Prepare to learn a lot about 360 hotspots

SO if you’re not HIP and IN THE KNOW, the James Monroe group is creating a 360 video tour, timeline, spotlight videos, QR codes, and website for the james monroe museum. my main job is figuring out the technology part of the 360 degree tour. Originally, we were going to use ThinkLink. It was super cool, great UI, easy learning curve, seemed perfect. Too good to be true, in fact. Over Spring Break I tried to work on the hotspots some more, but LO AND BEHOLD service was stopped because the free trial period ended. If I tried to do something or navigate somewhere other than the subscription and payment plan pages, I got hit with this lovely URL: .

Plans for businesses start at $20/mo. Plans for educators start at $120/yr. Neither were good or had guarantee of everything we were looking for. BUT!!! I may have found a saving grace on Tuesday.


It’s a free (really free, I read the Terms and Conditions this time) 360 image editor that lets you add interactive hotspots, with cool things like text, video, audio, and external links. And there are tutorials for everything. Here’s their sample video.

So, fingers crossed it works out! I’ve played around and it seems good. The next step is making it a real tour.

Monroe update

Our group has been greatly productive. We went to the museum, got all of our filming and principle photography done, and I’ve started to work on hotspots. I think that the timeline and research group is doing well, but we could do better in regards to our communication. We’re making good progress all in all. Next steps are to return to the museum on tuesday in order to finish getting footage of key artifacts. Emily in particular has been great at keeping us on track schedule-wise, and I’ve been heading the tech portion. So far, so good.

Updates and Challenges

This week, we submitted the draft of our contract. Our challenges with that seem to be specificity, we need to add much more detail to what we will be doing and how we will be doing it. As far as the project itself, we weren’t able to get a 360 camera from where we thought. To our knowledge, the only 360 camera that we can use is from the art department, so Kelly will be getting trained in that now. On the bright side, we can get started on filming and editing artifact videos next week. We’ve been able to find great resources for creating virtual tours, courtesy of Google, and we’ve been in contact with Jarod about scheduling.

On a personal note, my blog is seriously broken. I tried to update the site, and thankfully I had a backup because that’s what I’m working off of now. One of my goals before next class is to get my blog updated and functioning again.

Monroe Museum Week 2 Discussion

This week’s internet roundup was similar to last week’s for us. Our project seems relatively unique in that we won’t be categorizing artifacts or sorting through primary source data. In that, we found some common threads in the digital projects this week. The Lincoln website completely didn’t work, while the Residential Schools site was fluid and modern. The war memorials website was great if you were looking specifically for a name, but difficult to just browse around. The 9/11 repository did a good job on its videos, but uploading images, videos, and audio files directly to the site would burn a huge amount of space. There was one more site that Dr. McClurken linked in our Slack channel of another virtual tour. That one used image hotspots to turn images into links to 360 panoramas. This seems to be a good backup if the google tour has issues, like it did earlier. All in all, we don’t want things to be so complicated that they become dated, obsolete, or break entirely.

Tool Roundup Part 2

Alright let’s get this done:

I’ve worked with both StorymapJS and TimelineJS before, and they’re fine. TimelineJS is clunky to learn but after trying it out once or twice it’s easily workable. For the James Monroe Museum, I could see using either Storymap or Timeline in order to create an interactive timeline of the Biography room. Honestly, I was more excited about using Soundcite and Aurasma/HP Reveal in order to bring keystone exhibits such as the piano forte and the Monroe desk to shine.

<iframe src=”” frameborder=”0″ width=”100%” height=”800″></iframe>

<iframe src=’′ width=’100%’ height=’650′ webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen frameborder=’0′></iframe>

As for Aurasma, hopefully if you focus on this picture you will be greeted with a woman singing.

Aurasma seems more hit or miss, as I haven’t been able to get my friends’ phones to find it. This would be absolutely AMAZING for the museum, but again, it needs more working out. So far, everything is fine on the creation end, but being easily discoverable is something else entirely.

Yeah, websites are cool and all

I found that in searchingI liked the projects that were more interactive such as the Emilie Davis Diaries and the First Days Project. There were engaging reads, such as Black Perspectives and History of the National Mall. I found that I could appreciate the detail in something like The Great Molasses Flood, but the event itself and other representations were more interesting to me than the close reading of the paper. Some websites were easier to navigate thanks to their design- First Days in particular comes to mind as very natural. Unfortunately, I can’t see very much of what would work in the James Monroe museum project. Maybe an Omeka site like the History of the National Mall would work to host the videos and tour? But, more than likely it would just cause issues when trying to integrate it with the existing website or something would break along the way. I honestly don’t see much useful in these tools.

Adventures in Digital History

Hello everyone, my name is Lesya (sounds like Liza)

I decided to take ADH primarily because it fulfills the DGST minor requirement. The subject matter is also very interesting to me, as I am in the Elementary Education program and Interdisciplinary Science Studies major. This means that while I can teach general elementary without issue, I’m also more specialized to work as a STEM focus teacher, or in museums, zoos, aquariums, and nature centers. I have no clue where I’ll end up, but I think this class should be helpful in any area I pursue.

ARM Reflection

For this module I reviewed copyright law and made my own mashup. For both of these, I just googled the heck out of things. I remembered the basics of the copyright stuff from high school and DS106 and just found sources that proved my point or proved some outdated ideas I had wrong. For the mashup, I went to Reddit and mashup guides to see how to do things. I used Audacity since that’s what I was familiar with, and unfortunately it didn’t turn out that great. It’s okay though, it’s expected to have your first mashup sound like noise.

I spent a lot of my time listening to other mashups and trying to see what those creators did to make the songs match. Though this, I learned that Pop Punk and Alt Rock are not the easiest genres to mix because they’re particularly varied in mood, instruments, and style between and within songs. I ended up finding two videos- one of a mashup I wanted to do but had already been done, and one other (better) version of the songs that I mixed.

It’s a bit difficult for me to not be good at things, but I think it’s important. I didn’t make a particularly good mashup, but that means I can only improve. My mashed up album cover was pretty good, but it was more of an afterthought for Youtube than something I had planned. Black box videos are very dull to watch, after all. If I need to do another mashup in the future (say, for LipSync or something) I’ll be able to pull on the things I learned in this module and move forward instead of having to relearn basic skills.


Here’s someone else’s mashup of the same songs I did and it’s way better and also more legal

The major differences I’ve noticed is that this person sped up Girls/Girls/Boys to match LA Devotee and messed with the pitch a little bit, so I’ll log that for the next time I ever do a mashup. If that ever happens.

I Am Not A Creative Man

I didn’t like how my first mashup turned out so I thought I would do a quick one of two songs that are 100% the same I remember from middle school. But, literally the exact video I wanted to make was made four years ago so I’ll just link to it here.