Geotagging Flickr

At last! Geotagging is the art of adding geographical data, such as latitude/longitude, to photos. This makes it easy to search for photos by location, to see nearby photos or to put all photos on a map. Flickr, my favourite photo gallery site, have now added built-in geotagging (digg story), something that previously only could be done with third party hacks, and never as easy as now.

It’s dead simple to geotag a photo – just go to Organize and click Map. Then just drag the photos to desired location! The hardest part is knowing where the photos acutally were taken :) However, even though I’m very happy Flickr made this update, there are some things that are not so good. I am sure they will be fixing some of these issues in the coming time – the sooner the better. I have geotagged all my 650 photos now, and during the process I found both bugs and other shortcomings:

  • The map data is not as good as Google Maps, and certainly not as good as Google Earth (both were used before for geotagging in Flickr). Flickr is using Yahoo Maps, and they should definately get some better map data soon for the rest of the world, because so many flickrites are traveling all over.
  • It is somewhat buggy. It fails in counting the photos when you zoom out, so now it is sometimes reporting incorrect number of photos for some of my locations. It also misses to map out photo locations close to the edge of the current map view.
  • Some interface things should be corrected. When you drag a photo to an existing location, the map often scrolls in the last second, so that the photo is placed on a new location instead. Also, if you drag a photo before the whole page has loaded, you will get some strange bugs.

Nevertheless, thank you Flickr for this wonderful feature. As I’ve said, I have geotagged all my photos. Celebrate with me by checking out my photo map. I have also added photos from my trips this summer. A small preview:

The Cathedral at sunset The Brenner Pass Classical Venice The Old Farm

No to GST

So far I haven’t gotten myself into HK politics – or what you might call it. Now the HK great leader and Beijing messenger Donald Tsang is on his way to impose a new law on Hong Kong, a law called GST, or Goods and Services Tax. I can admit I have not studied the details, but as I’ve understood it, it will do the following simple things: add a tax to sold goods in Hong Kong (increasing the prices), and in the same time lower the income tax. This might sound as a perfectly normal shifting of taxes, but it has only bad sides. Higher prices will have a negative affect on tourism, but it will also make living more expensive for the poor, while people with higher salaries – that consume more – won’t really be affected. So, it’s a unique tax that is both bad to business and poor people – usually it’s just one or the other.

I usually don’t sign petitions, but this time it might be worth a try – petitions and demonstrations is as far Hong Kong democracy goes at the moment. You can find the petition here, and the guy brining this up, BigWhiteGuy, here. Sign it, and spread the word.

Back in town

So, what can I say? I’m back in Hong Kong, with very mixed feelings. I’m both very happy to see Shirley again, as well as happy to see the city of all cities, but in the same time, I find myself disliking things ranging from weather (all too hot), isolation, time difference, lack of friends and family, et cetera. I hope this confusion won’t last too long, because I’m supposed to do some hard work here on my thesis – a challenge I have yet to appreciate.

The summer, how was it? Well, it was nice and all too short. But when it comes to me, any spare time is made too short from procrastination and general time wasting. In spite of that, I managed to travel a lot around Europe, spend time with my family, role-play quite a bit and write a few texts, as well as barely managing my administrative duties. Photos will be up in due time (half of them are up already).

And to you reading this – thanks for showing up again. I’m not very loyal to my blog it seems, when I forget to write anything at all for two months. I don’t really get attached to things, and that apparently includes my blog :) Let’s see if I can pick it up where I left it.