18 Jul 2007

related or relevant, 07/07

- George Wolberg and something he calls Photo Sketch.
here, here, here and here

- we've make'd it!

- an important aside.

- Yahoo tiles get "better".
here and here

- Flickr 20 Million GeoTagged photos.

- Virtual Cogs - GPS + Camera + PSP screen?

-- more --

- A personal blimp (not wholly related...)

- Google starts a SketchUp blog...

- Google Campus 3D and other SketchUp content

- map the floods
here, here

- moblog - mobile blogging...

-- more --

- Flashr - a actionscript wrapper to the Flickr API

- Psynchr - used the above to make a timeline of images
here (I tried and failed to get two photosets into it... http://www.flickr.com/photos/katieportwin/sets/72157594490167134/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/hardbutnot/sets/72157600047520967/ -- hmmm)

- Flappr - entirely flash based flickr viewr...
here (it's a bit old...)

- Google Map blog post "A world built by its inhabitants"

- planning? pfflanning...

- pileus - an umbrella with lots of stuff...

- tech review of a new service - "the flickr 3d"

- flickrVision in 3d...

15 Jul 2007

State of the OpenStreetMap (horse=yes again)

Thoroughly enjoyed OpenStreetMap's conference in Manchester yesterday.

For a start, it stopped raining for about an hour in the afternoon for the first time since I moved here.

Second, as a rambler, I am in love with . Nick takes take a weekly data dump from openstreetmap, adds a contour map from Nasa, and - best of all - allows annotations on the map, such as "this path is a bit scrambly" and (I envisage) "field on the left contains farmer with shotgun".

Third, I enjoyed seeing that London motorcycle courier timeline GPS traces thing again:

.. but was particularly interested to hear Steve's comment that it wasn't actually as useful as envisaged, since the GPS traces had no accompanying metadata. Hmm, a gratifying point for metadata geeks.

Fourth, Andy Robinson talked about tagging and standardisation. Openstreetmap suffer the same problem as Quakr - synonyms and homonyms, tag soup, emerging taxonomies not emerging in the way you expected - in short, the "horse=yes" problem. Like us, they don't want to impose a standard like GML or prevent users from typing freeform, but like us, want to make some use of tagging metadata and hence could use a little standardisation. Andy had a few suggestions, including:

1. Get people to reuse terms where possible, even if they aren't a perfect fit.
2. Have a Q&A style wiki to facilitate this.
3. Use definitions from the Oxford English Dictionary if in doubt.
4. Use namespaces - Andy is suggesting STAG_BASE: for things like rivers and fields, STAG_BUILT: for buildings, canals, etc, STAG_ADMIN: for road classifications etc.

Although I like namespaces and think they can work for tag data (geo:lat is pretty popular), I'm not completely convinced they'll solve the tag soup problem. Namespaces are good for saying what vocabulary you're using, or disambiguating two keys which belong in two domains, but did we really have two kinds of horse? It's definitely a good way of categorising things though.

And all power to Andy for tackling what to my mind is the most important and interesting problem facing anyone dealing with tagging metadata - that it's a Messy Mungy Business. (See what does 'tilt' mean, anyway?" )

Finally, you just can't beat artwork like this:


Tiltometer featured on Make

Easy on the woodbines though Peter - we may be banned in California by next week.

10 Jul 2007

Quietly working away

Following a hectic June which included moving house, Glastonbury, some photos and our speaking engagement at the Where 2.0 conference, we've been mostly a bit quiet.

*) Due to popular request we've updated the Taggr application to include the newly updated Google Map satellite imagery.
*) We are currently working "hard" on getting some more functionality into the Viewr.
*) We've done some testing on the relatively newly released Sandy v1.2 and it looks oddly slower, but we'll discuss and sort that soon I suspect.
*) Now that the Flickr Query problem we uncovered has been fixed, the whole Viewr experience is much speedier. We're now able to subset the GEO data we get from Flickr to only include those with the minimum tag set on the first query rather than having to mess with the whole pile ourselves.