Conservation Research, Snapchat, Google Maps, More: Thursday Buzz, July 21, 2016


A new portal for conservation research data has been launched. “The new SNAPP tool operates as a flexible, graphical data portal for the links between conservation interventions and human well-being outcomes that allows users to download desired information as well as charts and summaries. It collates information from over 1,000 studies in an easy-to-interpret way and visualizes it for quick uptake. Users can filter the information by intervention and outcome type, geographic location, biome and study design – allowing them to hone in on regions and ecosystems of interest and gain quick information on the abundance and general quality of information for specific linkages and areas.”


Snapchat will now let you use Bitmoji. “Bitmoji, for the uninitiated, allows users to create their own personal emoji with passing resemblance to their real flesh human face, which they can then use in messaging apps to express person feelings like ‘Surprise!’ and ‘Disappointment.'” And “What the heck is Bitmoji?”

Google Maps is apparently showing fewer business listings in search results. “This includes showing fewer results on the left hand side where it shows local listings as well as it showing less results in the map itself with less pins showing up for local businesses. I personally saw this when I searched for some keywords that I track – although I do not have before and after screen shots.”

What’s with all the speed tests all of a sudden? Now it looks like Google’s getting one.

I really am trying to keep the Pokestuff to a minimum, but I thought it was fascinating that Delaware State Parks was so fast off the mark that it’s already launched a Pokemon Go contest. “On Monday, the Division of Parks and Recreation launched ‘Poké Park Adventure,’ a contest for Pokémon trainers of all ages. To win, players must take a screenshot of their avatar in one of Delaware’s state parks, and then take screenshots of each Poké Stop that they visit. Then, players must upload the screenshot to social media and use the hashtag #pokeparkde.”


MakeUseOf: 5 Retro Operating Systems You Can Revisit with Ease on Linux.


Uri Shaked: Exploring the Physical Web (Without Buying Beacons) “The Physical Web is still pretty new, but the basic idea is that the Physical Web lets you broadcast any URL to the people around you. Awesome, right? The Physical Web lets you anchor URLs to physical places by way of a BLE beacon, effectively allowing you to ‘park’ a webpage, link to a file, etc., wherever you want.”
I knew about beacons because of their expanding use in retail, but this article showed me how accessible the Physical Web is to anybody.


The New Jersey Supreme Court will decide if government metadata is public. “The New Jersey Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case brought by an open-government activist who contends that the public should be allowed to view electronic data and metadata kept by local government agencies. In summer 2013, John Paff requested a log of the emails sent by the Galloway Township police chief and the township clerk during a two-week period in June 2013, and then sued in an Ocean County court when his request was denied.”

I have wondered about this a lot: Forensic psychologists reveal why people are posting evidence to their crimes on Facebook and Snapchat. “Across social media, people are using the platforms to showcase their crimes — with heartless selfies and humiliating clips of their victims. For all the crooks posting their own incriminating evidence on social media, forensic psychologists say a common thread ties them all together: an insatiable craving for attention.”


A very long read, and the conclusions are not – uh – conclusive. But what a great project. Are games a viable solution to crowdsourcing improvements to faulty OCR? – The Purposeful Gaming and BHL experience. “The Missouri Botanical Garden and partners from Dartmouth, Harvard, the New York Botanical Garden, and Cornell recently wrapped up a project funded by IMLS called Purposeful Gaming and BHL: engaging the public in improving and enhancing access to digital texts … The goals of the project were to significantly improve access to digital texts through the applicability of purposeful gaming for the completion of data enhancement tasks needed for content found within the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL). This article will share our approach in terms of game design choices and the use of algorithms for verifying the quality of inputs from players as well as challenges related to transcriptions and marketing.”

Study: Using Twitter to Share Physician-Generated Medical News. “Over a 1-year period, academic cardiovascular physicians at the Mayo Clinic used a new Twitter account to share medical news and gained more than 1,200 followers, with tweets of original journal content garnering the greatest response, according to an article published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking website until August 20, 2016.”

From Think with Google: Why YouTube Stars Are More Influential Than Traditional Celebrities. This is an infographic and at least on my computer took a moment to load, so the page might look blank at first. Good morning, Internet…

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