Straight to the map

OK, this is pretty cool:

GPS and photos with the N78

Yesterday I went to watch Ironman and on my way back home I decided to take some crappy pictures every 5 minutes to test the mobile’s GPS. The map above is the result (click to get the actual one): the trail starts at the cinema in the top-right region, and finishes in my place at the bottom-left.

To get the map I didn’t have to do anything special. Just uploaded the photos to Picasa and you’re done (I couldn’t make it work with Flickr yet). You get a map with your photos georeferenced, and a automatic KML in case you prefer using the Google Earth imagery.

During the last months at the office we’ve spent a considerable amount of work georeferencing our data and putting it on maps. A problem we’ve detected is that workers in the field do not have the necessary devices (software, GPS) to enhance the data-collecting or the post-processing. I can’t wait to see this technologies reaching the field.

Video! Video! Video!

The best web application for photos ever, Flickr, has just announced it’s accepting videos. You don’t believe me? Look at this:

Alright, the video is not that impressive, but the thing is cool, right?

Well, people are actually not too enthusiastic about it (even the official note was kind of “excuse us for doing it, believe us it’s OK”). But I think those purists photographers complaining about the danger of uploading videos are just dramatizing unrealistically. The move is a good idea, am I hearing you asking why?

  • First of all because Yahoo! –Flickr is part of it– needs to launch new cool products to increase its price and to gain shareholders’ confidence to fight Microsoft back. This is a cool product.
  • Because compact digital cameras and cellphones (I bet they’re a large proportion of Flickr users) have the possibility of recording videos. Therefore it makes the move a natural one. Now Flickr is offering a repository for the two filetypes you get with these gadgets.
  • It happens to be a great Youtube competitor. In my case, all the videos I have uploaded to Youtube fit Flickr’s model, namely: less that 90 seconds, and taken with the same camera I use for Flickr. This will steal some users from Youtube. Competition, competition, competition = good for us.
  • I have read it can damage the Flickr community. Well, nobody is obliging you or your circle to use it, so if none of you decide to use it you won’t notice any impact, right?
  • Because it’s really well implemented! The interface is perfectly integrated (like any other pic, including georeferencing), and videos are playing smoothly.
  • They’re offering just 90 seconds, and only to photographers with Pro accounts (seeking Pros?). So the videos we’re going to see in Flickr are going to be different to the Youtube kind of video.
  • Last but not least, because the quality of the video uploaded to Flickr is better than Youtube’s (check the difference!).

Now I want to see Youtube accepting photos :-)

Long live Creative Commons


This is a picture I took of Zapatero (the Prime Minister of Spain) in 2005 at the United Nations General Assembly while I was doing an internship there. As usual I uploaded the pic to Flickr, and today I have discovered it’s included in the Wikimedia Commons page and in some of the articles about him! (see for example the Spanish one.)

It isn’t the first time someone uses my pictures, but today I feel particularly happy :-)