Geotagging update

May 14, 2006

Miles Berry

A new service for viewing Flickr’s geotagged photos launched on Thursday, at – they seem to have found a way of getting a (nearly) complete dataset of the geotagged photos from Flickr, although I’m not sure how frequently this gets updated. I suspect that this may end up with advertising once it leaves its beta phase, but for the time being it’s a great way of exploring the collection, or even just your own photos. They’ve also added Atom feeds for maps – so once you find an area you’re interested in you can keep track of new flickr photos, or whatever else they add into the service – here’s our local feed displayed in a webpage. They’re also added aGoogle Earth layer via a network link.

I’ve now discovered an interesting way of adding geocodes into the exif data via a GPS device – if the camera’s clock is in sync with the clock on the GPS receiver, then there are clever little programs which will compare the tracklog from the GPS device with each photo’s timestamp and add the relevant data into the exif headers for each picture. There’s an explanationand some tools from Microsoft Research for this, who’d thought this through back in 2003!

I also spent a couple of lessons on Friday introducing Year 4 to Google Earth, which really seemed to capture their imagination, and I know a number were going to be trying it out at home too. We had fun just looking at some of the highlights included in the sightseeing tour as a way fo getting used to the navigation system, managed to find Haslemere station and the school, and then they had a go at adding a few placemarkers to places of personal significance, so we had their homes, former schools, grandparents’ houses and holiday destinations – the latter was quite interesting as some of them found it quite a challenge to locate their resort or hotel within the country they’d visited. Clare often start the autumn term with her Year 3s by finding holiday destinations on the classroom map and linking them to postcards – I love the idea of doing all this via Flickr and Google Earth with real holiday snaps.

There’s more educational Google Earth stuff from A Parkinson and Doug BelshawRichard Treves has a free Moodle course all about it, and there are also three education forums.