Manual to the world #2

It’s already Friday again?  When I decided to make this a weekly feature, I forgot how short a week really is.  I might have to change the frequency and make it biweekly or monthly.  If every other entry in the journal is going to be a part of this series, things might get boring real fast!

For now there are plenty of cool tips to share, so here’s number two:

OasisNYC is a great online resource for community maps.  I love maps, so I had a lot of fun with this.  The OasisNYC map is an interactive map that shows you the location of community resources like public gardens, playgrounds, tennis-courts, parks, and much more.  You can even create your own map with just the information you are interested in and save it, print it or link to it from your own website.  While this is primarily aimed at New York city dwellers, it could be a great tool for visitors too.  And who knows, maybe something similar is available for where you live?

The OasisNYC website has a lot of other interesting information that you won’t on the map so definitely check that out too!  The menus might not be the most user-friendly and the copy on the website gets a little ‘governmental’ at times.  Here’s a little example from their mission statement:

The OASIS website is guided by a collaborative partnership of private and public sector representatives that seek to sustain an accessible information system that helps enhance the stewardship of open space so these areas are linked, diverse and sustainable for the benefit of all people, organisms, and ecosystems in and around New York City.

One of the best things about living all the way uptown is the amount of green space. That's what I always remind myself of when the A-train decides to go local!

Yes, that was one sentence…  All of the information given here is relevant, and most likely accurate too, but I would argue that there is a better way to communicate it.  However, this entry is not about copy-writing or web design, it’s about a great resource for information that is otherwise hard to get by.  And most of the information is presented in an awesome map! what more do you want?  It’s Friday today, go look for a nice park or playground to visit this weekend!

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Manual to the world #1

This is the first in a series of little life lessons, productivity tips and ‘life-hacks’ that I’ll try to post every Friday.  Just before the weekend we all need an excuse to procrastinate a little.  It’s always a good idea to mask procrastination with the excuse of learning something that one day might come in handy.

To start of the series, I’d like to introduce you to Fasten Seat Belts.  This beautifully animated and illustrated website explains local customs to help you avoid awkward situations when traveling abroad.  The sample below explains how in France and Belgium people ‘twist their nose’ to indicate someone is drunk.  As a native from the Kingdom of Belgium, I had never even realized that that is what people do.  It just goes to show how deeply embedded these local habits and customs are and how it will really help you blend in if you are familiar with some of them.

What makes it even more appropriate to open the series with this tip, is that Fasten Seat Belts is produces by 43 Films a non-profit organisation from Brussels, Belgium.  Among 43 Films’ other projects is a documentary about the amazing artist Francis Alÿs. A Belgian artist who lives and works in Mexico City.  Check out his work if you are into artsy stuff!

Without further ado, here’s a little taste.  You’ll have to visit Fasten Seat Belts for more.

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=12941148&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=1&color=&fullscreen=1&autoplay=0&loop=0

[via Swiss-Miss]