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olpcMAP June Update June 21, 2011

olpcMAP is on vacation, because Nick is in Los Angeles, Adam in Haiti and I’m still here but working full-time on The Ultimate Answer project.

From Nick:

“I am getting settled in now in California -over the weekend I finally got a room and found places near the house for food and shopping.  Sunday I went to the library to see about volunteering with technology there.

It is different to work here because the team I’m on-doesn’t get assignments; we do independent research. That includes interns. The main team is awful busy because a conference is coming up in San Diego(11-15 July). The other intern is doing his phd in mapping at USC and some open source work. We got a couple more interns this week, so the department finally had a meeting so we could see everyone and what they’re working on. Lots of crazy ideas. I shared a couple of projects, my boss asked some questions, and this afternoon I got to meet the main Esri guy in that field, for some help with that particular idea.

One of these weekends I’ll have to try going to Los Angeles to see the national parks and the major attractions. Sometimes I see cool projects like and wonder if I could visit their shows. Another project might send me to Oklahoma to meet Cherokee Indians. That would be awesome.”

From Adam:

“I’m just getting rolling for many more trips to Haiti the coming year, this 1st trip now will be about scouting out different OLPC/OBPC (One Bike Per Child!) possibilities and reconnecting with many great education NGOs I’ve met over the past 17 months since the earthquake.  I’ll be assisting Tim Falconer (Waveplace Foundation) on new content plans, and John Engle ( on many exciting developments around the 1500 kids at his 6+ growing “participatory leadership” schools.  Among many other educators I seek to connect, towards transforming Haiti’s schools in coming years / generations — thanks to the global Haitian community in Miami, NYC,Boston and Montreal especially.

I’m also working out very preliminary Haiti volunteer hub plans, for the many strong volunteers who’ve requested to join me in Haiti over the coming year, which should work out given great community accommodations I’ve uncovered — if you invest+demonstrate your worth, and understand Haiti’s risks.  A work trip as early as August might even make sense, if you can stand the heat — or later, after hurricane season, much more comfortable.  Flights are less than $400 from NYC or Miami.  Contact me privately for details in coming weeks/months, thanks so much!

During June 17 to July 4 I’ll need extra help from all volunteers backstopping OLPC/Sugar’s global community support (monitoring, answering emails, using sound+proactive judgment when I/others are offline for 72hrs, etc).

Thanks all for your priceless contributions, checking in on this mailing list, on live chat at — and blogging at now emerging as a powerhouse community voice. * Di Ou Mèsi Tout * Merci a Tous * Gracias Todos * ”

From me :

I’m working on The Ultimate Answer project which is essentially about the interactive formula for happiness and meaningful life. I’m in the process of testing the first version of the tool in Excel and will be organizing 3 live group testing sessions: Boston, June 22, Los Angeles, July 6, and Cambridge, MA, Aug 10. The website is in progress, and the blog is one month old. Interestingly enough, my parents were the first testers of the idea, and my mother who is not technology savvy didn’t reject it immediately, which gives me hope.

I plan to meet with Nick in Los Angeles and go hiking, while I’m California till July 10, which will be International Happiness day. Check out their ambassador’s map

Happy Summer Solstice! 🙂


olpcMAP May Update: Part One May 28, 2011

Filed under: Volunteering — polyachka @ 8:25 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The month of May is almost over. There was a lot of happening. For those who missed (including me) EduJam in Uruguay and OLPC Summit, check out the blog and pictures at Updates from Nick:

The map activity: Hola mapmakers!

As part of my Plan Ceibal work to get web activities playing nicely with recent builds of Sugar, especially the XO-1.5, I have updated the
Map activity. Download today: Your up-to-date XO-1, or any XO-1.5 (even HS), now can:
– Search and explore maps from Google and OpenStreetMap
– Write descriptions of places; plot lines and shapes
– Add photos, Wiki articles, olpcMAP dots, and WikiMapia places inside
your map view

– Use an online library to download maps used by
firefighters and biologists

– Collaborate with other XOs on the same mesh/Jabber network.
Collaboration shares the view, markers, and other map data.  So several users can add points and edit each other’s descriptions.  If one user visits the map library or imports a Google Earth points map, the points are shared with any connected laptops.  Same thing for OfflineMap and mesh networks. We have a few XO-1.5s going to a school in the Congo this summer, and they are absolutely psyched about mapping! 

From the Summit: We’re at the Uruguay summit now, about to have Adam say a few words about olpcMAP along with other communities’ favorite web tools.  Etherpad is popular in South America.

I get to represent Uganda in a panel tomorrow, and then there’s the freeform “unconference” part where I know there’ll be a lot of
discussion about one of the Plan Ceibal projects. Also, we just got news here at Plan Ceibal that they are looking to buy
Kindles.  They also have many teachers using the Intel Classmate laptops to view music and video.  I don’t think there’s as much support for the XOs except that they are cheaper when you are giving them to all students.

New feature: For any future Jams, people can indicate if they are participating, like they did for eduJAM Summit: Go to, use the search, open your marker, and select “Join Jam” (next to edit). We also have a page at that’s in Spanish. Translation is welcomed.

Disclaimer: this is (a) experimental and (b) totally unofficial – not sponsored by ceibalJAM or Plan Ceibal.


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