Saturday, October 14, 2006

Panoramio Experience (update)

In my last post I lamented that Panoramio and GeoTagger did not *seem* to play together. I was very wrong. GeoTagger does indeed add GPS coordinates to the EXIF jpegs, and Panoramio does indeed read that EXIF info and map the jpegs appropriately. It all works like butter.

Here's where "user error" (my bad) came into play: when I uploaded the GeoTagged images via Panoramio's browser-based uploader, I was impatient. And because I saw the "Map this Photo" button, I incorrectly assumed that it hadn't read the GPS coordinates. Had I clicked "Finish" it would have been automatically read and mapped.

My apologies to both Panoramio and GeoTagger, both of whom have contacted me to help me figure it out (which is very cool, thanks guys!).

What I'm doing, as part of a Local Games Lab project, is assembling a place-based GeoCultural tour of a Madison, Wisconsin neighborhood that had been decimated by "Urban Renewal" project in the 1960s. This will eventually (this upcoming week) be ported to GPS-enabled Pocket PCs as a walking tour, and ultimately evolve into a game playable by three roles: Urban Planner, Ethnographer, and Historian. For now, I've overlayed a historical map in Google Earth that shows streets and features that have been bulldozed, and I use it to locate images based on other information we have. On Google Earth, it looks like this right now:I figure that it would be a good thing to have an option to do a web version of the tour even if you didn't have access to the handheld computers, or weren't in Madison, so combination of Panoramio and GeoTagger seem to be the best and easiest ways to do that. And I'm even more excited that they're cool, dedicated people.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Tripper vs. Panoramio

Trippermap might be cool. Let's see...

Okay, Tripper Map has potential, but the free version is not detailed enough for us; we'd need the "$10/year" version that incorporates the Google Map API. So, the question is, do we go with this for $10, or go with for free?

Panoramio Pros
  • free
  • used it before
  • they seem nice
  • website badge uses Google Maps and looks great
  • incorporates photo thumbnails into Google Earth (looks great!)
  • email/post kml files (Google Earth) for others
Panoramio Cons
  • slow, but improving
  • single uploads only (no batch uploads)[UPDATE: Upon further use, I've found that their browser uploader is actually very fast as it allows multiple concurrent uploads, just not "batch" uploads. It also lets you edit the image titles as you wait.]
  • slow, manual geotagging process. Can't just type in an address, have to type in a city, then choose what state or country that city was in, etc. [UPDATE: Two things I've found. First, you only need to go through this process once, then do multiple uploads for that general location. It won't make you go through the process again until you hit "Finished". Second, if the jpeg has GPS coordinates in the EXIF info, you don't need to mess with the manual mapping at all; it's automatically read and mapped.]
  • Get errors: "Unable to select database: Too many connections"
  • doesn't (seem to) read EXIF info that I put on the images with GeoTagger although that may be GeoTagger's fault because it doesn't seem to work with Tripper either)[UPDATE: this was a user error. See next post.]
Tripper Map Pros
  • uses Flickr (easy batch uploads, easy Geotagging bookmarklets, popular and widespread, familiar)
  • Google Map API is great (check it out here under the "Mark's Google Map" tab)
  • can be easily incorporated into any website or blog
Tripper Map Cons
  • free map interface is too basic
  • free map interface renders poorly not close enough
  • "Premium" Google Map interface is $9.95/year
Hmm. I'm torn. [UPDATE: Not so torn anymore. Panoramio and GeoTagger have the edge (imho).]

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Geotagging in iPhoto

From OgleEarth, of course, comes a post of a brilliant person with ideas.

This one is much easier than the Flickr Geotagging process I mentioned on 8/22/06, and more fun because you get to mess around in Google Earth (which recently got updated to v4, by the way).

Here's how it works: Geotagger prepares images by adding GPS info (from GoogleEarth). Then you import the pics to iPhoto, and export them with the iPhotoToGoogleEarth plugin. I'll post more when I've done something with it.

There's also a newish thing called Trippermap that maps your Flickr photos. I'll have to check that out too.