The Bridge Blog A dialog about our new bridge and these web pages
Overview. As a pointy-headed
university professor, my weekend project of bridge photography and
building these web pages generated many questions and introduced me
to just-in-time learning. I enjoy chasing my curiosity and
want to identify ways to encourage younger learners to also enjoy curiosity
chasing and learning.
Learning usually requires repetition while forgetting occurs when
I infrequently use information. Many young learners do not understand
the importance of repetition. Weekly visits to the bridge provided
the repetition necessary to detect changes in the bridge and
many questions and opportunities for learning. Over the course of the
bridge project, I had access to few experts for answering questions.
Rather than a liability, this became an asset and pushed me to improve
my search skills with Google. Soon, I found that answers
to questions encountered during my weekly photo shoots were often
only a Google-search away -
Restoring the Joy in Learning). Consequently Google + Internet became
dependable extensions of my memory.
Our new Cooper River Bridge is a great motivator for learning.
That said, Google + the Internet are
great resources for both learning and for remembering.
(If you see a disconnect, visit the
Earlier this week I faced the challenge of learning how to stitch photos
together in order to make a panoramic presentation. The results (see below)
were ok, but the junction of the images was apparent, particularly the
junction of the left image and its neighbor. Since this is Charleston,
2nd class results are simply not acceptable, so I faced another challenge -
how to improve the blend between the images.
Last week, I found an open source program
hugin - a Panorama Tools GUI
available from Sourceforge.
Last night, I started my search with Google and
found a link to another Sourceforge offering,
Enblend, as well as a tutorial
blending exposures using Gimp. I visited the enblend web site and
sure enough, there was both an example, based on Hugin, which I used last
week to build the panoramic image as well as the code for computing
the blended image. So I downloaded the code, and another surprise, it
compiled without an error. I then followed the instructions and created
the above result. Needless to say, I was grinning from ear to ear.
A word about open source software. I have been associated with open source
resources since I obtained our
at Duke in 1974. Although open
source software is often called free software,
it requires some effort to build, integrate and use.
Richard Stallman, a champion of
the open source movement,
prefers that the term, free, refer to the personal liberty that
is associated with the use of open source software and not its cost.
These bridge web pages reflect the freedom and liberty associated with
being able to access and integrate open source software in producing
a result. For example, my web server software is
Apache and my
desktop system runs
At the application level,
Gimp is my image processing tool, now joined