Use Your Point-and-Shoot Digital Camera as Document Scanner

Rosie by ((carola)) on flickrDespite the promises made by children’s cartoons and most works of science fiction we continue to endure life without personal jetpacks, flying cars, robotic housemaids named Rosie, and an exhaustive and fully digitized record of human knowledge. And while there’s not much advice I can offer to get you any closer to those first three goals, I’m pretty certain that you’ve got the tools at your disposal to digitize any document or publication you can get your hands on.

You might assume that the proper tool for this kind of work would be a flatbed scanner. For a while that was definitely true. These days, however, your digital camera can almost certainly handle the job. Yes, even that point-and-shoot camera that you bought years ago to take on vacations and photograph your cat for her very own blog. I use my camera all the time to photograph manuscript material at archives and sections of books or articles that I can’t or don’t want to lug home from libraries. Continue reading

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Try TinEye for Tracking down Image Copyright Info

TinEyeLast week I wrote a post about using Creative Commons Search for finding images and other media free from copyright restrictions. Today over at the Chronicle of Higher Education’s ProfHacker blog, the reverse process is discussed. Their post, Image Citation and Reverse Search with TinEye, explains how you can use the TinEye reverse image search to track down the copyright info of an image. From the review it sounds like the TinEye database isn’t yet robust enough to find any image you throw at it, but it seems like a good place to start if you are wondering about the provenance of a particular image.

Head over to ProfHacker, a favorite site of ours here at DiYiT, to learn more about this tool.

Use Creative Commons Search to Find Text, Images, and Other Media

Creative Commons SearchA few weeks back I posted some advice about how to best display images in PowerPoint. That post ended with mention of a few online resources for finding images. Today I want to highlight another, more comprehensive option. The fine folks over at Creative Commons have put together a page which provides quick and convenient access to a variety of search engines. The Creative Commons Search page can draw data from Google, Google Image Search, Flickr, blip.tv, Jamendo, SpinXpress, and Wikimedia Commons. With one search at Creative Commons you can tab through the results from each of these engines.

For those of you unfamiliar with Creative Commons, it is a non-profit organization which promotes the sharing of creative and intellectual property. Here at DIY Ivory Tower, we’ve elected to publish our posts under a Creative Commons “share and share alike” style license. It allows others to share, copy, distribute, and adapt our work so long as they provide proper attribution and make the resulting content available in a similar manner. You can learn more about our license in particular and the organization in general by following the Creative Commons link at the bottom of the content bar on the right side of this and every DiYiT page.

Creative Commons Search

As you might expect from Creative Commons, their search page automatically limits your results to the text, images, videos, music, or other media available for legal reuse. The search page gives you the option to find results which can be used for commercial purposes or those which can be legally adapted, modified, or built upon. Creative Commons does note that they do not have any control over the results displayed by these search engines so you should definitely double check the copyright status of any media you intend to use.

A few weeks back I posted some advice about how to best display images in PowerPoint. That post ended with mention of a few online resources for finding images. Today I want to highlight another, more comprehensive option. The fine folks over at Creative Commons have put together a page which provides quick and convenient access to a variety of search engines. The Creative Commons Search page can draw data from Google, Google Image Search, Flickr, blip.tv, Jamendo, SpinXpress, and Wikimedia Commons. With one search at Creative Commons you can tab through the results from each of these engines.

For those of you unfamiliar with Creative Commons, it is a non-profit organization which promotes the sharing of creative and intellectual property. Here at DIY Ivory Tower, we’ve elected to publish our posts under a Creative Commons “share and share alike” style license. It allows others to share, copy, distribute, and adapt our work so long as they provide proper attribution and make the resulting content available in a similar manner. You can learn more about our license in particular and the organization in general by following the Creative Commons link at the bottom of the content bar on the right side of this and every DiYiT page.

As you might expect from Creative Commons, their search page automatically limits your results to the text, images, videos, music, or other media available for legal reuse. The search page gives you the option to find results which can be used for commercial purposes or those which can be legally adapted, modified, or built upon. Creative Commons does note that they do not have any control over the results displayed by these search engines so you should definitely double check the copyright status of any media you intend to use.