Brian's Photo Blog — Article 312
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Photo Outings All Over Oregon
Sunday 20 April 2014   —   Category: Outings
In July of last year I had announced some new Web site enhancements, including the grouping of related article by series. At the top of the Blog Index page you will find the drop-down list shown to the right, which allows you to see a listing of all the articles in a particular series.

Even though I have grouped my articles into various categories from the very beginning, I was finding that there were groups of articles which were related, but were spread across different categories, and even across many months or years. There was no easy way to see these related articles listed together until I came up with the ability to collect them into series. It’s a more flexible system, because an article can belong to only one category, but it can be grouped into any number of series.

For example, by choosing the Time-Lapse Photography series from the list, you are given a listing of five articles which touch on that subject, spread across three different categories and four different years. As you can see, series are good and useful things!

Since the inauguration of the series feature nine months ago, I have recently added three new series, all based upon the state in which the photographs mentioned in the articles were taken. The California Photo Outings series currently lists 10 articles which describe my photos outings to that state. At this point, the Washington Photo Outings series results in an article listing that is almost identical to that of the September 2012 Lake Chelan Outing series. But I am hoping to go on some more photo outings in Washington state, which will cause these two series to become different.

Last but absolutely not least, I have added a new Oregon Photo Outings series, which currently lists a whopping 55 articles that describe the many photo outings I have taken all over Oregon during the past three years. Seeing that long list made me wonder how many different places I have gone to in Oregon for my photo taking. So I fired up Google Earth and began dropping pins at each location.

When I was all done, I was amazed to find that I had 83 virtual pins scattered across the Oregon map! That’s a lot of traveling and shutter-pressing! I visited a large number of those places during 2012 — no wonder I was burned out by the end of that year!

Below is a reduced screenshot of the results. You can’t see all 83 dots, because some of them are so close together that they overlap and obscure each other. Obviously such a small map is not very practical or useful. However, I have come up with an interesting solution for that issue!
One feature of Google Earth is the ability to add one or more Web links to each pin you place on the map. This opens up some really exciting possibilities!

To the right is a screenshot of part of my list of 83 locations as seen in the Google Earth Sidebar. Let’s take a closer look at the first entry. If you were to click on the top link, Abiqua Falls, a pop-up box would appear directly above the corresponding pin on the map, as you can see in the screenshot to the left. In addition, you can also click directly on one of the red dots on the map to open the same pop-up box for that location.

Next, either in the Places Sidebar or in the pop-up box, you could click on the Abiqua Falls Photo Outing link, which would open a Web browser window inside Google Earth that displays the article I wrote detailing my photo outing to Abiqua Falls. In that article there is a link to the Abiqua Falls 2012 photo album, where you can see the collection of photos I took on that outing. All without even leaving Google Earth!

In order to take full advantage of this capability, I spent some hours modifying each of the 83 location pins, adding a link to the appropriate blog article or photo album on this Web site that corresponded to that location. As you can see from the list to the right, most places have only one link, but a certain number of them have two, like Bend and Blitzen Valley – Malheur Refuge.

If that weren’t enough, we now come to the really exciting part. Google Earth enables me to export my custom Places and easily share them with others! Below, you can download my custom list of Oregon locations, and open it in Google Earth on your computer or mobile device. What? You don’t have a copy of the free Google Earth? You can download it here for your computer, or here for your mobile device.

Once you have my list of Oregon places loaded into Google Earth, you can fly around the state, zoom in and out, and follow the embedded links to this Web site for more information about each location. Pretty cool, eh? It’s a lot more functional and useful than the small static map above!

Simply follow this link to download my custom Google Earth .kmz file. Then enjoy your very own 83-stop virtual tour of beautiful Oregon!
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 312
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