geoLibro

2006.September.27

GeoTagging Photos on a Mac

Filed under: Data Processing and Conversion, GES, Mac OS X — geoLibro @ 1:12 am

Nobody needs me to monitor news about geotagging, but I have to mention that it’s finally gotten very easy to tag photos with spatial attributes on a Mac. Like it should be. Ogle Earth reports that iPhotoToGoogleEarth’s Craig Stanton has recently and quickly taken advantage of AppleScript support in Google Earth. The result is a small .app called Geotagger that takes a dragged image and ascribes coordinates to its exif fields based on where your also-running Google Earth is centered. Very easy, and a great, great way to tag photos (if you don’t already have a GPS track available to sync to).

And it works, too. Below this is a screencap of four shows’ worth of album art from Tom Waits’ tour through the midwest/east. It proves Geotagger works, yes, but it also reinforces my disappointment at not being able to attend any of these shows (I was busy starting a new job, see, and traveling across the country). I’m almost the centroid of the polygon these four corners would create.

Four Shows' Worth of Live Orphans
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2006.September.25

DataFerrett Weasels Way into Apple

Filed under: Data Sources, Mac OS X — geoLibro @ 3:27 pm

(I’m practicing to be a headline writer for The Post.) Once again I’m proved ignorant. DataFerrett, the Census data extraction app, is available for the Mac. I have no idea how long this has been true, but I most certainly hadn’t seen it before (I’m not clear on the versioning, but the Mac page says they’re testing 1.3.2 right now. The launcher .app is at .1). It’s a Java app, so don’t expect it to look great, but it does work. And quite frankly? Even if it didn’t work it’s encouraging to see the attention. They’ve even included a .mov of DataFerrett at work on a Mac (see Poster Frame, below); I guess to prove they’re not joking.

No word on a Linux version, and Linux doesn’t even make it into the FAQ, but still…

Get DataFerrett for Mac here.

DataFerrettForMac

2006.September.16

ESRI’s New Training and Education Site

Filed under: GIS Literature, Uncategorized — geoLibro @ 12:23 am

Hm, how fancy. ESRI has gone live with a site called “ESRI: Training and Education” that’s devoted to, you know, training and education. A lot of this seems to recycle material that was already available, but one thing that’s now up front is a link to search the Training and Education Library. I like it. But what they need is a site devoted to teaching me how to geocode a decimal address.

2006.September.7

When GIS Works and That Sucks

Filed under: Uncategorized — geoLibro @ 1:33 am

So this document was left to its own devices for about two weeks and I see that nothing got done. I was busy building a web site devoted to our GIS efforts here (don’t laugh, it actually took a decent amout of work to get the php/mysql/rss combination to all flow together on a brand new dedicated Apache install), and another prototype for a site that endeavors to collect into one place some of the spatial analysis projects that are happening on campus. Plus, I hired a grad. student to help in the lab and with some other work, bought and listened to Dylan’s Modern Times, custom-built some hillshades for a professor (well, you know, adjusted some settings during a conversion from DEMs), and seemed to make some advances toward being a recognized support person on campus. And while I did all of that, this blog sat and produced nothing, which of course disgusts me.

But what I spent the most time on by far was a very interesting project that predated my arrival here by, I don’t know, years maybe. I can’t really say much about it, unfortunately. It’s not secretive or black helicoptor or anything, it’s just not my work and I haven’t asked permission to talk about it. But what’s interesting about it is that these researchers had been collecting and working on data using custom conversion algorithms and their own formulas for this and that but hadn’t really gotten around to putting it on a map yet. So after a considerable amount of time spent in Postgres and MySQL, we finally put some of these resultsets to their respective geographies (grid for one, U.S. counties for the other) and something very interesting came out.

One of the images below has some data attached to it and it all looks okay; there’s some pattern, but it’s not obvious to those unfamiliar with the data what’s going on. Good, most maps are like that. The other one has at least one very obvious problem (no, not the null values in NM). Do you see it? It’s shaped like Florida. Maybe you can’t see it on these tiny versions. The point is that Florida’s gridded values are all much higher than most of the rest of the country, indicating to the team that something was wrong somewhere.

The lesson? Well, if there has to be one I guess it’s either A) get your data to a GIS as early in the process as possible, or B) sometimes GIS can be more helpful than you want it to be.
mostly regular patterns
why you so dirty, Florida?

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