Libraries Remain on the Cutting Edge of Technology

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), October 25, 2004 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Libraries Remain on the Cutting Edge of Technology


Byline: Sarah Long

Librarians have always been early adaptors to new technology. For example, I remember the first fax machine I ever saw. It must have been in the mid-1970s. It was a sort of long cylindrical contraption with a needle that transcribed the letters onto a sheet of funny, coated paper. The paper smelled funny and faded after a while. In fact, the whole process took a long time and didn't work too well. But the point is, librarians were experimenting with fax technology well before it became commonplace in the 1980s.

At a recent library meeting, I was introduced to two amazing pieces of software that seem to foreshadow things to come.

The first is called Keyhole. My colleague who was demonstrating began by showing us a picture of the earth on his computer screen. Then he entered the address of the building we were in and we zoomed down and down and down to the very hotel where the demonstration was taking place. He asked someone in the crowd for her home address. Off we zoomed again and we could see the roof of this person's house and even make out her car in the driveway. Someone asked about a recent bombing in Fallujah, so we went to Iraq and saw the smoking crater from that tragedy.

Keyhole is made possible by a combination of satellite images and pictures from aircraft flyovers. Additional information, such as demographics, can be part of the equation to make the software extremely useful to businesses. For example, AMB Property owns over 1,000 buildings all over the world. The company uses Keyhole to show the condition of its properties, as well as the adjacent neighborhood.

You've probably seen Keyhole at work if you watch CNN. Keyhole software is regularly employed for aerial pictures as part of CNN's broadcasts. Go to the Keyhole Web site at www.keyhole.com and scroll down to the bottom of the first page. Click on the CNN logo for a demonstration or choose one of the Keyhole movies such as "Olympics: Stadium" for a very dramatic demonstration of what Keyhole can do.

The other piece of software is called Grokker, which searches other search engines and displays the results in a picture or diagram.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Libraries Remain on the Cutting Edge of Technology
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?