Category Archives: ETMOOC

Ontario Snowy Owl Sightings – Winter 2014/2015

Snowy Owl, Toronto, December 24, 2014

Snowy Owl, Toronto, December 24, 2014

ebird, a project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society, collects data about bird sightings from observers around the world.  In addition to providing many ways of viewing this data online, it also allows downloading of data for use in non-commercial projects.  To access the data you will need to set up a free account (or use  your Project FeederWatch or Great Backyard Bird Count account) and request access to the data.

I requested data about bird sightings in Ontario and a smaller file of sightings of Snowy Owls in Ontario .  The data comes with terms of use, a recommended citation format and metadata information.


This map was created using the ebird data and CartoDB.  I uploaded the dataset, created a query to extract a subset of the data relating to the winter of 2014/2015 and created a torque map using the CartoDB map wizard.  The map shows a time-lapse of reported sightings of Snowy Owls in Ontario from October 1, 2014 – April 29, 2015.

Data retrieved from:  eBird Basic Dataset. Version: EBD_relMay-2015. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. May 2015.


Teach the Web

Time for another MOOC.  ETMOOC was incredibly interesting and valuable, so when I received an email about Mozilla’s Teach the Web course, I couldn’t help but sign up.  Topics to be discussed include:  Making as Learning, Connected Learning, Open Web, Webmaking as Learning.

Here is a short video about the project.

Mozilla Webmaker video

Museum in a Box – April 2013

Digital storytelling, the DS106 daily create, and content curation have led me to embark upon a project I’ll call Museum in a Box.  Because I know I will not be able to do this daily or even weekly, I’ll try for a year of monthly museum displays in a box.  Each month will have a theme and I’ll decide how to document each display as I go along.  My box is a David’s Tea Sampler pack which has 12 small clear-lidded canisters, but the box could be anything – an egg carton, one of those weekly pill reminder cases, a subdivided tin, etc.

Natural History is this month’s theme, so we have the Museum of Natural History in a Box.  Documentation of this museum is via a photograph on Flickr.

Museum of Natural History in a Box

Flickr photo by *s@lly* by-sa

Top row from the left: Hydragea flower, coral, lavender, acorns
Middle row from left: Milkweed seeds, wasp’s nest, alder catkin?, amethyst
Bottom row from left: money plant seed case, sea urchins, beech nut case, olive roll shells

Take Aways

Sadly this is the last week of ETMOOC.  I had fun and learned lots.  For my last “assignment” I wanted to create something that combined images, text, music and voice so I tried several new tools to do this – Prezi, Screencastomatic, voice memos on my phone and finally loaded the result to YouTube.

Finding Images to Share, Re-use and Mix


CC flickr photo by Olibac


CC BY-NC-ND flickr photo by Urban Woodswalker


CC BY-NC SA flickr photo by ramseymohsen

There are many places on the web where you can find images that have been licensed in such a way that you can use, share and/or modify them without requesting permission.  Most of these images are made available under Creative Commons licenses.  Ideally when you use an image licensed under Creative Commons you should attribute (in the way specified by the creator), indicate the license type and provide a link to the work.  If you want more details, this wikihow page goes into greater depth.

Here are a few ways that you can search for Creative Commons (CC) images on a few popular web sites.


To search Flickr for CC images, use the advanced search option.  Scroll down to the bottom of the page and select the type of Creative Commons images that you want to find.

Flickr Creative Commons SearchIf you want content you can modify or mash-up or use commercially, select the appropriate sub-options, otherwise just go with “Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content”.  Any search you do from this point in your browser session will give you CC images.  You should see the following at the top of your search results:

Showing Creative Commons-licensed content

Google Images

To search Google for Creative Commons licensed images, you will need to use the Advanced Image Search page.  Scroll down to the bottom where you will see the following:


Click on the drop-down arrow and select the type of images you would like.  You have the following options:

  • not filtered by license
  • free to use or share
  • free to use or share, even commercially
  • free to use, share or modify
  • free to use, share or modify, even commercially

Wikipedia Media Commons

Wikipedia Media Commons is a database of 16,370,108 (as of today) freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute.  In addition to images it also contains sound and video files.  You can browse the Commons for featured photos, or search by keyword.  Once you have found an image that you like, click on the thumbnail or title of the image to get to the page that provides you with detailed information about how you can use the image.  Each image will have a Permission (using this file) section.  This will tell you re-use options.  Here are a couple of examples:

I, the copyright holder of this work, release this work into the public domain. This work is in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less.Allowing Others to Use your Images

In the spirit of openness you might want to allow others to use your images. There are many ways to do this.  Here are just a couple.

Wikipedia Media Commons

The Wikipedia Media Commons is looking for people to contribute images.  They are not just looking for photographs, they are also looking for people to contribute diagrams and to help with the upkeep of the site. More information can be found on the main Wikipedia Media Commons Page.


Dog Sled Race at Kortright

My photo recently licensed as Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike

In Flickr you can set the license on your photos to allow re-use.  By default Flickr sets the most restrictive license on your photos (all rights reserved), but you can change this default in your settings, in the privacy and permissions tab, under defaults for new uploads.  If you change this default you need to be sure that everything you upload is your work.

If you prefer, you can change permissions on individual photos in Flickr.  When viewing the image, you will see an owner settings box as follows:

Flickr Owner Settings

Click on the edit beside All Rights Reserved to change the permissions on the photo.

Other Places to Find Images

There are lots of other resources that you can find re-usable media files.  Let me know if you have a favourite.