Wednesday, November 25, 2009

2010 Photo Guide plans

Over the month of December I'll be working on the 2010 plans for the Mt. Rainier NP photo guide. At this juncture I'd like to ask folks to send in or add comments with their ideas and suggestions. Topic, activities, information, resources, etc. you'd like to see with the photo guide. I still have some unincluded topics on the to-think-about list, so you can add to that or improvements to ones already there.

That said, the 2010 plans have several directions with the Website (version 3.0 for a new overall design) but more importantly for new Webpages and products or services for the photo guide. These are as follows.

The first is to finish the existing sections, as noted in the photo guide table of contents. These include guides for trees and forest, the two remaining quadrants (NE and SE), and a short history of the effort for NP designation, 1890-1899. New sections for wildlife, climbing and whatever else I find or is suggested will be added. In addition, the history projects have a lot of work left with the pre-NP history, the 1896 expedition and the first maps.

These are the highest priority for 2010, to complete the basic photo guide. Next is the always on-going updates, once or twice a month. And after that is the expansion, improvement and enhancement of the existing sections for more information, more resources or new applications for the Web pages. This will more than likely continue into the next few years after the basic guide is done.

Following that I want to focus on two other topics. One is the early photographers, 1890-1900, after the introduction of nitrate-based sheet film for large format (4x5 and 5x7 known to date but likely 8x10 too) by Kodak. The number of photographers exploded after 1890. The other is the early history of changes in the NP through the maps and available documents. The roads and trails changed over the years, and the maps are interesting to see those changes.

Second is to develop better interactive maps and better descriptive downloadable maps. The goal with the book (next) is to have folding maps of the NP and each of the five areas with locations and notes for photo opportunities. Right now I haven't found the right base map or learned the application to produce them. Yeah, the learning curve there.

In additon, I working to find more early maps and make the maps available. Right now, all the digital files are large, 200-500 Mbytes for each one, useful for work but not the Web. And reducing them loses a lot in translation of the details and the sheer beauty of them, such as the first USGS topographic map in1915.

Third, is the production of a draft book. The goal was to find a publisher, but considering the times and demand for print books, I'll still try it, as several produce similar books for the NP's, but I will look to produce the first draft as an on-line version for public comment. Yeah, yikes. But it's part of the process to develop a useable book for photograhers visiting the NP.

Right now, the book is planned to be a general guide with the maps, maybe 80-100 pages. The Website will still have the same information but it will enchance the book with more and updated information. The two will be overlapping and linked so the photographer can use either or both. That will, hopefully, interest a publisher for a print version, at which time the on-line book will be dropped or modified.

Fourth is the newest idea I saw. That's an Apple iPhone/iTouch app for the photo guide. This idea is just that so far, an idea. I saw one for Arches NP and talked with the photographer/developer of the app, and it really sounds like a cool and neat idea for the device. But that means more learning to see the work and process to develop the Web pages for the app.

So far, that's the 2010 plan. You're welcome to e-mail me your suggestions and ideas.

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