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This page created by: Catie Armstrong, Katrina Barkulis, Bonnie Buckingham, Ryan Campbell, Luke Long, and Kyle Moseley

http://vi.sualize.us/


Overview

Vi.sualize.us is a website that can be used to save photos in a portfolio, so that they may be accessed in an easier fashion than before and it saves storage space on your computer. Vi.sualize.us can be used to upload pictures to social networking sites.  It can also be used for educational purposes to save related pictures for PowerPoints or any type of project that uses images.

I. History

1. Development

In 2007, a new web application called Vi.sualize.us was created by a software engineer from Spain, named Victor Espigares. Espigares received a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Málaga in 2004. Aside from his degree, Espigares is a self-taught photographer. When Espigares needed to remember a particular photo for a portfolio, he found he was unhappy with the current offerings to save the photo. Hence, he created Vi.sualize.us, and he greatly emphasizes the usability of his website.

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2. How Vi.sualize.us Works

Vi.sualize.us is now compatible with Firefox 3.5, Internet Explorer, and Safari. This website can be used to install pictures onto Twitter, Facebook, and even has a free application on the iPhone.
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Step 1: Join Vi.sualize.us by clicking the "Sign Up" tab in the upper left hand corner. Enter your information and click the big green sign up button.

Step 2: Now that you’ve signed up, you will receive an e-mail asking you to confirm your registration. Click the link that shows up.

Step 3: Once you’ve clicked the link in the e-mail, it will take you to a page that will ask you to install “Post to VisualizeUs” into your bookmarks toolbar. Follow the directions on the site (directions will be different for Firefox and Internet Explorer users).

Step 4: Now you’re ready to search for pictures! Find a website with a picture you want to remember, then click the “Post to VisualizeUs” button on your toolbar. The images on the screen will have a blue boarder around them, and you can just click on the picture to paste it to your Vi.sualize.us website.

Step 5: When you go back to your Vi.sualize.us homepage, you can post pictures. Click the “Post” tab in the upper left hand corner of the site. Enter a url in the box, and hit the green “add picture button”. It will take you to a page where you can put the Author or Title, add a description, add tags, and add the website where you found the picture. Hit the green “Add picture” button again.

Step 6: You can also hit the “Pictures” tab in the top left corner, and it will take you to all of your saved pictures!

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3. Getting More Out Of The Application

With this website you can...

1. Sign up for free with no invite needed

2. Use Firefox extension and browser buttons to bookmark your images faster

3. Organize and tag your bookmarked images

4. Full powered feeds and a badge to embed on your site

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II. Application

Sometimes you are looking through pictures on the web and one of them catches your eye.  You know you want to remember it and be able to look at it again in the future, but it's not that easy. Downloading every picture you like to your hard drive can get tedious and hard to organize. This is where vi.sualize.us comes into play: after two clicks you can quote the image reference into your account and easily look at the picture whenever you want to.  It will always be online and always available. 

1. Comparison to Competitors

You may have heard of the applications Delicious.com and Kaboodle. Delicious.com is a site for adding and sharing bookmarks, and Kaboodle is known for digital scrap-booking- saving photos of items that you may want to purchase online etc. Vi.sualize.us combines the features that the other two sites have to offer. Vi.sualize.us allows you to gather your favorite layouts and images to one specific place that you can access any time you want. With vi.sulaize.us, you never have to worry about combing the web to find specific pictures you like. Vi.sualize.us allows you to remember your favorite images so that you can share them with anyone, anytime. 

Delicious.com's Homepage

Kaboodle's Homepage 

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2. Unique Uses

Vi.sualize.us is very convenient for almost any social networking site (Facebook, Twitter, Myspace), and even the iPhone (there's an app for that!). The power of this site is the ability it gives you to share your bookmarks with the rest of the world.  And that's the key to social networking. Instead of keeping bookmarks privately on your browser, you have the opportunity to share them with everyone. 
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III. Real World Application

Vi.sualize.us is an application that could be used in a million different ways. For example, this website could be used for people in marketing. They could bookmark different advertisements that they found on the internet and use those images to improve their own work. Vi.sualize.us can also be used to bookmark pictures to use during a presentation. This application can be used in an educational setting, as well (see the lesson plans below).

The video below shows just one example of how vi.sualize.us can be used. The woman in the video has a passion for scrap-booking and uses vi.sualize.us to get her projects finished. It also explains how vi.sulaize.us compares to other applications .

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IV. Pros and Cons

Just like any other piece of technology, vi.sualize.us has both pros and cons.  

1. Pros

One of the big advantages to using this program is that it saves storage space on your computer. When you go to a website, you can highlight the pictures that you want and save them to your browser instead of saving them to your hard drive. Another pro is that this application allows you to share your photo portfolio through social networking sites.Vi.sualize.us also includes a large, searchable database of photographs so it is easy to find pictures and to find them quickly.

2. Cons

One of the main cons to this program is the filter system. Vi.sualize.us has a filter system built into it, but it does not work very well. This means that inappropriate pictures can be included into your portfolio. This is a particularly large drawback if you plan to use vi.sulaize.us in an educational setting. Another con is that it is difficult to organize your portfolio in a way that makes it easy to sift through. In other words, if you accumulate a lot of pictures in your portfolio, it becomes difficult to find specific pictures within your own collection.

V. Demonstration of Educational Value

Vi.sualize.us can be used in many ways in the classroom. Below, are some lesson plans created to demonstrate how the Vi.sualize.us application can be used in the classroom by students, and by teachers.

1. Uses in Elementary Education:

In this lesson students will be learning about mythology and the Greek Gods. The teacher will use vi.sualize.us to bookmark pictures and show students examples of them.

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In this lesson students will learn about Greece. The teacher will use vi.sualize.us to bookmark pictures and show students what Greece looks like.

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In this lesson the students will learn about the simple machines. The teacher will use vi.sualize.us to bookmark pictures and show examples of simple machines in every day use. They will then work together in teams to build a Rube Goldberg device.

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In this lesson the students will learn about General George Washington's famous "Crossing of the Delaware."  The teacher bookmarked pictures on visualize so that a substitute teacher could create a PowerPoint

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In this lesson, students will use Vi.sualize.us to find and bookmark pictures to help them discover pollution problems, and find real-world solutions to solve them.

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2. Uses in Secondary Education:

In this lesson students will research a time of civil war and us vi.sualize.us to create find images and use them for a powerpoint prestentation.
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In this lesson students will research any topic and use vi.sualize.us to bookmark pictures and find pictures to use for their presentation.

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In this lesson students will be learning about wind power. Students will have to build their own wind mill and will use vi.sualize.us to find a design that they like to build.

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In this lesson, students will learn about important terms related to World War I. They will use the vi.sualize.us application to create a virtual collage about the term assigned to them.

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3. Uses in Post Secondary Education:

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Vi.sualize.us can be demonstrated in post secondary education by allowing college students to research a wide range of different pantings. They can choose a specific artist they want to study and then go on the Vi.sualize.us website for easy access to hundreds of paintings. This allows for an easy and quick research process so students are able to dedicate more time to efficiently draw the painting.

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For this lesson, students that are undecided on a major will research a specific major in the school. They will use vi.sualize.us to bring up pictures of jobs. They will present this information to other students so they can information about multiple majors.

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This lesson would be used for an architecture class. Students have to research different time frames in past architecture and they would use vi.sualize.us to look for images and bookmark images to use for their presentation.

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VI. How Vi.sualize.us is Used Internationally

Vi.sualize.us is used worldwide just like many other applications.  The interesting thing is that makes this application stand out is the idea of sharing your pictures with everyone.  People from anywhere in the world can add pictures and bookmarks.  From an international perspective, Vi.sualize.us makes it easier for people to find pictures from other cultures to learn about different international traditions and customs. 

People from all over the world can post pictures on this site. By going to images tagged with "International Style" tags, you will find images making statements about the world. Some of the images are about world peace, world economy, and recycling. People from all over the world can make a statement with one image.

People who speak a language other than English can use an application with Vi.sualize.us called Up to Down . This will translate the tags and search bar to their language. This allows people from around the world to post and tag pictures.

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VII. References

1. http://vi.sualize.us/

2. http://amiga.iaa.es/p/37-victor-espigares.htm 

3. http://indiestartups.com/tag/tagging 

4.http://www.makeuseof.com/dir/visualizeus-bookmarking-tool-images-find-web/ 

5. http://blog.vi.sualize.us/ 

6. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ5NzGMvPbI 

7. http://www.appappeal.com/app/vi-sualize-us/ 

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