It’s not often I get a chance to random surf. But I took a little break to do just that. Here’s what I found:

Flash, Not Flash Gordon…okay maybe him too

Flash animation was great at the beginning, but it was always difficult to share and embed elsewhere. When social media came along, there were people making movies with Flash [NO! not Flash Gordon!] and you were getting that blank box with the text message “This content requires the Flash animation plugin….download it here”


Now the Internet Archives has figured out a way to save them. I made Flash animations and couldn’t even save them the first time!

Fake Booze

Found this slightly amusing.

Don’t drink alone, unless you are George Thorogood

Powerful Photo Editing Software on you USB stick

Haven’t tried it yet but found on a Web Dev geek site.

Expressive Pixels Open Source App from Microsoft

Example of pixels swirl The app gives the ability for people share animated visualizations in their own unique way. Users can make and show both static and animated images on LED displays and other digital devices, such as a PC. You can export the JSON code for use in other programs.

That’s it. I just had enough free time to paste this blog post together ya!

I am seriously wondering when the worlds attraction to social media will implode. I’ve been waiting for over a decade now. Take care of your own data!

I’ve just heard on the following podcast that Huber Engineered Wood Ltd. used Instagram to educate clients about improvements in building techniques and product use. The account got hacked and Facebook’s (owners of Instagram) answer to the help request was to shut down the entire account without notice. It’s a corporate account, which makes it very unprofessional when it suddenly drops dead from facebookitus.

Huber’s Instagram site is a great example of how to use the social media platform for marketing. But have your own website too! Sounds complicated? Time consuming? Not really if you set up some web automation you can send your content accross any number of social media platforms. Automatically! Instantaneous! Simultaneous!

Here are 3 sites that can do “web automations”. Some easy to use, others are more complex, but offer more powerful features.

  • Integromat. The most advanced automation platform I’ve looked at
  • Zapier very powerful and a full range of connected services
  • IFTTT Easy to use and is recommended by IOT users.

If you want even more convincing that you should take better care of what you post to these “free” social sites, here it is:

NATO Soldiers Manipulated by Facebook Fake Accounts

NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence is multi-nationally constituted and NATO-accredited international military organization, which is not part of the NATO Command Structure, nor subordinate to any other NATO entity. They created the Catfish accounts to study NATO soldiers.

The NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence (NATO StratCom COE) wanted to know how vulnerable troops were to social media. They did some social experiments on their troops (pardon the pun). I’d encourage you to read the white paper on their findings. It involves Catfishing, and if you don’t know what that is, read the World Economic Forums take on this study. I’ve saved a copy right here for you in PDF

One of my favorite mapping tools is what3words. I’ve updated the contact forms to include a location autosuggest for filling out a 3word address. The CSS keeps messing up the display, but that’s another days work.

    Your Name (required)

    Your Email (required)


    Your Message

    Enter Your What3Words Address:

    not sure what a 3word address is? check out more here:


    Esri is putting out some open source API’s. Because of this there are new opportunities with creating plug-ins for WordPress.

    I was about to link to the ESRI Javascript API and create my own embedded map from ArcOnline. Someone beat me to it, namely Gavin Rehkemper,  With the help of his brand new Plug-in called Embed Webmap. I created a map online, made it public and linked it with the plugin.  Now I can start adding things to my map and this page’s map is automatically updated.

    Note that this this is an evergreen map.  This means that the map will change over time, so you will have to check back to see changes as I learn more about using ArcGIS Online.  If you want to be notified of changes to this page, I suggest you subscribe to the comments RSS feed.



    Some icons are from ESRI and included with the mapping licence, other Icons made by Scott de Jonge, Freepik from is licensed by CC BY 3.0  I will try and list them below as I use them.

    And here is another kind of Map.  It’s a Story Map.  I made one that shows some of the places we went to this past year.

    Hepburn Story Map 2015