Google Image Chart Editor

I love to travel.  So it wouldn’t surprise you, now would it, if I said that I want to visit every state in the Union?  I didn’t think so.

I was so delighted to find Google’s Image Chart Tool Editor.  Using that little editor, I made this little map in a matter of minutes.  It shows all of the states that I have visited.

Guess I need to visit the eastern United States, huh?  (Help me convince my husband . . . )

This image chart tool does more than create nifty maps.  You can create bar charts, pie charts, Venn diagrams, line charts, QR codes (whatever they are!), radar charts, and Google-o-meter charts.

Wanna check it out?  I thought you might.  Here’s the place to go:

http://imagecharteditor.appspot.com/

You can make your own or use one that has already been created.  This is a pretty cool place!  Go there and spend some time playing, creating, and having fun.

Doodle Buddy

So I got an app for the iPad for the little kiddos.  Of course I had to try it out to see if it was appropriate for them.  Of course.  What I didn’t expect was that I would be so enthralled that I didn’t want to let the kids have the iPad to play with the app.  Shame on me!

The app that had me so captivated was Doodle Buddy. It is a drawing app.

You can have a blank screen for your drawing.  Or, you can have backgrounds such as a beach scene, a brick wall, a winter scene with a snowman, a mountain, a sand dune, a or a barnyard. Or, you can import one of your own photos.  Sweet!

Here are two pictures — one using the barnyard scene and one using the a beach scene.

You can add stamp designs to your background: smiley faces, a frog, lady bug, daisy, soccer ball, footprints, jack-o-lantern, snowman, gingerbread man, car, teddy bear, fish, dog, or cat.  Every time you use a stamp,  there’s a fun sound.

When you first download the app, you get Doodle Bucks to get more packs — more stencils, patterns, dinosaurs, cars, a princes pack, space pack robot stencil, bugs, flowers, Christmas trees.

It also has a few stencils.  You can follow the stencil with your finger and draw a perfect circle, triangle, square, heart, star or flower.  Like these.

You can add text to your drawings.

You can select a brush, a stick of chalk, or a glitter pen to draw with.

You can easily change the color of your drawing tool.

You can also smudge what you have drawn.

And a downright fun thing about this app is that you can draw with more than one finger at a time.  Wheee! (That’s from one-year-old Simon.)

This app costs only $0.99.  Check it out — especially if you have little ones in your family!

Itsy Bitsy Spider and Me

I didn’t know that this kiddy song could be so much fun!

Itsy Bitsy Spider is a children’s app for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.  In my humble opinion, it is best used on an iPad because you have more screen real estate to enjoy and play with this interactive application.

This app won the 2010 Parent’s Choice Gold Award from the Parents’ Choice Foundation.  Support like that says a lot.  Like it is viewed as an educational application because you learn about the environment, animals, and nature.  The fly that buzzes around will tell your child where rain comes from, how a rainbow is made, what makes a plant grow, and how many legs a spider has.

Children learn to count to ten by poking a squirrel who stacks nuts. When the squirrel has ten in a pile, they fall off the roof of the house so you can start counting again.  Kids can find musical eggs on a scavenger hunt and then play a tune on the ones that they found.  They can stack hats on the spider’s head.  They can even record themselves singing!

I loved touching the wind to make it blow and the cloud to make it rain.  The frog hiding in the grass and the snail are fun to touch to see their reaction.  And I lost track of how many times I made the little girl splash in the puddle of water.  Vicarious living there if you ask me!

This application kept me entertained for almost half an hour.  If it will keep an old biddy like me occupied, just think how young children will love this app!

Is it worth the $1.99?  You betcha!

Edit YouTube Videos

Sometimes you want the whole YouTube video.  Sometimes you don’t.

What happens when you don’t?  Use TubeChop that’s what!

Go to TubeChop.com. Paste in the URL of the video you want to chop.  Slide the fuschia pink slider beneath the video to the section that you want.  Click Chop It. And there you have it.  A snippet of only what you want.  How cool is that.

Here’s an example using video of the effects of the horrid tsunami that recently hit Japan. I just wish that I could embed it like a YouTube Video.  Guess I can’t have everything,  huh?

Tsunami damage in Japan

Photo Sharing on Steroids

I recently came across a nifty new technology.  (Well, it’s new to me . . .) As I read about it, I thought, “Huh! What a great idea!  I’m surprised that somebody didn’t think of it sooner.”

And then I did a wee bit o’ research.  Found out this technology has been around for 5 years.  Ahem.  Where have I been?  (Answer: pondering the meaning of life and leading strategic military maneuvers against hordes of encroaching dust bunnies . . .)

Where was I?  Oh yes. New technology.

You’ve got a digital camera, right?  Right. Got a Facebook account where you share your digital photos, right?  Right.

Got a Flickr account to share photos with Grandma Bertha, your second cousin twice removed in Des Moines, and your best friend LeRoy, right? Right.

You make photo books with Shutterfly and snapfish depending on who is having a good sale, right?  Right.

You print your photos at Costco or Walk-Mart, right? Right.

You take movies and upload them on YouTube, right? Right.

You have an account with Zenfolio, right?  No?  Don’t know what Zenfolio is all about?  (Don’t worry.  Neither do I.)

And you want an easier method for all of that uploading, right? Right.

Then have I got the memory card for you!  Eye-Fi has a memory card with built-in Wi-Fi capabilities. Did you catch that?  Built. In. Wi-Fi.

Pop the card into your camera.  Specify up to 32 different networks.  Then, when you snap all of those special Kodak moments (and those quirky odd moments and all others in between), the card automatically transfers  your photos and videos to their specified destination.  Now how cool is that?

Of course the memory card acts as a memory card and stores the photos and videos that you take.  Of course.  (It comes with either 4 GB or 8GB capacity.) Of course you can also transfer them to your computer if you want.  Of course. Of course you see how this is way cool and you want to run out and buy one right now.  Of course.

Me, too.  So, I’ll see you later.  I’m pulling out my credit card so I can buy a whole gaggle of them online.

iCrayonMaker Makes Kids Happy

Okay, all of you iPhone totin’ parents!  Whip out your iPhone, connect to the App Store in iTunes and download a fun lovin’ app for your children.

Which app is that? you ask. Why iCrayonMaker, that’s what!

With iCrayonMaker, your children can have loads of fun drawing on your iPhone.  They can choose from four different drawing styles: crayon, chalk, glitter, and felt marker.

To select the color that you want to draw with, tap the color of the crayon that you want. (In this picture, you’ll notice that the hot pink crayon is selected because it is slightly higher than the rest of the other crayons.)

Then you tap inside the circle and start swirling your finger around.  This will fill in the circle.  When it gets to be the color that you like, tap the Crayon Draw tab at the bottom of the screen.  This will take you to a blank screen where you can start drawing.  Now, draw away!

When you want to change the color of your crayon, tap the Crayon Marker at the bottom of the screen to go back to your ‘box’ of crayons.

There is an undo feature that lets you undo your last three strokes.  (I wish it had more undo levels . . .)  There is an erase feature that erases everything on your screen so you can have a fresh start on a different drawing.  If you want to change the style of your crayon, simply tap the Change feature.

Once your kiddo has finished her drawing, you can send the picture to Facebook.  (How cool is that?)  You can e-mail it to someone through e-mail — like grandpa, a sibling, or a friend.

You can also save it to your phone’s camera roll.

The only drawback (to me) is that it doesn’t change orientation when I rotate my phone. I would like a horizontal screen.  Having this capability would give a wider screen to draw on.  (Maybe my fat fingers just need to go on a diet.  Hmmm, maybe?)

Here are two of my fabulous artistic renderings.  Watch out Rembrandt.  Here I come!

This fun little application will keep children — and read that to mean mother, too — happily and busily occupied for quite some time.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this app for review purposes.

Create a PDF of an HTML Page

Sometimes I stumble across some technological gem that causes me to say, “Shazam!”  Today’s find is one of those shazam moments.

PDFcrowd.com is a nifty site that turns web pages into PDF files.  Simply copy the URL and paste it into the address box on PDFcrowd.com, click convert to PDF and you have your file.

If, by chance, that page has links, the links in the PDF file work.  They take the reader to the linked page.

Yes, yes, I know that you can have links in PDF files that actually work.  What warms the cockles of my heart is that with PDFcrowd you don’t have to do any coding.  You don’t have to insert any HTML.  PDFcrowd does all of the work for you.  Guess I’m lazy that way.

Wanna see PDFcrowd in action?  I made a PDF of the front page of the New York Times. Check it out. See what I mean.

Use this to send PDFs of a web page through e-mail to a friend or acquaintance. You don’t have to worry about what operating system your friend uses.  Or what browser she uses.  Or even the device (computer, phone, iPad, whatever) as long as the device can read PDF files.

Now THAT is sweet!