Posts Tagged ‘geocode’

My Most Interesting Photos

November 12, 2009

I found a use for my Google Sites web site!

I found a free (the Bangkok Frugal Photographer likes free) mashup service called iMapFlickr that can plot geocoded pictures from a Flickr set on a Google map.

iMapFlickr is in the new Flickr App Garden. I think I can waste spend weeks there playing experimenting with different toys tools.

I tried creating one from my set of fifty Most Interesting Flickr photos.

WordPress does not let you embed iMapFlickr maps in their blogs, but Google Sites does. So I created a page for this purpose. It’s here.

This is a static link to my map on the iMapFlickr site.

Google Sites edits the code I copied from iMapFlickr and pasted into its HTML editing box. They must have worked out a trust arrangement. That’s not suprising since iMapFlickr uses Google Maps. Of course Yahoo owns Flickr so it is an interesting example of the openness of these mashups. I love it.

I remember we had a similar vision of integrating separately developed applications over 20 years ago in HP with New Wave and the Distributed Application architecture (DAA). (Thank you Joe.)

It’s great to see the ideas realized, although in a completely different implementation. (Cruder of course – we were perfectionists and thus totally un-commercial).

I’m not sure if the map updates automatically when the tool regenerates my Most Interesting set every 24 hours. In other words, is it dynamically linked to the set, or statically to the pictures that were in the set wehn I made the map? Some experiments are in order.

I stopped using EveryTrail because it does not import my pictures from Picasa Web as it implied. It links to them. I have to delete pictures from Picasa Web to make space for more so my EveryTrail maps eventually become meaningless. Or at least photo-less.

Flickr does not delete your pictures, even for a free user like me. It hides all but the most recent 200 but you can still find them if they are in Groups.

I use another service to generate my Most Interesting set: Dopiaza’s set generator. I’ve been using it for years – it must have been one of the first external Flickr Apps.

Flickr is so huge and open programatically that it attracts this ecosystem of external apps and tools. I still don’t understand how anybody makes money like this but it is definitely a clever idea.

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Another GPS Enabled Camera Released: Digital Photography Review

August 14, 2009

Samsung unveils CL65 wireless compact with 1152k LCD: Digital Photography Review.

Great! The more cameras that are released the better tools there will be out there for managing and displaying geotagged pictures.

I like the little tweak that

The ST1000 will display the city name and region on the camera’s LCD screen, providing users with a real-time display of the location where they’re taking a photo, as well as a handy reference for when they are reviewing images on the camera’s LCD screen.

It must be a reverse geocode lookup to a server or have a database on-board. I’d like to see how well that works in practice. Having “Bangkok, Thailand” on the display is nice but it would be better to go down a level to the khet (district) – Din Daeng in my case. When I was out yesterday I was on the border between Wang Thong Lang and Lat Phrao and I would have liked to have known.

However there’s no standardization on how that is displayed worldwide which is, I think, why they limit it to the city. Jeff Friedl’s GPS plugin has a lot of trouble with this. That reminds me: I must write to him with examples of where I think he makes mistakes with Bangkok addresses.

Maybe the internet connectivity of this camera is useful. In contrast with my Nikon Coolpix P6000 which only works with Nikon’s proprietary site My Picture Town. I have never tried it. Restricting the camera thus is a waste of precious recources: grams and cubic millimetres. They had to find space for a full sized ethernet jack as well as writing a while load of software to connect the thing.

I am suspicious of the Samsung’s ultra compact design with its folded optics. I will be very interested if DP Review do a full review of the camera.

Google Lookup Limit?

August 10, 2009

I didn’t notice this comment in Jeff Friedl’s Lightroom Geocoding plugin before.

He says Google sets a limit on the number of reverse geocode queries a user can send in a day. I didn’t know that. I did not even know I need to sign in to use it.

Lightroom Bulk Reverse Geocode

It’s understandable to have a limit. I can envisage people abusing the service, maybe for commercial use. Google has an incredibly powerful infrastructure but they don’t make a satang off users doing things like this. There’s no way they can show me ads. Maybe they collect data on the places I am interested in and find value in that.

The limit must be generous. I sent thousands of requests to Google from Lightroom yesterday when I was trying to reproduce the glitch. I suppose Jeff’s code catches that error.

Jeff Fixed It

August 8, 2009

Jeff Friedl produced a fix for the problems I and others were having with “Reverse Geocoding” pictures in Lightroom in record time. I wrote about it here.

Lightroom New Geoencoding Plugin Available

Lightroom New Geoencoding Plugin Available

I downloaded it and tested it by reverse geocoding all my August pictures that I had not been able to do previously.

It worked fine on 581 pictures. At picture #215 though, it produced a dialog box:

Lightroom Confirm Geocoding

Lightroom Confirm Geocoding

I pressed Continue and it processed the rest without another alert.

I guess that there was a problem with the plugin communicating with Google Earth. It must be sending a load of short transactions (although he optimizes that by remembering what he’s sent already) and transactions on the internet aren’t guaranteed.

I sent him a Thank You message on his blog and mentioned this. Yesterday it was showing this dialog box for every picture in addition to the syntax error I posted.

Jeff is amazing.

Jeff’s Geocoding Plugin Has Conniptions

August 7, 2009
Lightroom Couldn't Reverse Geocode that Location

Lightroom Couldn't Reverse Geocode that Location

I don’t know what happened to Jeff Friedl’s Geocoding Plugin for Lightroom. Since yesterday I have been unable to reverse geocode any pictures. (That’s adding the location information to the IPTC section of the file based on a lat/long pair).

I cannot do it in Batch Mode nor One-by-One. Lightroom gives error messages that indicate a syntax error in the LUA code of the plugin.

I am guessing something has changed in the Google Earth protocol that causes the plugin to gulp.

I checked that I have the latest version and that the problem is reproducible. Then I sent Jeffrey a log file using the tool provided by the plugin. (Jeffrey certainly thinks ahead).

It’s inconvenient as I like to reverse geocode all my pictures. I can always do them in a big batch once Jeff fixes the problem.

This would happen when Jeff is on vacation. He’s taken on a huge task step-by-small-step by developing these complex plugins.

I Never Went Outside the Station

August 4, 2009
Whoops!

Whoops!

I took a short photograph trip around Hua Lamphong Station again today. I cannot resist wheneven I am in the neighbourhood. I had a coffee at Black Canyon and then wandered down Platform 5.

When I plotted the pictures on the PicasaWeb map I see that three showed me on the nearby expressway. All were taken inside the station and I guess the roof distorted the signals or something.

I thought it was amusing. But the message is clear: never use a consumer camera’s GPS functions for anything critical. That’s not what it is designed for.

Where I Went Last Weekend

July 20, 2009

I thought I’d try publishing the photo maps from my account on Picasa Web. They show where the pictures I uploaded were taken.

Here’s the one from Saturday, 18th July when I went by car from Bangkok to Sa Kaeo. I was able to get a good GPS fix from the front seat of the taxi so the route is complete.

Click to see the album on PicasaWeb

Click to see the album on PicasaWeb

I returned to Bangkok on Sunday, 19th July. This time I was in the front seat of an Isuzu DMax light truck. The Nikon Coolpix P6000 could not keep a GPS connection so I only took a few pictures en route.

I think it is because of the design of the truck cab: I was further away from the windscreen. GPS signals seem to be able to penetrate auto glass but not a steel roof.

Click to see the album on Picasa Web

Click to see the album on Picasa Web

Geocoding Enhancement Request

July 17, 2009

I just sent Jeff Friedl an enhancement request for his Geoencoding plugin for Lightroom.

I said:

Enhancement Request:

I now have about 30 Geocoding presets stored in your excellent plugin. I’d like to sort them by name. I thought I may be able to do this by exporting them to a text file, sorting them (using Notepad++) and then importing.

But no, it looks like you do a merge so the order of the presets was unchanged.

Could you possibly show my presets in alphabetic order in the list? Or allow the user to sort them by some other means?

I do not see a way of deleting presets I no longer use or are an error. Maybe I missed that.

Thanks a lot!

Ian