Embedding a Map

Since we are currently learning about embedding a map, I thought I would go ahead and use this time to start work on my final project. I know that everyone has been waiting with bated breath to see which direction I would go in, but after a somewhat difficult decision, I’ve decided to choose Historic Mount Vernon over Harper’s Ferry. I am more interested in learning about Harper’s Ferry because I’ve only ever been there once, and I just don’t know as much about it. However, the more logical choice was Mount Vernon, not just because of the location to me, but also because of my level of intimacy with the estate. I’ve traveled to and performed at Mount Vernon several times as a child, and even more times as an adult. I have friends that work there. It was the right decision.

So without further adieu (and hopefully no technological difficulty) may I present my map of General George Washington and his local Virginia ‘haunts’. I have a lot more research to do, and several more sites to add to my interactive map, but this is a start. I included Mt. Vernon as well as a few locations in Old Town Alexandria that were frequented or occasionally visited by Washington.


Historic Greenfield Village

My opinion (which we all know what opinions are like) is that Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan-along with the Henry Ford Museum-is far superior to Colonial Williamsburg.  Williamsburgians (is that a word?) will say that Colonial Williamsburg is better because of it’s pure historic value.  The historic houses in CW were built there and remain there to this day.  My problem with CW is that some of the buildings are still privately owned.  So when you go to CW, it’s kind of awkward and confusing knowing which homes and buildings you can tour, and which you cannot.

Greenfield Village is a place that historical purists probably won’t like.  The buildings in GV were taken apart and brought to Michigan and restored with great care.  But I don’t care, and here is the reason.  You can go into every single building in GV.  There is much to learn about there, from George Washington Carver to The Wright Brothers.  I love Greenfield Village.  So when we were asked to do another map project and I had to look at a grand map of the United States and decide where I wanted to mark it, I did so.  I also included pins from where I grew up, both in Detroit proper and then Garden City so you could see the proximity to Greenfield Village I lived.  Click this link, my map is interactive.  The homes pictured in Garden City and Detroit aren’t the actual homes I grew up in, but they are pretty close matches.  I’m also attaching a screenshot of my map so you can see firsthand how wonderful my skills are.

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 8.58.20 AM


Google Maps is the Best-True That, Double True

This is the project that I’ve had the most problems with.  I’ve been working on trying to figure out what the magic land of Google considers ‘my place’ for a few weeks now, and I’m not sure if I got it.  But I’m sure going to give it a college try, so to speak!

Here’s my attempt, check out this map ((this is me holding my breath)):


I hope this worked.  In the coming weeks, I have quite a lot of work to do concerning maps while creating my final project.  I’m trying to decide between doing a project on Mt. Vernon (a place I’ve been to several times, and somewhere that I have an ‘in’-a good buddy that works there) and Harper’s Ferry (somewhere I haven’t been to in over a decade, and definitely somewhere I’d like to spend more time).  One of the facets of the final project is to post at least 2 interactive maps, so the difficulty I’ve had with this post is of course daunting.

Our instructions were to go to our google account on maps.google.com and click on “My Place” and then “Create Map”, export the map as a KML file by adding “&output=kml” to the end of the URL for the map I create.  After some discussion in class, it was decided that we were supposed to use Google Earth instead, so I downloaded Google Earth.  I still couldn’t find a “My Place” tab, so I typed “My Place” into the search bar and came up with a general map of my current location.  Then I clicked the “View in Google Maps” icon, and then the “Open in Firefox” tab.  From there I added “&output=kml”, and used the “link” tab to add the link to my blog here.  Fingers Crossed.

Computer Security

Well, here I am trying to catch up with my school work after a fun-filled Spring Break of sleeping in, celebrating birthdays, and hijinx at work.  So to all of my fan (hi mom), I apologize for the brief hiatus in my blog.

Today’s topic is computer security.  Here is a list of basic security measures recommended by George Mason University’s IT department:

  • Activate a Password Protected Screensaver
  • Use Strong Passwords for All of Your Accounts
  • Automatically Receive Critical Updates
  • Use Antivirus Software and Verify Proper Configuration
  • Back Up Files As Needed
  • Never Open Suspicious E-mails or Attachments
  • Use SSL or https for Online Transactions
  • Reformat Hard Drive if Owner Changes
  • Use Secure Shell, https, VPN, or Other Encrypted Client Portals for Transferring Files
  • Follow Best E-mail Practices
  • Browse Safely

Some of these are common sense for most of us, however there is a growing target of e-attacks against senior citizens.  While most people may not open a “suspicious e-mail or attachment”, seniors have a tendency toward trusting internet sources.  My 68 year old father lost $2500 in such an attack.  How did they get him?  They hacked his cousin’s account and sent my dad a message that appeared to be coming from his own cousin asking for money.

Another form of internet safety above that I’d like to touch on is to “use strong passwords for all of your accounts”.  This is a great practice, but also extremely annoying.  Depending on what you are trying to access, the requirements for passwords is different.  Some sites require two or more “special characters” (such as @, !, or $), a mix of capital and lower-case letters, and one or more numbers.  Other sites don’t allow special characters.  The trouble here is that while Internet security becomes more standard, it becomes near impossible to keep track of what password you use where.

How do you protect yourself?  First of all, your computer and/or devices should have password protection.  This is good for loss or theft of your device, as well as keeping teenagers and young student humans off of your computer.  (This is experience talking).  Other safety strategies are to use visual aids in your passwords, such as a ‘site-key’ required when logging onto online banking.  If you don’t recognize your site-key, then you are most likely logging into a fraudulent website.  You can also set up your device to require security questions, for example you cannot log in until you type the name of your high school boyfriend’s step mothers best friend’s maiden name.  You get the point.