Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Scout reservation photo map tracker

I've been shooting photos at Broad Creek Memorial Scout Reservation for about a year, uploading the shots to Google Earth via I generally shrink the images to around 200K; the minimum size required is 100K, and I've found anything over a 500K JPEG might enlarge really well, but isn't necessary for the kind of photo mosaic carpeting I'm doing.

Noting the location of each shot is crucial. Those taken near cabins, roads, parking lots, and even fire pits can be spotted on the Panoramio maps pretty easily, if you remember generally where you were, but those taken on trails without satellite visible landmarks need more precise locations such as provided by a GPS.

Once you have an account on Panoramio, upload a few photos and mark their location, as well as giving a description. The description will allow your photo to be found on Google Earth, Google maps, and presumably, through other search venues.

Google Earth selects photos of landscape, although there may be people, animals, or other objects in them to a small degree. As an example, I had one shot of Scouts working on a trail that was originally rejected, but allowed in later on appeal. So don't take shots of your troop, with a cabin in the background, and expect it to make the cut. Instead, take a picture of the cabin, a trail, or some trees, with Scouts in the background for perspective.


After a few days (or weeks, or less) photos in Panaramio are reviewed and marked as "selected for Google Earth", or rejected, depending. Some other time later, they will be visible in the Google Earth standalone application. Typing "Broad Creek Memorial Scout Reservation" into the search bar should take you to a list of choices. As of the other day, the top choice is:

That's a shot from a hike I took on the Red Trail in July 2009.

Now for some pretty cool stuff. Panoramio has instructions on embedding map graphics on your web page (like this blog). See:

I zoomed around until I was centered somewhere near Lake Straus, then followed their instructions to create 3 views. Each zooms in a little closer; the first is a map shot, the second a satellite shot, and the third a hybrid. Here's the code for the last one:

<iframe src="" width="450px" height="450px"></iframe>

Thanks to Ranger Rob for requesting this material, and for Scout Exec Ethan for encouraging me. The next installment will cover the Google map API, such as how to put pushpins on maps.

Like this:

= =

= =,-76.271451&markers=39.69892,-76.26973,reda&markers=39.70265,-76.25979,redb&markers=39.69919,-76.24811,redc&markers=39.69678,-76.25256,redd&markers=39.69353,-76.25594,rede&markers=39.687200,-76.248440,redf&markers=39.679840,-76.247140,redg&markers=39.679000,-76.258558,redh&markers=39.685674,-76.267197,redi&markers=39.686375,-76.269268,redj&markers=39.683917,-76.285639,redk&markers=39.689667,-76.280000,redl&markers=39.693444,-76.273056,redm&markers=39.685001,-76.275126,yelloww&markers=39.689889,-76.270833,yellowx&markers=39.690972,-76.265778,yellowy&maptype=hybrid&zoom=13&size=640x480&key=ABQIAAAAdMlF6s87kov8Mrl05Rw-SBT9Z7mkTKr3fvU4XECs59NmY-DJGRT-FZjJmj4Y_FgKwVAkBts9FaO1KA

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Construction of the Nentico Camping Award plaque for 2009

This year, there wasn't going to be a Nentico Camping Award plaque as the costs have risen steadily; the lodge gave out banners to be attached to troop flags instead. As we liked the plaque, Scoutmaster Joe and I made a few of our own for the Chesapeake Chapter troops who earned the award in 2009.

Joe did the brass work with a nice lettering tool.

I took a few pieces of "scrap" wood and cut them into the approximate size of the professional plaque we've received a few times. The February 2010 epic snowstorm interrupted my plans slightly.

I set up my trusty (old) Black & Decker Workmate portable bench just outside, clamped down the wood and set the plunging router to put a nice edge on the award.

Inside, I put a few coats of water-based polyurethane on the wood to give it a nice shine and cut down on fingerprints. It's possible I should have added a layer over the final product.

After cutting out a cardboard stencil to guide the patch and plate, er, placement, I glued down the former and nailed the latter. Joe Greenbeck supplied the patches from the Lodge trading post supply. Maybe next year, if we build one of these for each Troop, we'll have the supplies donated.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

OA Lodge Master - who's eligible for Brotherhood?

Here's one way to use the Order of the Arrow "Lodge Master" web portal to find Brotherhood eligible candidates.

(1) Log on, go to the Member Report Builder


(2) Open the Filter Wizard to select and sort the data.


(3) Add fields to the default view, by clicking on the field selector.


(4) Add an Ordeal date range. The reason you might do this instead of looking for current dues paid members is you might find some active members whose dues are lapsed. While I chose a 5 year range, Mr. Tony suggested the range be set to dates older than 10 months. If the chapter's next brotherhood event is scheduled for May 1, 2010, then set the ordeal date range to <= 07/01/2009.


(5) Add a chapter to focus on.


(6) Pick current level = Ordeal, to find those who need Brotherhood.


(7) The most important step, after leaving the Filter Wizard: click Refresh.


(8) Use the field selector to pick important fields such as contact info, dropping constants such as state.


(9) I don't show the sort selection button, but here are the results by dues year. You could sort on Ordeal date instead for a similar view.


Our work here is done.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

OA Nentico Lodge Service Day

Saturday before lunch we picked sod, gravel and snow chunks from around the Reservation HQ building. Here is one Arrowman and a helper loading wheelbarrows so the eventual lawn mowers can traverse the grounds.

After lunch we painted the Spencer dining hall ceiling, until we ran out of paint.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Lists of Movies That Played at The Bengies Drive-In

I've been a drive-in movie fan for years, since moving to a neighborhood near the Bengies Drive-In Theatre, in operation over 50 years. I've posted a bunch of top-10 lists on my Netflix account, once I figured out how to use that feature. But it's cumbersome, so I'm replicating them here, plus adding my list for 2009.

Each of these is a movie that I saw when it played at the Bengies, a lot of them on the first run weekend.



1Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Tomb Raider
Spy Kids
The Mummy Returns
Rush Hour 2
Legally Blonde
Jurassic Park III


  1. Spider-Man
  2. Austin Powers in Goldmember
  3. Minority Report
  4. Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams
  5. About a Boy
  6. Ice Age
  7. The Sum of All Fears
  8. Lilo and Stitch
  9. The Bourne Identity
  10. The Scorpion King

  1. Once Upon a Time in Mexico
  2. Lara Croft: The Cradle of Life
  3. Secondhand Lions
  4. Pirates of the Caribbean: Black Pearl
  5. Seabiscuit
  6. Finding Nemo
  7. Matchstick Men
  8. Freaky Friday
  9. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
  10. Johnny English


  1. Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle
  2. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  4. Mean Girls
  5. Spider-Man 2
  6. Shrek 2
  7. The Day After Tomorrow
  8. The Bourne Supremacy
  9. Hellboy
  10. Van Helsing


  1. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  2. Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit
  3. Star Wars: Episode III
  4. Robots
  5. Flightplan
  6. Batman Begins
  7. Sky High
  8. Stealth
  9. War of the Worlds
  10. Fantastic Four


  1. The Devil Wears Prada
  2. Akeelah and the Bee
  3. Cars
  4. The Da Vinci Code
  5. Over the Hedge
  6. Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker
  7. X-Men 3: The Last Stand
  8. Superman Returns
  9. Mission: Impossible III
  10. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

  1. The Simpsons Movie
  2. Breach
  3. Spider-Man 3
  4. Shrek the Third
  5. Ratatouille
  6. Grindhouse: Planet Terror /Death Proof
  7. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  8. Live Free or Die Hard
  9. Hairspray
  10. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End


  1. The Dark Knight
  2. WALL-E
  3. Hancock
  4. Iron Man
  5. Hellboy II: The Golden Army
  6. Henry Poole Is Here
  7. Horton Hears a Who!
  8. The Incredible Hulk
  9. Indiana Jones/Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
  10. Kung Fu Panda


  1. UP
  2. Star Trek
  3. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  4. Zombieland
  5. Inglourious Basterds
  6. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
  7. Terminator Salvation
  8. Monsters vs. Aliens
  9. Imagine That
  10. Public Enemies
To create each year's list, I reviewed the emails from The Bengies, trying to recall which I had seen there, and which I missed for one reason or other. The 2001 list above has the Netflix links, which may or may not work. The 2009 list has IMDB links, just because I haven't put together that year on Netflix. Other years I may fill in the links, or I may not, later.

The ratings from "1" to "10" were done at the end of the year, based on my feelings at the time. I have not gone back and adjusted any of these based on later rethinking or reevaluations.

There are many more movies that didn't make the top 10, plus there are other lists of movies I prefer not to see again. As The Bengies does double features and triple features, I've sat through many that I would not otherwise have seen. I saw UP four times in 2009, and saw The Dark Knight 5 times I think in 2008.