Inert Detritus The Internet's dust bunnies

Posted
12 October 2008 @ 9am

Geotagging and Fuzzy Locations

I’ve been looking at geotagging more of my photos lately, either by hand after the fact, or automatically with the help of dedicated hardware. I’ve found a lot of links so far for hardware, but I haven’t found exactly what I’m looking for.

In the meantime, I’ve been tagging a few on Flickr, but am increasingly displeased with their approach: it’s all or nothing. You either don’t tag your photo at all, or you give it an exact longitude and latitude.

I don’t have the patience or memory to tag the exact location for every single photo, but I feel like dropping 50 photos on a pin where they obviously aren’t from is doing more harm than good. I’d love to grab the photos, define a circle on the map, and say, “these photos were all taken somewhere inside here.”

I realize the EXIF tagging format probably doesn’t support “fuzzy locations”, but it would be a great option to have.


4 Comments

Posted by
Peter Hosey
12 October 2008 @ 9am

Alternative solution:

  1. A camera with a standard port for plugging a GPS unit into.
  2. A standard protocol for GPS units to talk to cameras.
  3. GPS units that support this port and protocol.

Posted by
Christopher Bowns
12 October 2008 @ 10am

Absolutely. I saw this linked recently, and it seems like a light-years-ahead solution to a separate GPS receiver or something tethered to a grip that provides data over the USB port.

But in the meantime, I’d love to fuzzily define the locations of photos I took. Entire sets I took while at Virginia Tech can be defined as somewhere inside the town limits.


Posted by
Christopher Bowns
12 October 2008 @ 10am

Correction: the photoGPS is still a “capture separately, integrate into photo tags later” solution.


Posted by
n[ate]vw
1 December 2008 @ 1pm

The EXIF tagging format does almost support a fuzzy location, in the form of GPS degree-of-precision. I say “almost” because this isn’t quite an accuracy (as in meters) but sort of a multiplier on whatever accuracy your GPS+surroundings+atmosphere was capable of. I’m not sure how/if sites like Flickr use that info. You could alternatively add IPTC data to your photo, which can include things like City/Province/Nation.

Shameless plug: We are in late alpha on a new Mac geotagging app we’re pretty excited about. The accuracy stuff has a few missing links as of today, and no reverse geocoding yet for that IPTC alternative, but we’d love to let you try it out and send us feedback where it falls short against your needs. Email me or d/@natevw on twitter if you’re interested!