Archive for the ‘PicasaWeb’ Category

WordPress Annoyance – Embedded Slide Shows

November 10, 2009

I use Picasa Web to store a lot of my pictures. Many times I want to include them in a post in this blog. It is easy to link to pictures or to an entire album.

For example, here’s a link to some photos I took last year of the band at SuanLum Night Bazaar in Bangkok:

Suan-Lum Night Bazaar, Bangkok

But Picasa Web has another feature: you can embed a live Flash slide show of an album in a your blog. I wanted to do this for some pictures of Bang Sue Railway Station.

Picasa Web makes it as easy as possible with a screen that includes code you copy and paste into the HTML view of the post you’re writing.

It gives you some options for size, auto play and whether to include captions.

 

PicasaWeb SildeShow Embed

PicasaWeb SildeShow Embed

But WordPress.com does not permit that. You can paste the HTML into your page but the WordPress preprocessor strips it out without even a warning.

 

Similarly I tried embedding a search tool for aviation photos from the well-known site Airliners.net. But WordPress would not allow it. I’m surprised they trust me enough to embed simple links in my blog.

I know why WordPress.com does it. They want to be safe for both blog authors and viewers. There are so many cases of people using such embedding tools to distribute malware. I bet it even happens that an innocent blog author has been persuaded to embed something bad in her blog with disastrous consequences.

And of course WordPress.com is free so any bad person can sign up.

But still it is annoying for the huge majority of bloggers who are just trying to share information from one site to another. It’s sad when one big company (WordPress) cannot find a way to trust content and tools provided by another (Picasa Web is of course from Google). Surely they could work together to ensure that what I’ve embedded is a valid slide show?

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My Picasa Web Albums

August 19, 2009
My Picasa Web Albums

My Picasa Web Albums

I upload the majority of pictures I take each day to Picasa Web Albums here. I have an album per day. I get 1GB of free storage to I have to delete old albums when I run out of space. Currently they are turning over about once a month.

Picasa does not have a huge user community like Flickr but it is good for storing and mapping my pictures. It has the ability to link to friends’ albums, comment on them and so on but there just isn’t the activity I see on Flickr.

I think one reason is that Picasa Web does not support Groups – places where people can post pictures according to their interest. Flickr has them for anything you can think of and that seems to be its strength. I am surprised Google has not done similar with Picasa Web. They could profit from Flickr’s mistakes.

I used to use the Picasa PC client which integrates well with Picasa Web. That’s a huge competitive advantage over Flickr. But since I got Lightroom 2 I keep everything there and use Jeff Friedl’s uploader plugin. It keeps track of what I have uploaded for me.

Sometimes I will post a single picture to Flickr and then point to additional pictures on Picasa Web. I don’t know how many people follow that link – Picasa Web does not give me referral statistics.

Where I Went on Saturday

July 12, 2009
Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Yesterday I put the GPS facility of my Nikon Coolpix P6000 camera to the test. I took a bus trip from home in the Din Daeng district of Bangkok to the Seacon Square mall in the Prawet District about ten miles away.

I took photos from the bus along the route and the P6000 tagged them with the latitude and longitude. That’s useless if I am lost: my Bangkok street map doesn’t have lat/long. But once I got home I uploaded the images pictures to PicasaWeb and they automatically appeared thus in a map.

The pictures are not terribly interesting unless you are into Bangkok street signs and vehicles. But if you are, you can see them here.

I took one of Bangkok MTA’s older, non-air conditioned buses. It had open windows and from a window seat the P6000 was able to keep its GPS signal. If I had traveled on a more comfortable air-conditioned bus the camera would not have been able to keep in good contact with the satellites.

Note: I also took some photos with my Canon EOS-30D which does not support geotagging. I used Jeff Friedl’s Geotagging plugin for Lightroom to write the lat/long info to those pictures. “Import location from active image” works great.

An interesting aspect of the Nikon’s GPS performance is that it takes a long time to acquire a “connection” to the satellities. But once it has got one it is quick to restore it. I waited at the bus stop in Din Daeng for about 5 minutes until the camera found itself.

it lost the connection when I went inside the mall. I stayed about 20 minutes. When I went out the camera found its satellites again in less than 30 seconds.

If you leave it too long – maybe more than 120 minutes – everything resets and it starts from scratch. I have it set up so that it will not apply a fix more than 5 minutes old to a picture.

On a slow-moving Bangkok bus the accuracy of the geotags was exemplary. I tried a similar exercise on a coach between Bangkok and Chonburi. As the coach sped down the expressway I got an intermittent connection and the geotags were several hundred metres behind the actual position.

One day I will do some more controlled tests of the time the camera takes to acquire a GPS ‘fix’, how accurate subsequent fixes are and how quickly it can re-acquire a fix. ‘More controlled’ is the key – GPS signals are not strong and the tiny receiver / aerial in the camera are challenged by things like overhead power cables. And such cables are everywhere in Bangkok.

If I start out on a trip on a busy road like Sukhumvit with the Skytrain in the middle, the street market alongside and power lines overhead then the camera likely will not get a fix at all.

Seacon Square was not very interesting to me – I could have been in a mall in America – and I didn’t get many really great images (:-)) but for me it was fun to see them plotted on a map with minimal effort on my part.

New Picasa Web Albums

June 29, 2009

Picasa Web Albums

I created a new Picasa Web Albums account: http://picasaweb.google.com/the.bangkok.photographer/

I am using the Google User Name the.bangkok.photographer. Someone already has bkkphotographer!

I will load albums, usually organized by date, of all the photos that I don’t have space for on Flickr. I want Flickr to have the best or most interesting of my photos. But sometimes I take several photos of a subject that may be of interest to a few people.

An example is the lovely old Austin van I saw in Thonburi on Sunday. I posted one image to Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ianfuller/3668028745/. But old car nuts may want more images of the details. So I’ll put them on Picasa.

Let me know what you think.