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Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

The Authoritative Guide to NLM Mobile Resources

Monday, August 20th, 2012

The National Library of Medicine recently released a mobile app that is intended to serve as the authoritative guide to NLM mobile resources. The app was created as an HTML 5 mobile Web site in support of the Library’s ongoing efforts to make our information broadly available. Learn more about this new resource via the NLM Technical Bulletin article or explore the app on your mobile device at:

The Library welcomes your feedback about this new app via its Contact Us link.

Do you use Google Maps?

Friday, August 17th, 2012

If you are a Google Maps user or don’t know where to start with this free tool, Mashable Tech has posted Google Maps: 10 Handy Tricks You Should Know: Among these tips are: Save Your Home and Work Addresses, Sharing Maps, Use Google MapsGL, Find Out More With “What’s Here?”, and See Info Layers.

These tricks might be just what you need to get you on the map.

2012 HigherEd Edition of the Horizon Report is out!

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

The 2012 HigherEd edition of  the Horizon Report has been released.  It can be found here:

Here is a summary compiled by my colleague at UIC, Ed Garay.

Some key trends:
1) People expect to be able to work, learn, and study  whenever and wherever they want to
2) The technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based, and our notions of IT support are decentralized
3) The world of work is increasingly collaborative, driving changes in the way student projects are structured
4) The abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible via the Internet is increasingly challenging us to revisit our roles as educators
5) Education paradigms are shifting to include online learning, hybrid learning and collaborative models
6) There is a new emphasis in the classroom on more challenge-based and active learning

Some significant challenges:
1) Economic pressures and new models of education are bringing unprecedented competition to the traditional models of higher education
2) Appropriate metrics of evaluation lag the emergence of new scholarly forms of authoring, publishing, and researching
3) Digital media literacy continues its rise in importance as a key skill in every discipline and profession
4) Institutional barriers present formidable challenges to moving forward in a constructive way with emerging technologies
5) New modes of scholarship are presenting significant challenges for libraries and university collections, how scholarship is documented, and the business models to support these activities

Technologies to watch:
* Short-term (12 months):
a) Mobile Computing
b) Tablet Computing

* Mid-term (two to three years):
c) Game-based Learning
d) Learning Analytics

* Long-term (four to five years):
e) Gesture-based Computing
f) Internet of Things (small objects connectedness)

Consumer Electronics Show 2012

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

The 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) takes place this week in Las Vegas, NV.  (In fact, it starts in about 1 hour from the time this blog post is published). It is the preeminent tradeshow for the next shiny thing in consumer electronics and brings together the innovators on technology’s cutting edge.    Some of the speakers include Steve Ballmer from Microsoft and executives from pretty much every other big tech company out there.  It also features Hollywood stars (I use the term loosely) like Dennis Rodman, Jillian Michaels, Snooki, and even Justin Bieber. (more…)

Tech Trends for 2012

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Here we go again! Time to look at potential tech trends for the next year. While it has barely even snowed yet in Chicago nor really gotten that cold, it is definitely December.

This first set of tech trends comes from Jason Hiner at Tech Republic. He reported on the Gartner Group’s annual symposium where they revealed their list of the 10 most strategic tech trends of 2012. Drum roll, please:

  1. Media tablets and beyond – the era of Microsoft and PC domination coming to a close
  2. Mobile-centric applications and interfaces – building user interfaces for multiple screen sizes
  3. Contextual and social user experience – using information about an end user to improve the quality of the interaction with the device
  4. Internet of Things – objects acting as user of other systems
  5. App stores and marketplaces – a new term emerges: apptepreneurs
  6. Next-gen analytics – mobile devices being able to self-analyze for full optimization
  7. Big data – new and exotic technologies are required to manage the extreme volume of data created today
  8. In-memory computing – faster response time in analytical operations
  9. Extreme low-energy servers – new entrants to the server business proposing a radical way for future servers to work
  10. Cloud computing – cloud computing was very recently number one and now is number ten. This is significant that it is viewed as not living up to its hype.

Pete Cashmore, the editor of Mashable, shares his list of the Top 10 Technology Trends for 2012.
As he points out, “Predicting what will happen in 2012, therefore, is a shot in the dark: A year is virtually a lifetime in the digital era.”

  1. Touch Computing – we’ll be using our mice less often and increasingly using desktop computers in similar ways to how we use tablets and smartphones.
  2. Social Gestures – ‘frictionless sharing’ – where with the click of a button you can share what you are doing from services like Spotify, to social networks (once you authorize it of course)
  3. NFC and Mobile Payments – with the success of the Square Payment dongle for iPhone, and NFC (Near Field Communication) in 2011, awareness of this technology will likely make it more popular in 2012…it’s not without a lot of security concerns…
  4. Beyond the iPad – the iPad costs $499′ the Kindle Fire is $199. There has been speculation that while the iPad is king today, it may lose the crown in 2012.
  5. TV everywhere – with the rise of the tablet, it’s easier to have ‘TV in your hand’ but the cable companies have ways to keep you tethered to subscriptions.
  6. Voice Control – thanks to the popularity of Siri and the iPhone 4S, voice recognition and voice search will show up on more devices.
  7. Spatial Gestures – personally, I was fascinated with the technology in the movie Minority Report and hope I see it in my lifetime. Microsoft Kinect is an example of using spatial gestures in current technology.
  8. Second-Screen Experiences – Cashmore says, “It refers to apps (mainly on the iPad) that listen to the audio output of your TV and display content related to the show or movie you’re watching.” An example from the music industry is Gracenote.
  9. Flexible Screens – Can you imagine a phone that rolls up in your pocket, or one that you can slip into your wallet like a dollar bill? Bendable interfaces will be seen more in 2012, though it’s likely to not be fully implemented for a number of years.
  10. HTML5 – this fifth version of HTML, could take the place of Flash on many mobile devices.

What are your predictions for 2012?

By the way, this blog post was written on an iPad using touch technology!

Empowering Innovation

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

By Stacey Knight-Davis
Booth Library
Eastern Illinois University
Charleston, IL

Earlier this year, Booth Library received a Technology Improvement Award from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Greater Midwest Region, under Contract No. N01-LM-6-3503 with the University of Illinois at Chicago. Booth Library provides services for programs in health physics, psychology, biology, health education, communication disorders, and nutrition. Booth also serves an online RN to BSN nursing program, and the library’s website is the only point of access to health information for these distance education nursing students. Along with programs directly related to heath and biomedical sciences, we serve the needs of our education students seeking information on school health and children with disabilities. We also provide general consumer health materials and reference services.


Announcing GMR Sponsored Webinar Sites

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Congratulations to the following sites who have received GMR funding for
the Friday, November 18, 2011, MLA Webcast:
Connecting E-science and Team Science: The Changing Nature of Research
For information on the webcast and a list of additional sites, visit:
Note:  there will be no DVD available for this webinar. (more…)

NLM Show Off Your Apps Contest Winners Announced

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

This year, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) had a contest that challenged people to create apps that could use NLM’s vast collection of biomedical data.  The winners have been announced!  Thank you to all of the Entrants that participated in NLM’s first software challengeHere are the winners and honorable mentions.

5 Winners Selected:

iAnatomy app

5 Honorable Mentions:

Congratulations to the winners and the honorable mentions! Reform

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011 is hosting a National Dialogue on Improving Federal Websites from September 19-30. This two-week, online dialogue is your chance to submit, vote, and comment on ideas for improving various aspects of federal websites, such as: content, search, usability, accessibility, social media, multilingual content, and online services. Future changes based on these ideas could directly impact the work government agencies like the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health do every day. You can join the conversation at To learn more about the overall .gov reform effort, go to

IFTTT – If This Then That – New Way to Visualize Data

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

One of my biggest issues with the Internet is how there are still a lot of silos.  What do I mean by silo? Programs or applications that work ‘alone’ and don’t share well with other applications.  I am still a big user of RSS despite rumors of it’s demise.  I tend to star items in Google Reader so that I can read them later.  What if I also wanted to read it later and send it to Twitter – or maybe send it to Instapaper? Especially with Instapaper, I would have to go through the trouble of copying the url and then opening up Instapaper and pasting it in there so I could read it later.  It would be nice to have this kind of thing automated.  I’m not a programmer so I end up waiting and relying on much smarter and clever people to create a tool that can do this for me.