Geotag your darn pictures!

The Alphageek really likes to take pictures. There is only one problem with taking a lot of pictures these days. Well, okay, there is probably more than one problem, but I am only going to take on one problem today. That problem is simply stated as: where did I take this picture.

This is not a "how to" kind of article. There are already plenty of those kind of articles online. I am not here to write more of the same but instead contribute some sort of original thoughts on the subject today. Want a how to? You can google geotagging and get plenty of information.

Sometimes, locating where you took a picture is pretty easy. If Lane Stadium is in the picture, you took the picture somewhere on or near the Virginia Tech campus. If your boat or camper is in the picture, that is probably a problem because you can move both your boat and camper. They could be anywhere.

I was approaching thousands of pictures. I wanted to enjoy these pictures and share them with others. When I started posting these pictures to flickr, I started getting a simple question: where did you take this picture? Some I could remember and some I could not. It is very bad to not be able to remember if you bill yourself as the Alphageek. People expect the Alphageek to know everything. I poked around a little and found a function called geotagging. Basically, you drag your pictures onto a map and the computer does some magic so the picture now knows where it was taken. Hooray, now I know where the pictures were taken.

Dragging pictures onto a map was okay at first, but after a while it led to another dilemma. Sometimes, the pictures were entire blocks off from where I took them because I could not exactly remember where I took the pictures.

I then did a little more digging around and found out you could use your gps and some fancy software to tell the picture where it was taken and then upload to flickr and the picture would show up correctly on a map. Playing with both the camera and the gps is technology heaven for the Alphageek. Basically, the software linearly interpolates or extrapolates where the picture was taken using time sync between the two devices. That is a fancy way of saying the program guesses.

You might want to check out a set that I took last year. Click here to see the pictures. I will leave it up to you to click on the "see on a map" link over on flickr.

I think I will go take some pictures today.