Deep geotagging of videos – Motionbox

Motionbox, slightly different video sharing site, and one I really like, have introduced their planned “Deep Tagging” of videos. What the allows could be quite revolutionary. There are two ways that this works, as present. A drop down box under the video screen area, that allows a user to jump to segments of the video (useful for chapter style navigation), and a timeline section showing at-a-glance, with thumbnails, the deep tags within the video. Tags can also overlap over the same parts of the video. From a geospatial perspective this could be really powerful: A montage of nice bars in your town, each location being both geotagged and descriptive. A geoRSS feed of videos and parts of videos for an area. Links within the video to a map…

Videos can be located – not only that, but within the video, parts can also be located. Feed wise, to be able to grab a feed showing what videos, and parts of videos are around your area (like flickr photos) would be great. Where are there movies (or deep, hidden sections of a movie) that are tagged “London”. What parts of the world are people interested in.
I’ve made a little example from my recent trip to the Grindelwald area of Swiss Alps.


I’ve added geo:lat=x.xx and geo:lon=y.yy geotags, and also a combined one. Also added direction it was taken- “looking north”. But at present, the tag system strips out non-letters and the decimal place!, so geolon80445 However, a meta-tag of “geotagged” would give all those videos that are geotagged, perhaps a new tag could be found to point to geotags being embedded within… “geotaggedin” (thanks Andrew)

Also….Motionbox doesn’t have any kind of API at the moment, but from their jobs listings, possibly looks like they are looking to fulfil that gap. You can embed videos into blogs…( doesn’t support it yet).

Motionbox does have rss feeds for tags – gives a simple feed for those tagged with “glacier”. Seems only to work with one tag at a time. But the searching by tags also picks up deep tags, as well as global meta-tags. (rss for “london”) Would be good to get a geoRSS feed for an area…
It does allow you to link to tagged sections directly, such as this but that doesn’t pass in the deep tag name as a parameter.

Deep tagging at present is very powerful for normal video navigation such as in this example – It gives the user a quick way to jump to the interesting bits – the deep tags can be used as simple chaptering, or a way to highlight different parts of a talk, demo, interview. From their blog: “Deep tagging allows you to highlight the moment when a certain person or place appears in the video, or mark a specific event captured in your video, so your viewers can skip right to the stuff they really want to see. You can even use deep tags to divide your video into chapters.”

Imagine a way to tag parts of a video as easily as clicking on a map, still cameras are having GPS embedded and linked, video cameras will soon have them too. But as seen with how easy and painless geocoding flickr photos is, this isn’t necessary. Imagine viewing a video of your favourite movie with direct links within the video to the locations that the scenes were shot. And a map showing all the locations, or routes of the movie… and then integrate it with the video, so they pop up as the video goes along. I’d like to see other videos taken in the same vicinity as mine, perhaps they were in totally different subjects. Imagine mapping a street for OSM, but instead of linking to each photo, you can link to a snippet of a video.

Something to look out for… lets hope Motionbox can rise to the challenge! 😉

j2me, GPS, Mobile Phone #3 – odgps .odg convert to gpx & TrekBuddy

Nuno Bettencourt commented on a previous post about working on an “engine” to convert odg files from the freeware odgps j2me gps program (written about here). GPSBabel is probably the way to go, but C is outside my knowledge! (The pda version apparently supports gpx)

Possibly pre-empting that, but heres a php program on the Ning platform to convert from odg to gpx. It puts any waypoints at the beginning, and the track-log afterwards. The timestamps are also converted from Unix to the iso format. Add in the name of the exported .gpx file in the form, and it should run and give you a new file. Hope you find it useful! Oh, its on Ning, so, if you feel the need, you can view the source, clone it, and develop upon it.

I like odgps application a lot, although it has crashed a couple of times, after say an hour logging, probably a memory thing. There’s no new development on this freeware version of the app. One of the key features for my use is the easy way it can record waypoints, as its logging, and the nice navigation, satellites, and compass. However, whilst it can display a track, it doesn’t show a track as its being made.

TrekBuddy allows you to make your own maps and can help navigate around these maps. The interface works well, however I found, for my use (openstreetmap tracks), it didn’t record the tracks on the map, and only had a recording interval around 12 seconds or so, which is much too high. EDITS:: we can get 1 second intervals through setting nmea format for track recording. Very Nice!!. Although there was a little coloured dot showing the GPS reception, it was not that clear, on my small screen. However the trekbuddy Forums are friendly and active, and development is very active (albeit closed source), there’s even a post about OpenStreetMap, so we may see something develop in future releases, if so, let me know! forum have announced a new forum at for “the discussion of neogeographic theory and practice”

“Platial sees neogeography as encompassing urban exploration, site specific sculpture, land/earth art, geo-tagging, guided walks, ephemeral cities, imaginary urbanism, altered maps/radical cartography, travel writing, psychogeography, and place-based photo blogging, but even they wonder what connects all of these activities. would like to know what you think.”

Great stuff, all the types of things that excite and interest me, would be good to see new conversations taking place on the forums, in conjunction with the various mailing lists, blogs, and irc.

Is my metadata nice?

Jo Walsh blogs on about metadata, cataloguing standards, and the importance of just getting something out there which will be easy to read, use and develop upon. It got me thinking about some incentives to publish or “write stuff about stuff”, since no one writes metadata at all, at the moment.

Metadata as marketing?

“Why would someone else want to see this dataset?”

Within a context of sharing and community (perhaps I should use Architectures of Participation?) – and FOSS approaches to geodata encourages both of these – I can imagine it being like putting a description on a video that you have just uploaded to your video sharing site of choice. It should encourage feedback and commenting on data, such as “by the way, this is out of date now….see X” or… “I’ve used this dataset on my Website, here”. It would give two way feedback, instead of just publishing metadata, doing the painful duty, and forgetting about it.

However, what about the data that you have to release, but don’t care about sharing, or are not allowed to, or where sharing is a formality. Not all publishing of information is viewed as a positive thing? Perhaps all data would benefit from comments.

Foss4g2006, workshops, presentations & ideas

Taken a while to write something about FOSS4G conference, butI’ve been holidaying in Switzerland afterwards (more about that in a later post)

The poster and demo went reasonably well, except the “demo fest” was more of a “demo slumber” as not that many people came to it. Ideas for Tagger were generated however. In particular, making it more usable, adding new comparisons. For example, a user to know intuitively what to do, and seeing the comparisons of one set of perceptions vs another set. “Where do people think have the most crime” and “where do (another bunch of) people think has the worst air pollution”?.

Highlights include seeing Geotracing, which looks excellent, seeing Andrew Turner’s and Mikel Marons geoPress extension. Mikels presentation about Time for Time rang a bell for me. I would like to see something like Timeliner, but with maps. Openstreetmap had a workshop of a dozen people walking around Lausanne campus with GPS units. OSM was well received at the conference, many people see it as Dave M said its “Going to Rock the World”.

Meeting people of course was the main highlight, as was fondue, late night chats and beer. Very good to meet people from all over the world, Taiwan, Jamaica, the USA, and people from the Internet. Workshops were excellent. I attended the introduction to Grass workshop, and am now less intimidated by that software package. Other workshop  I went to was the ka-map workshop – It looked very powerful, very nice caching mechanism, with the usual lighting fast mapserver. Its layers/groups and easy to configure options are a big plus.

Some photos from the Castle Chillion social event can be found here, and the day trip to Gruyere here.