Posts Tagged ‘blog’

GeoURL Service

November 16, 2009

GeoURL

I found that Geotagging my WordPress blog posts has some utility even before WordPress release features that use the information.

GeoURL has a directory of goecoded web sites (pages?). GeoURL describes itself as

… a location-to-URL reverse directory. This will allow you to find URLs by their proximity to a given location. Find your neighbor’s blog, perhaps, or the web page of the restaurants near you. GeoURL is listing 4,896,702 sites.

It has a tool to add a geotagged web page to their directory and then list web sites that are located nearby. I think the reasoning is a bit weak: there are better ways of locating restaurants aren’t there? It seems like a solution running around seeking a problem to solve. But that’s okay – many things started out like that.

So I tried introducing my first geotagged WordPress post to the service to see what it would find.


You can click on any of the thumbnails above to see a full-sized picture.

  1. The “ping form” for GeoURL is at http://geourl.org/ping/. You only need to add the URL of the web page that has been geotagged.
  2. Press “Submit” and wait.
  3. If everything goes fine you’ll see this. You can click on “see your neighbors” and see:
  4. This list of sites that GeoURL thinks are close to me. The way they state Bangkok addresses is strange. That’s probably for the same reasons that Jeff Friedl’s Reverse Geocoding for pictures in Lightroom is so problematic – inconsistent address formats around the world.

You can check the results by clicking


GeoURL
That was a good exercise but it is of limited use. I will be interested to try the tools that WordPress introduces to support geotagged web pages.

Geotagging My Posts

November 14, 2009

I just signed up for a new WordPress feature that lets me geotag my blog posts and comments.

I’m a fan of geotagging all the pictures I take and even trying to geotag other interesting pictures I find so this is a natural extension.

I have updated my user profile on WordPress to include the approximate location of my apartment in the Din Deang district of Bangkok. The Thai word “ชานเมือง” below is “Chanmuang” – a road close to the apartment. It’s not the mailing address but it is close enough.

My WordPress Location

My WordPress Location

I can disable that location being stored for each post. That’s most use for somebody posting from a mobile device. I am old-fashioned and generally post from my computer at home.

I don’t think there is anything to prevent me from lying about my location.

When you edit your user page WordPress can try to detect your location automatically. It failed in my case even though I responded Yes to a request from Firefox to allow the request.

My little Feedjit widget is good at locating my location-based on my IP Address (at least to the granularity of “Bangkok, Thailand”).

I do not see any concern about revealing the approximate location on my apartment on my photos or my blog posts. I live in a large apartment block guarded by aggressive Thai security professionals.

Apartment SecurityIf anybody takes exception to one of my posts then they won’t be able to get near me. I am usually cautious about privacy. If I lived in a single family home I would be more reticent.

WordPress says that the geocoding is not human-readable yet. I think they are hoping that lots of their bloggers will register their locations. Then they’ll be able to launch some more interesting services as they explain on their help page here.

I guess they’ll only add geocoding to posts made after I enabled it. This will be the first one. I looked at the page source to find out what all this talk about

Geotagged posts getting marked up with the geo microformat, geo.position and ICBM meta tags, and GeoRSS and W3C geodata in feeds. All of this stuff is “machine readable”, not “human readable”; it’s hidden from view.

entailed. I found two new tags at the very end of the header:

<meta name='geo.position' content='13.769588;100.569959' />
<meta name='ICBM' content='13.769588, 100.569959' />

I can’t keep up with all these acronyms. I found out that the ICBM tag isn’t directly related to Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles but is a reference to the GeoURL service. However, historically there is a connection: see here.

If I get people from Flickr or Nikon showing up outside the apartment because I’ve said bad things about them I will only have myself to blame.

Soon, Bloggers Must Give Full Disclosure

October 8, 2009

[picapp src=”0299/cd0e3036-359e-4cec-a017-3150de58ef00.jpg?adImageId=4709141&imageId=302466″ width=”414″ height=”412″ /]

Advertising – F.T.C. to Rule Blogs Must Disclose Gifts or Pay for Reviews – NYTimes.com.

I wrote about this before – and my “For the Record …” statement still stands. There is a new development – a US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rule.

I can see the sense in this planned rule that bloggers must disclose if they are getting paid in cash or in kind to review products or services.

But how can it be enforced? Bloggers don’t need to register with anybody. I am blogging from Thailand. It cannot be enforced here, can it? It’s all very well to make a rule but you have to be able to enforce it for it to have any credibility.

I thought this passage at the foot of the NY Times article was illuminating:

About three-and-a-half years ago Christine Young, of Lincoln, Calif., began blogging about her adventures in home schooling. It led to her current blog, FromDatesToDiapers.com, about mothers and families. The free products soon started arriving, and now hardly a day goes by without a package from Federal Express or DHL arriving at her door, she said. Mostly they are children’s products, like Nintendo Wii games, but sometimes not. She said she recently received a free pair of women’s shoes from Timberland.

Ms. Young said she had always disclosed whether or not she received a free product when writing her reviews. But companies have nothing to lose when sending off goodies: if she doesn’t like a product, she simply won’t write about it.

“I think that bloggers definitely need to be held accountable,” said Ms. Young. “I think there is a certain level of trust that bloggers have with readers, and readers deserve to know the whole truth.”

She said that if she does not like a product she’s been given she will not write about it. I think that is doing her readers a disservice. Surely they will appreciate her negative experiences as well as the positive ones. I think a blog that only says positive things has less credibility than one that is clearly independent.

I don’t think Nikon will be asking me to review any cameras after this post of mine.

Comment Policy

September 6, 2009

http://photofocus.com/your-comments/.

I read this post on the comment policy of Photofocus.com. They’ve stopped allowing them.

I understand how they feel but I don’t think it is right for this blog.

I do not have much trouble with spam comments or disagreeable people. I am not attempting to make a business or teach. I am sharing my experiences and opinions. I would love more comments even if they don’t agree with me.\

Perhaps if this blog grows a hundred times I’ll change my mind. But for now – comment away!

Top Photography Blogs

June 22, 2009

A friend sent me a couple of links to the “top” (by some algorithm) photography blogs:

Gosh, there is so much stuff out there!