Wednesday, June 30, 2010

GeoTagging Resources for #ISTE10

Below you will find the sample data pack for the noon BYOL GeoTagging workshop at ISTE '10.

Updated: Download data pack [200K zip file]

Download Google Picasa [Windows | Mac | Linux]

Other resources  referenced:
The GeoTagging presentation (PDF) is also available for viewing or downloading.

    Monday, June 28, 2010

    GeoTagging Twitter Text with iPhone & GPSTwit (#ISTE10)

    Last Fall, Twitter began adding support for geolocating Twitter posts (Tweets). This is an opt-in feature of Twitter, that you must enable.  To enable this feature, log in to Twitter and select "Settings" in upper right corner.  Under the "Account" tab, check the box for " ". This will allow (image 1 - note the toolbar at top requesting to use my location) or third party apps to distribute your location with each Tweet.   More details, privacy info, and an F.A.Q about "geotagging" Twitter posts is available from Twitter.

    One easy-to-use iPhone app for posting geotagged Tweets to Twitter (including photos) is GPSTwit (not to be confused with GPSTweet whch Tweets your position only). At $.99, this little app allows you take a photo, include a Tweet, optionally geotag, and post a Tweet to Twitter.  The image is displayed on, along with other images. Recently I posted a picture of downtown Denver during the ISTE 2010 conference (#ISTE10).

    It's fast, simple and works great for geotagging text or text+pic.

    Sunday, June 27, 2010

    GeoTagging Made Simple with iPhoto '09

    If you're like most Mac users, you probably already have a large number of photos in iPhoto. Hopefully, you're using iPhoto '09 (retail price: $0 with new Macs; $79 US upgrade) because no prior version has the built-in support for geolocating your pics.

    "Places allows you to search and sort photos by location, using data from any GPS-enabled camera or iPhone. Don’t have a GPS-enabled camera or iPhone? You can still use Places by adding your own location information: Just start typing and iPhoto instantly gives you a list of locations to choose from. Want to add places to lots of photos? Select an Event, an album, or a group of photos shot in the same place, and iPhoto can add your location information to all of them at once."

    To geotag an individual photo:
    1. Click the small “i” icon in the bottom right corner of your photo (image 1). This will flip your picture over.
    2. Click on the words “photo place” and then on “find on map”.
    3. You can now put in the location of your picture either by adding the street address, city and state/country, latitude and longitude, or certain well-known locations by name (e.g. St. Louis Zoo).
    4. Click “Assign to Photo” when you have found the correct location.
    5. You can also add a description of the photo by clicking on the “description” word and typing into the box. You can rename your photo here as well by clicking on the name .
    6. Congratulations! You have just “geotagged” your photo! All your information should now show up. You can zoom in and out on the map, as well as switch between “Terrain”, “Satellite”, and “Hybrid” views.
    - Alexis

    Monday, June 21, 2010

    GIS for Geocaching

    If you geocache with students or youth group members, take a look at a new one-page flier "7 Ways To Use GIS for Geocaching".  A GIS, or Geographic Information System, is a powerful digital mapping tool that for the geocacher can allow for the exploration or discovery of new caches.  For those managing a geocaching course or even just a large number of caches, a GIS can also help.

    For students and youth, a GIS like ArcGIS Explorer desktop can be used to create a multimedia maps that serves as a "report out" the geocaching adventure.

    If you have suggestions for enhancing the flier, please let us know.

    As an aside, If you need a set of GPS receivers to use for a school or club project, consider the GSA's GPS loaner program operated by GISetc.   The loaners are free but shipping and insurance must be covered.

      Wednesday, June 16, 2010

      Geotagged Images in ArcGIS Explorer with GeoRSS

      ESRI's ArcGIS Explorer is a free digital globe for Windows - a two and three dimensional mapping tool with several base maps and supported data types.  It will load and display all kinds of GIS data (shapefiles, geodatabases, rasters, connects to ArcGIS, etc) and also data like KML and GeoRSS.

      If you have already created a gallery of geotagged images in one of the many photo sharing websites (e.g. Flickr, Picasa Web), you can easily ingest a feed (or data stream) of you photos with the geography intact. This feed is in the form of a GeoRSS file and is created each time it is called by ArcGIS Explorer - meaning your images are always up to date.  The power in this approach is that you can select images from different galleries and different websites, displayed against a variety of base maps and other geography.  You can see my ArcGIS Explorer GeoRSS Photo map at

      To create your ArcGIS Explorer GeoRSS photo map
      1. For Flickr users, scroll to the bottom of your Photostream page and find the "geoFeed" link.  You'll want to copy this URL and use it in ArcGIS Explorer. Be sure you have relevant location sharing options turned on.
      2. For Picasa Web Albums users, select a gallery, select an Album and find the "RSS" link.  You'll need to copy this URL and use it later in ArcGIS Explorer. Note that you must have created an "Album Map" in order for the RSS feed to contain geographic data.
      3. Open ArcGIS Explorer and press "Add Content".  Select "GIS Services".
      4. Press "New Server Connection".
      5. Change Server Type to "GeoRSS" and paste your geoFeed or RSS URL from Flickr or Picasa Web Albums. 
      6. If you receive an error, the first and most likely problem is that all proper location sharing options in Flickr or Picasa Web Albums are not enabled.  Revisit and try again.
      You can repeat the above process until you've added all the geotagged photos you want. Change your base maps and add more geo data to make it yours.

      Lastly, if you want to share your ArcGIS Explorer file, save your work as an .nmf (file) and upload to  The accounts are free and take only a second to set up.