Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Geeky Stuff

Very quiet at the moment, working all hours for the taxman.

I was looking at a way of enhancing the Family Album so I could display photos on a map, like Panoramio does. I looked at a route of integrating the site with Google Maps, which would have been fine but which would have meant a load of development work. I figured that everything would just be easier if I could avoid development if at all possible.

I looked at a few ready-made solutions out there and ultimately bought a Flickr account. Ironically, the one thing Flickr is weak on is its map integration. It is based on Yahoo maps rather than Google maps and they just aren't as good (at least, the satellite images aren't - the actual maps are much of a muchness).

Whatever, this has involved embarking on a huge exercise for Geotagging photographs. I did buy a gizmo which supplies the camera with latitude/longitude data, but that's a real-time thing so can't be applied to photographs taken, say, five years ago. Plus, it uses GPS and trust me GPS is unreliable/unobtainable when you're surrounded by tall buildings. Plus, it provides just three bits of data - latitude, longitude and altitude. So, I supplement this by the use of the freeware application GeoSetter. This shows you a Google map and either reads the location from the image, or lets you drop an "x" to specify the location. You can flesh out the location from (55.123456N, 1.123456W) to Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London, UK (for example), plus you can set loads of other tags such as copyright, contact, email etc. Very useful. Very geeky!

Not only that, then, but as well as tagging all my stuff I need to upload it onto Flickr. The way you need to structure stuff fortunately is similar to how I structure it already, but I'm planning on putting something like 20GB of hi-res JPEG files there, so that's going to take some time too...

So basically I'm wasting zillions of hours on this geeky exercise that, in all likelihood, no-one will ever give a monkeys about!

Monday, 12 January 2009

Out with the Old...

Ah, well, I thought I'd better write something at long last to let the world know that 2009 had reached us down in the New Forest.

In fact, I'm witnessing a strange phenomenon this morning - drops of some clod, wet liquid, similar to water, are falling down out of the sky! Yes, we have the first rain of 2009. Right up until yesterday morning, we'd been in a really cold snap, -5 Celsius at its lowest. Must have lasted a good fortnight, too. I can't remember having this much sustained cold weather for a long time.

All change yesterday, however, and last night in particular was very stormy - I got woken at about 4am by the wind and couldn't drop back off, so am feeling very tired now.

Not a great deal happened over the New Year. I took the 2nd off, to make a long weekend of it, although one unexpected thing to crop up was we had to visit jacqueline's mum in hospital. Jacqueline last spoke to her before Christmas, and she was all geared up to go on holiday with her old biddy friends to Malta. Hmmmmm, not a bad job if you can get it! So we'd just assumed there was no point getting in touch. However, it transpired that one of her mates dropped out, so she decided not to go, and instead spent christmas home alone. She says she didn't bother telling anyone because everyone had made their own plans.... Anyway, I guess a couple of days after christmas Jacqueline's sister found out and promptly whisked her off so that she wouldn't be spending New Year on her own. Unfortunately, while at the sister's, she got some really bad stomach pains and ended up being admitted to hospital.

So, that was last Saturday, spent over in Dorchester. Bright day, but freezing cold. One good thing was that after the stuffiness of the hospital I drove down to the Portland Bill Lighthouse for a very bracing breath of fresh air. Some nice photos, since we arrived not long after sunset and the night was clear.

Back to the client's Monday, and of course it is like christmas never happened. I'm back to working for the taxman for the next month or so.

This weekend was just me and Alice, Jacqueline went to visit her mum, who got out of hospital a week ago. All in all, nobody got up to much.