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1  General / Using Ideal Villages / Re: Welcome to tornado (new member) on: October 04, 2011, 06:40:07 PM
You do not want to create a set of icons?   or you do not feel that you can do so at an affordable price?  

Please feel free to answer with your honest (but gentle) opinion.  
2  General / Using Ideal Villages / Re: Welcome to tornado (new member) on: October 04, 2011, 06:38:23 PM
Actually, I don't care where the icons come from.   They must be royalty-free and not have any copyright issues, but they do not have to be original. 

If you can collect a set of icons, that will be very helpful to me.   You do not have to create them.  Just find them?

3  General / Using Ideal Villages / Re: Welcome to tornado (new member) on: October 04, 2011, 06:35:35 PM
Well, right now I am not focusing on the maps.   Just on the icons.   

4  General / Using Ideal Villages / Re: Welcome to tornado (new member) on: October 04, 2011, 06:29:53 PM
tornado, I have spent quite a lot of time looking for icons on the Web!   However, I have not been very happy with the results.    Sometimes there are copyright problems.  Often I cannot find what I want.  For example, I never found a 'pub' icon that I liked.   Finally, it is difficult to find a 'set' of icons that are compatible with each other. 

5  General / Using Ideal Villages / Re: Welcome to tornado (new member) on: October 04, 2011, 06:27:27 PM
Ideal Villages has many possible uses, well beyond making a traditional "village."  

The original idea, in fact, was to make a village which does not actually exist -- each person's ideal place to live.  

I hope perhaps it can be used in schools.  You can do a cool research project, for example.   As one small example, here is a page I put together about the famous Kreutzer Sonata -- both the Beethoven sonata and the Tolstoy novella.  

6  General / Using Ideal Villages / Re: Welcome to tornado (new member) on: October 04, 2011, 06:20:37 PM
I did not know about that option.  I do not know how to use Google maps for that purpose.   

My hope is that IV will offer something that Google Maps does not offer. 

7  General / Using Ideal Villages / Re: Welcome to tornado (new member) on: October 04, 2011, 06:11:59 PM
Probably I should choose just one of those 4, and see how it goes.   

So, perhaps we can try #2 -- a set of 'generic' icons that everyone at IV can use.   

Let's say a set of 8 icons. 
1:  a church (can be similar to the icon attached to this post);
6:  a school;
7:  a library;
5:  a restaurant;
6:  a pub;
7:  a house;   
8:  a store.

How many gigs would it take for you to create this? 




 
8  General / Using Ideal Villages / Re: Welcome to tornado (new member) on: October 04, 2011, 06:00:42 PM
The IV software was created by a man named Daniel.  He will have to make some changes in the software before we can use real maps as background.   

So, right now, we have four possibilities for the future: 
1:  Buttons (for the 'back-end' = the control panel and icon-unit editor);
2:  1 or more sets of icons that everyone can use;
3:  Special icons for specific buildings (ex. Esztergom Basilica);
4:  Maps for backgrounds.   

At the moment, I'm just trying to understand what can be done and what the costs might be.   

If you and I agree on the graphics, then I will consult Daniel about the necessary changes in the software.   

 
9  General / Using Ideal Villages / Re: Welcome to tornado (new member) on: October 04, 2011, 05:49:51 PM
As you can see, now we are offering village backgrounds of different colors.   In the future we would like to offer "street maps", with names of streets and perhaps some parks and rivers and bridges.   Perhaps you could help with that also, when we are ready?   (One example is attached.) 
10  General / Using Ideal Villages / 4: Refinements and tips on: September 18, 2011, 02:42:43 AM
Coming soon -- we hope! 
11  General / Using Ideal Villages / 3: Placing unit in a balloon on: September 18, 2011, 02:39:43 AM
Coming soon!  
12  General / Using Ideal Villages / 2- Building an icon-unit on: September 17, 2011, 10:58:10 PM
The real heart of Ideal Villages is the "icon-unit."   If you look at any of the villages built by other people here at IV, you'll see that they are full of such units.   See, e.g., . . .  

An icon-unit is basically just a text-unit with a small image (thumbnail) attached.  You already know how to make a text-unit.  All you really need to do now it learn how to make a thumbnail by uploading an image to your control panel.    

Preparation.  Let's say you are a sports fan who lives in Boston, Massachusetts.  You want to make a 'village' with links to each of Boston's major league sports teams.  

As you did for the text-units, you'll need to gather links to relevant Websites:  
        - Boston Celtics; http://www.nba.com/celtics
        - New England Patriots; http://www.patriots.com
        - Boston Red Sox; http://boston.redsox.mlb.com

For the icon-units, there will be an additional preparatory step: finding relevant images and downloading them to your hard drive.   To simplify matters for this first attempt, however, we've attached images for each of these three Boston teams to this post.  Just download them to your desktop, and you're ready to begin.  

Upload an image (= make a thumbnail).   When you upload the image to your Control Panel, the IV software will automatically convert it into a thumbnail.   Just do this:  

a:  Open your Control Panel;
b:  Open the Image-Unit Editor;
c:  Click on the link to the right that says "Upload a new image."  
     Just do what you always do when uploading an image, i.e., browse to the location of the image on your hard drive, and then make three clicks -- on the image itself; on "Open"; and on "Upload."  

d:  The new thumbnail will appear in the Image-Unit Editor, on the right.  


Place the thumbnail in an image-unit.

a:  Once again: open your Control Panel; and then the Image-Unit Editor;
b:  Click on your thumbnail, on the right;
c:  The "Edit Icon Unit" page will open up.  Fill in the information just as you would for a text-unit:
        - Add a Title:  Boston Celtics
        - Add a URL: http://www.nba.com/celtics
d:  Save the image-unit.

If you go back to your Control Panel and open the Image-Unit Editor, you'll see that the image-unit now appears there.  


Place the image-unit in your village.   Here you follow the exact same steps that you used previously to place a text-unit in a village:    
     a:  Open up your control panel (the link on the right at the top of this page);
     b:  Locate the name of your village and click on the "Edit" link next to it.  
     c:  The Village Editor will open.  You will see your text-unit on the right.   Click on the text-unit and it will magically re-appear in the middle of your village!  
     d:   To move the text-unit to a different place in the village, place your cursor on it, left-click and then hold.  You'll be able to move it anywhere within the village.  When you have it where you want it, click on Save at the bottom of the screen.  

Check out the results.  Return to your Control Panel; locate the name of your village; click on the "View" link.   After you've added image-units for the other two teams, your village will look something like this:  Anne's Page (with image-units).  

You've now learned nearly everything there is to know about using the IV software.  There are, to be sure, a few more things you can do but they mostly use the same basic steps that you now already know.   To learn how to do them, go to 3: Placing a unit in a balloon; and 4: Refinements and tips.  

 
13  General / Using Ideal Villages / 1: Getting started (3 initial steps) on: September 17, 2011, 09:44:09 PM
The three simplest things you can do at IV are:

1:  Start a new village;
2:  Make a text-unit (TU).  
3:  Place the text-unit in your village.

All three are extremely easy.  Doing them will give you a good start.  

To get a feel for how to do these, let's start a 'personal page' for you.   It will have just three links:  to a newspaper; your college; and one additional page of personal interest.   (You can add lots more later.)  

1:  Start your first village by following these simple steps:  
     a:  Open your Control Panel -- just use the link on the right at the top of this page.  
     b:  Click on the link that says "Create a New Village."  
     c:  When the "Village Editor" opens, go to the bottom of the screen and type in the name you want to give your village.  Then click "Save Changes."

When you go back to your Control Panel, you'll see your new village listed under "My Villages."  

You can  check out your village by clicking on the "View" link right next to it.  It will look something like this:  Anne's Personal Page.  


2:  Make a text-unit.   A "text-unit" is just a link that you place in your village.   To get started, let's make a text-unit for a major national newspaper, for your college, or for the National Zoo.  You'll need the appropriate URL for whatever site you want to link to.   You could choose one of these, or come up with your own:  
          - http://www.nytimes.com
          - http://www.stanford.edu
          - http://nationalzoo.si.edu/

(Note that you can make a text-unit for absolutely any Web page you wish.)  

To make your first text-unit, follow these steps:  

a:  Open your Control Panel (once again, the link on the right at the top of this page);
b:  Open the Icon-Unit Editor by clicking on that link;
c:  Click on the "Create a new Text-Only Icon-Unit".  
d:  Fill in the form on the left:  
          For example:
             Title:  New York Times
             URL: http://www.nytimes.com
             Group: Select your village's name from the drop-down menu.  
e:  Click "Save."      


3:  Place the text-unit in your village.   To place your text-unit in your village, just do this:  
     a:  Open up your Control Panel (the link on the right at the top of this page);
     b:  Locate the name of your village and click on the "Edit" link next to it.  
     c:  The Village Editor will open.  You will see your text-unit on the right.   Click on the text-unit and it will magically re-appear in the middle of your village!  
     d:   To move the text-unit to a different place in the village, place your cursor on it, left-click and then hold.  You'll be able to move it anywhere within the village.  When you have it where you want it, click on Save at the bottom of the screen.  

Check out the results.  Return to your Control Panel; locate the name of your village; click on the "View" link.   Your village should look something like this:  Anne's Page (with text-units).  

Other things you can now do.  
    * Add a color background to your village.  Open the Control Panel; select your village & click on Edit; choose a color at the bottom of the screen; click "Save Changes."  

    * Change the color of the font used in your village.  Follow the steps for adding a color background, but choose a color for the font.  

    * Add more TU's to your village.  You can add 2 more, 5 more or 20 more.  


Go to 2: Building an image-unit.  Once you've made a few text-units, you'll have seen how simple the IV software makes everything.   Now you're ready to make an image-unit, which is when things start to get interesting.  
14  General / Using Ideal Villages / How IV came about on: September 12, 2011, 07:29:20 PM
The idea for Ideal Villages first came to me in June 2010.   I had just learned that I was going to have to move out of the house in which I had been living for the previous three years.  I didn't really want to stay in the area where I was (southeast of Albany, NY).   However, there was a problem -- I had no idea where I wanted to go.  

I looked at all kinds of villages and towns and cities but none of them seemed just right.  So I started to ask myself, "Well, ideally, what would I like in the town where I am going to live?"  

The answers came pouring forth:  a great library, an excellent performing arts center, a homey cafe and, of course, a terrific Irish pub!    Oh, and a Gothic Cathedral, if at all possible.    And I preferred to have these in an affordable village setting, rather than in an expensive city.  

Now, you really can't have all of those things in a village.  Not really.   I was having fun imagining this perfect place, though, this "ideal village" where all my wished-for locations were easily accessible.  

And then it hit me -- I couldn't have all these things in real life, but I could have them in a virtual "ideal village" on the Web.   That is, I could place links to all these place on a single Web page and enjoy the sensation of living in the perfect place, at least in my imagination.  

Then it occurred to me that everyone will have a different notion of what his or her own ideal village would look like.  Mine doesn't have a football stadium in it, but someone else's might.   Mine doesn't have a health food store, but one good friend's definitely would.   It began to feel like there was a need for some software here, so that other Utopians could join me in creating their ideal living spaces too.  

Not alone that, but once I had started thinking about ideal living spaces, I began imagining all kinds of ideal things.   Ideal baseball teams, ideal colleges, ideal orchestras.   I could also add a residential neighborhood to my ideal village and create the neighborhood I'd like to live in by adding links to my friends' Facebook pages.  

Once the idea was somewhat fleshed out in my mind, I knew that implementing it would require the creation of specialized software.   The kind of site I had in mind would need pictorial "units" that would combine images and links.   It would require a page on which you could move the "units" around and arrange them in an attractive way.  

You could try something like that on Blogger or Yola or one of the other free sites out there.   It would quickly become frustrating, though, because you'd be bogged down in tables and all kinds of other HTML.  

No, new software was needed so that anyone could put together an ideal village without having to learn any new skills.   I was extremely fortunate in finding a young designer/developer who was able to do exactly that.   He created software that enables a person to upload images; add links; and arrange the resulting units on the screen without knowing anything more than how to cut & paste.   Quite an accomplishment!  

To sum up:  Ideal Villages is about finding resources that you value on the Web and linking to them from a central place in a way that feels satisfying to you and that will leave you with a resource that you can use again and again.   Once you make your ideal village (or whatever), it's there for you to look at, add to, enjoy, show off to others.  



15  General / Using Ideal Villages / Getting help with images on: September 12, 2011, 02:38:07 PM
From time to time you might need help in making an image or thumbnail of just the type you want.  

You might be able to use an online image editor such as Pic-Resize.  

You might even have image editing software of your own on your computer.  

If all else fails, however, you can always hire someone at a very reasonable fee to do the image editing for you.    A number of people are available at a site called Fiverr.   We recommend tornado in particular as someone who is highly skilled and very reliable.  

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