Geotagging Imagery and Video

IsWHERE is a log of my thoughts, reflections, and news/blog links on the emergence of image and video geospatial tagging. On May5th this year, I opened a second blog to deal with more detailed aspects of tools for FalconView and TalonView can be found at RouteScout. Trends I want to try and follow are the various disruptions resulting from spatial smart-phones, how many GPS devices are out there, smart-cameras, and other related news. And yes, I have a business interest in all of this. My company Red Hen has been pioneering this sort of geomedia for more than a decade.

So beyond a personal blog, I also provide a link to IsWHERE a shareware tool created by Red Hen Systems to readily place geoJPEG or geotagged imagery and soon GEM full motion media kept on your own computer(s) into Google Earth/Map from your File Manager media selection. Works great for geotagged images from Nikon, Ricoh, Sony, iPHONE, Android and all geo-smartphones that can create geotagged images. IsWhere - read about it

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Saturday, December 02, 2006

More on Geotagging Statistics

"Every picture has its place" is the conceptual base from which geotagging provides an index to imagery. When you approach Fickr to see the "where are" all those millions of images, you don't get much of a picture or a map. The Flickr map above should show the distribution of all ~7.8 million images as of today. It does not.

What this map of all geotagged images (7.8 million plus) displays are recent additions aggregated by a clustering solution that operates at all scales of the Yahoo map. You do not get any feel for where all that imagery is - Flickr's world-wide image distribution?

When you change the scale by zooming in on a region of interest, the visualization of the image clusters becomes more refined. In this case, Big Bend National Park there is a central cluster marked as "Lots".... Man, is this slow. It works but its slow... lots of spatial sorting going on.

Zooming in again.... centered on the "Lots" cluster you now find yet another cluster set.

Yep, I am starting to get a feel for what might be going on. The zooming and panning control are really not well organized IMHO - slider bars simply suck. Waiting, waiting... slow!
Doesn't really do much for me.. you need to change the scale to get intimate with the positional excitement.

I am now zoomed in as close as Flickr can go. The central image cluster I am most interested in can now be found and selected. Yes, I get images and in this case they are all from a single author.

Maybe a mash-up might help? Lets try something more GIS-like?

Back in mid-September a Beau Gunderson used ArcGIS and a world-wide grid to count Flickr images with-in each grid area. Each grid was then grouped as to the total count and shaded according to the aggregate count in each individual grid. This created a 'choropleth" map. Its a visual statistic of ~2.5 million Flickr images where the more yellow grids have the higher counts of Flickr images falling in them. (see for the KML down load. Lets hope Beau runs an up date +5 million images later?)
What happens when we zoom in on Big National Park? Wow, this is fast...

Hmmmm, yep I see the park boundary but the Park is bisected by two grids - one counting 700+ images and the other only 30+ or so. The grid "resolution" breaks down at this scale. The label on the choropleth map certainly shows the aggregate count and is really fast but it needs a finer grid to help sort out where the pictures of interest are. Also the colorization/class by gird should indicate grid count difference but it does not. It's also out-of-date. Bummer!

What I am trying to lead you to is that there are two methods to providing a visual statistic that IMHO will be used to help organize the millions and soon billions of geotagged images being shared. One is more precise, the Flickr cluster method, and the second is far faster but has both a currency lag as well as break-down of visual comparison that fails at a larger scale when its grid and its classification do not fit a finer resolution requirement.

"Vector is more corrector... but raster is faster" ... GIS insight from Dr. Joe Berry (

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