetically by the name of the language, starting with Arabic and ending with Yiddish. We’ve also re-labeled all the books in that collection, and added some new signage that should help you find your way as you embark on a voyage of discovering another language.
Language learners and travellers, be sure to let us know what you think of the new set-up! And if you aren’t currently learning another language, try browsing through the section anyway; we’re pretty sure that something there will catch your eye!
If you’re planning a getaway, we’ve got Travel Guides to go!
Now you can download digital travel guides to your Kindle or any other eBook-compatible device. Just go to the Washington Anytime Library/Overdrive and enter the search term “travel,” or your destination.
If you’re staying close to home, check out the Lonely Planet guide 48 Hours in Seattle. For adventures farther afield, you’ll find guides to cities throughout the US, and travel to Mexico and Europe.
And there are titles for arm chair travelers as well: Lights, Camera…Travel! — the adventures of celebrity travelers, The Best American Travel Writing of 2011 edited by Sloan Crosley, and Travel as a Political Act by Rick Steves.
I’ve always wanted to see Switzerland. Fortunately for me, there’s an app for that… and much more. You’ve heard of Google. You may have used Google Maps to get directions or map out a trip. But have you heard of Street View? It’s been around since 2007, but many people aren’t aware of this fantastic resource for spending yet more mind-boggling screen time on the web.
Street View isn’t available for all locations, of course. And it’s easily confused with Google Earth, which is a separate program you have to have installed specially to use. Street View is just a part of the Google Maps website. When you zoom in to the maximum and keep clicking on the plus sign, if Street View is available, it’ll show up.
Would you like to see how New Orleans is recovering?
How about the ancient pyramids of Mexico?
Switzerland? Check. Thailand? Check. Israel, Poland, Cape Canaveral (inside and out)? No problem.
So here’s how it works: Google has all these people running all over the planet, taking pictures. Really. They drive down streets in Seattle and they drive to the North pole on snowmobiles. They use satellites to update aerial views and special cameras to capture panoramic, 360-degree views. Since 2007, they’ve taken tens of millions of images and driven (or biked?) more than 5,000,000 unique miles of road. Here’s one of their camera cars:
Sometimes, of course, the cameras catch funny things; there are lots of online collections of those. And, of course, there are the inevitable privacy concerns.
Here’s two collections of Google amazement; you’re going to want to view these on a fast Internet connection.
Street View Collections
World Wonders Project
Filed under Internet, Travel