Posts filed under ‘Geotagging’

Geotagging (fiona)

What is Geotagging?

The process of adding geographical notes to various media such as websites, images and videos. A geotag usually consists of latitude and longitude coordinates but can also include altitude and location data. Progression of GPS technologies along with development of various online applications such as Flickr have fueled the popularity of this tool.

How is it done?

Photo Sharing services like Yahoo’s Flickr let you manually add photos to a map and Google has now extended geotagging to its YouTube video-sharing site.

More specific methods of Geotagging involve entering exact coordinates and other detailed information regarding the location of your resource. Because it is a relatively new phenomenon, no Geotagging standards currently exist, but the conventions established by Frequent Geo users consists of 3 tags to geotag an information resource such as a photo:
*geotagged
*geo:lat=51.4989 (latitude)
*geo:lon=0.1786 (longitude)

Geotagging webpages is done with metatags. So in the <head> tag of an .html page you can give that page a geographical location by entering the coordinates into a metatag. <meta name=”ICBM” content=”50.183246, -86.125672″>

A Further convention adds tags to specify the suggested viewing angle and range when the geotagged location is viewed in Google Earth.

What are the potential uses of Geotagging?

Geotagging is useful for travelers who wish to see a place before they go or to bring life to a slideshow and document their exact route. Or for Naturalists who need to map their bird sightings or chart a seal population. Or for Archaeologists to mark where they unearthed artifacts.

Currently professional photographers are the main group of people who practice Geotagging, but this is likely to expand as more cellphones and digital cameras come with built-in GPS support.
Typically a professional photographer carries a standard GPS device that record location and altitude data every few seconds. That info is then matched with the time stamp on their photos.

Devices that now support geotagging include some GPS-enabled camera phones and there are some high-end cameras such as those from Nikon Corp. than can connect directly to GPS devices. Upcoming PhotoFinder technology from ATP Electronics will write GPS info directly on a camera’s memory card.

GPS data as a method of categorizing photos is as important as organizing your images by date.

The potential to search for services based on a specific location on the map.

A proposal has been developed to extend Geotagging to cover other bodies such as Mars and the Moon.

GeoBlogging attaches specific geographical location information to blog entries via geotags. This allows users to select areas of specific interest to them on interactive maps.


What are the current problems with Geotagging?

Although Geotagging is becoming a more and more widely practiced activity, Flickr estimates that only 5% of photos are currently posted with location information.
This has to do with a number of issues such as privacy considerations, the failure of satalite-dependant GPS to work reliably indoors and the fact that Geotagging still typically involves carrying an extra gadget around, then fussing around with software on a computer at home. Another problematic issue with Geotagging is that GPS devices tag the location of the photographer while the landmark being photographed could be miles away, though there is technology now being developed to solve this problem. The integration of GPS with cameras is held back by issues such as added cost and power consumption.

However there is still a great potential in this tool and it will likely be developed as more people become aware of its usefulness.

Resources:

What is Geotagging?
Cameras That Know Who You Are
Geotagging Links Photos to Locales
GPS Adds Dimension to Online Photos


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February 1, 2008 at 4:02 pm Leave a comment


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