WordPress Digital Scrapbook Example

Created by Mike Pilley

I wrote an article earlier this year about using WordPress as a digital scrapbook.  Although it has been a while, I finally put an example together based on my original thought.

My son and I recently went camping, so I put some of the content from the trip together in a post.  The elements of the post included using an embedded Google map based on the GPS location I took at the campsite;  an information balloon within the map that contains information about the campsite, weather during the trip, and links to a Picasa album; scanned PDF of the campsite map; and a narrative of our trip and some highlights.

Below is the Google map and a link to the campsite map.  I used the Google Maps Quicktag by Daniel Denk, as I regularly use the Google My Maps and this plugin was the easiest to incorporate the embed link to display the map.
View Larger Map

Here’s a slideshow:

To take the digital scrapbook idea to another level, you could create a My Maps of a larger area (say the United States) with markers of event locations that would link to smaller focus maps.

By combining available content such as pictures, video, GPS coordinates, and Google maps within WordPress, you can easily create a digital scrapbook to capture life events in a format available to family and friends.

Below is a narrative of day one of the camping trip.

Carson and I went camping to Sequoia National Park on June 20, 2008

We had reservations at the Lodgepole Campground.  The park was quite full, and I knew it was going to be, as I had made the reservations online about three months before, and even then there were only a handful of spots left.  So although our campsite was nice, it was slim pickings.

Carson fought a nap the whole way from Bakersfield and during the last 15 minutes of the trip he finally dozed off, which is about how long we had been in the forest.  He woke up after his catnap when we arrived at the park entrance and talked to the ranger.

The entire park and its staff remind you all of the time about the situation with food and bears, and they were very strict about not even leaving food out unless it’s only an arm-length away.

Day One:

Carson was very excited when we finally got to our campsite and was ready to explore, but I told him we needed to set up camp.  He had so many questions.  I had packed way more stuff then we probably needed (supplies and food), and it made for what seemed long a long and laborious camp setup.  We had a new larger tent and I was anxious to see how big it was.  I was happy with it and it did well the entire trip.

After setting up camp, we went down to the river, which was located about 30 yards south of the campsite.  Carson and I threw rocks for a little bit, and then he wanted to put his feet in the water.  We took our shoes off and put our feet in the water and it was extremely cold.  No doubt you could tell this was recent snow pack melt.  Both of us could not keep our feet in the water for longer than a few minutes.

After checking out the river, we had some snacks and then headed over to the Lodgepole market to get some firewood and snacks.  After that we stopped by the visitor’s center, but it was already closed as by now it was getting to be late afternoon.  Carson wanted to explore some more but I wasn’t sure when it would get dark and I wanted to be prepared to make dinner and make a fire.  As we headed back, we used a payphone to call mommy and left her a message letting her know we made it okay.

After heading back to camp, Carson wanted to go back to the river.  We went and threw more rocks and did a little more  exploring.  He was curious about the rainbow trout we could see in the river, the rocks, plants, etc.  He wanted to even try and go out in the river but it was running way too fast, and especially with how cold the water was.

We headed back to the campsite and next Carson and I took a quick bike ride.  I didn’t bring my bike so I walked while Carson rode.  The campsite was completely sold out and there were a lot of families and kids around doing the same, riding bikes and taking walks.

On the eastern end of the campground loop we were located on, we could see people coming back from a hike on the Tokopah Falls trail.  Carson asked where they were coming from and I did my best to explain what they were doing.  This greatly intrigued Carson and he told my straightaway that he wanted to go on a hike.  I told him it was too late this day but that maybe tomorrow we could go hiking.

We headed back to the campsite and started getting ready for the evening.  For dinner I made spaghetti and Carson was quite hungry and ate two big bowls.

I forgot how much work was involved with cooking and cleaning while camping, especially trying to keep Carson busy as I was flying solo.  I remembered that I had brought the older Sony cybershot digital camera for him so I let him go to it.  Many of the pictures in the album were taken by Carson.

After dinner I started the fire.  Even though it was starting to get dark, Carson was having a hard time not doing anything for any of amount of time.  As twig light arrived, a huge amount of bats came out to snack on the larger insects flying around.  It was quickly getting dark and Carson had no other choice but to rest.  As soon as the sun dropped it started getting cold.  I wondered if being near the river would make it even colder at night, and it turned out it sure seemed like it did.

I had brought stuff to make s’mores and I was hoping Carson would be excited about this.  He had fun cooking his own marshmallows but he really didn’t care for them, nor the graham crackers, which was surprising because he eats them at home.  So it turned out the chocolate was the only thing he ate.

With all the excitement, Carson had not taken his usual nap.  He was so tired that pretty much after s’mores we got ready for bed.  By now it was so dark you could really see the stars.  Carson was pretty amazed and how many you could see. I got the portable DVD player out of the car, and set it up in the tent.  Carson wanted to watch the Cat and the Hat movie.  The funny thing about that was the next morning, when Carson told me that after I turned on the movie, he fell asleep before the cat made an appearance in the movie–he was so tired.  That was it for day one.