Preparing learning materials frequently involves issues of copyright particularly if the plan is to make them available beyond the classroom. In my experience most copyright holders, unless they’re specifically trying to make a dollar out of education, are only too obliging when it comes to allowing use of their materials. Recently I was puzzling over just how I might gain copyright of a wonderful 1932 aerial shot of Central Railway Station. Since I tag a lot of my research findings in Delicious, it was easy to go back to the resource, locate contact details for the web manager and send off a request to use the image. The web manager was back to me in hours with the name of the copyright holder, who was back to me within 24 hours with permission to use his image. He gave me permission to use the work for non-profit educational purposes, provided I acknowledge copyright. Indeed he’s also sent me a vast collection of materials from the 1920s and 1930s covering many aspects of life in Sydney and suburbs at that time.
Google Street View
Sometimes it’s easier to for me to take my own photographs. Recently in preparing materials for a DER Leading Learners research project on Urban Growth and Decline in Sydney, I needed to cover the functional zones of Sydney with a series of key images. There was no time to take the photographs so it was over to Google Street View. This was adequate, but I realised just what poor resolution these images offer for locations in Australia compared with images from other parts of the world. For example compare #Google St View for Hillside View Dalmellington, Scotland with Hassans Walls Road, Lithgow, New South Wales. Better still, compare King William St, City of London with Bridge St, Sydney, NSW. It didn’t take me long to realise that I needed to do something about the quality of the images I was using, as well as address the copyright issue. So, over the past six weeks I’ve been photographing Sydney for my project.
Using my own images
Here are just a few of the images I’ve collected.