I thought i would write a roundup of the GreaseMonkey scripts I've written for the Flickr.com website recently, which Flickr users might find useful.
I will update this list, with more detailed descriptions and links etc when i get time.
In the meantime, you can find all these scripts along with descriptions and also some of my other Flickr Projects here: http://steeev.freehostia.com/flickr
You can also find a whole load more greasemonkey scripts at the greasemonkey script repository here: http://www.userscripts.org
I've written some code that lets you GeoTag your Flickr images via Google Earth, heres the instructions on how to do it.
* Google Earth (An amazingly cool free program that displays the whole world via satellite imagery and lets you zoom right in and fly all round the world, seeing some wonderful sights)
* You also need an account on Flickr.com with some uploaded photos in it (the photos need to be publically viewable, the process wont work with photos marked as Private.)
* You also need the following script: GeoTagging Flickr via Google Earth GreaseMonkey Script
1) In order for this script to work properly, you first need to install Google Earth. Once installed you need to go into the Tools/Options/Preferences menu and make sure the box that says "Show web results in external browser" is ticked.
2) If you are running any of my other GeoTagging GM scripts ( i.e "geotag.flickr", "geotag.flickr.streetmapuk", "geotag.flickr.multimap" ) and wish to try this script out, you should disable them in the Tools/Manage User Scripts window. If you wish to go back to using one of the other GM scripts at some point, you need to disable this one, then re-enable the previously disabled script.
3) Open Google Earth, then goto the Places window on the left, right click "My Places" and then select "New Network Link" For the name enter "Flick'rin GeoTagger" and For the location enter the following URL:
http://steeev.freehostia.com/flickr/gearth.php?user=[Put Your Flickr Username Here]
eg if you were me you would use the following URL: http://steeev.freehostia.com/flickr/gearth.php?user=steeev
4) Set "View Based Refresh" to "On Request" and leave all the other options in their default settings then click OK.
5) Now Install this GreaseMonkey script ( Either "Right Click" on the link and select "Install User Script" or click the link and then goto the firefox menu "Tools/Install User Script" ) and you will now have a new link on your Flickr photo pages and batch edit pages called "Add GeoTags"
1) Click the "Add GeoTags" link and an input box will be displayed. Enter the address of where the photo/s were taken, then click submit.
2) You will then be sent a KML file (KML=Google Earth XML file format) to your browser.
3) You need to open the KML file with Google Earth, FireFox should automatically popup a window asking what to do with the KML file, and the default option will be to open it in Google Earth. (Tip: If you click the checkbox to always open KML files with Google Earth, you wont need to worry about this step again)
4) Once you have opened the KML file, if Google Earth has found the address you entered, it will display a marker showing the approximate location of the area you wish to GeoTag. If Google Earth did not find the address you entered, you can try a new address search using Google Earth's search search box, until you find the place, or alternatively you can just find the location by rotating and zooming the globe.
5) You now need to move to the exact spot you wish to GeoTag, once you have identified the right location, you should zoom right in on it, so its right at the center of the screeen. You should also ensure that your view point is not tilted, you can do this by clicking the "reset tilt" button.
6) Now right click on the "Flick'rin GeoTagger" network link in the Places window and select "Refresh". A new placemarker will now be displayed at the point you just specified, click the placemarkers icon, and it will pop up a HTML window, now simply click the "Add GeoTags" link in that window and the geotags will be added to your image/s.
7) You then need to either add the "GeoTagged" link to the description or if its not your image, to the comments. So just click the appropriate button. You can also add a link to "Fly to that location in Google Earth" See RobRoyAus's post on the subject for more info.
Adding The GeoTagged link is useful for 2 reasons; Clicking it the first time adds your images location to the geobloggers.com database, and subsequent clicks on it will display the location of the image overlaid on a map. Once its in the geobloggers database, you will be able to view it in Google Earth and other people will be able to find it by searching by location etc on the geobloggers site.
While it might seem like a lot of steps, you should only need to do the steps in the Setup section the first time you use the script, after that you would just use the steps listed under the "Usage Instructions" heading :)
If you have any ideas or suggestions on how to improve the process, please let me know.
Ive come up with a method, that makes adding GeoTags to your Flickr images, and then submitting the images to the geobloggers.com site a slightly more automated process.
if anyone wants to try it out heres what you need to do:
Automated(ish) GeoTagging Flickr Images Process
1) Firstly if you havent already, you need to install the Firefox web browser.
2) Secondly you need the Firefox Greasemonkey extension installed.
(N.B The scripts have now (27/5/05) been updated to be compatible with GM 0.3.3 thanks to Matthew Weymar! :) )
3) Install this greasemonkey script, which is for the maps.google.com site. (Installing GreaseMonkey scripts is as simple as clicking the link then going to Firefox's tools menu and selecting "Install User Script". Then accept the default options and click ok.)
4) Install this greasemonkey script, which is for flickr.com
5) Go to the image on the flickr.com website that you want to add GeoTags to.
6) You should see a new link next to the "add tags" link on the right, called "add GeoTags", click that link, and an input box will be displayed.
7) Enter the placename, streetname or postcode or zipcode or a combination, where you took the image (or any other location identification info that Google Maps will recognise) then click submit. Remember though that Google Maps only covers USA, Canada,UK + Republic of Ireland in great detail at present. (for people in areas not covered by google maps at present, ive created a new script) that utilises multimap.com
8) You should now be redirected to a page with the Google Maps interface embedded in it.
9) Locate the position on the map you wish to get the geotag coordinates from, you can do this by any of the normal means, i.e searching with the search box, or dragging, zooming and scrolling the map. Also worth noting is "double clicking" anywhere on the map will recenter the map.
10) Once you have located the position you wish to GeoTag your image with, click the link on the right hand side that says "Add GeoTags to your flickr image"
11) You will then see a page with 2 buttons. below that should be a message saying "rsp: stat ok", if it says that, that means the geo tags have been added to your image successfully.
12) You can now choose whether to add the "GeoTagged" link to the images description, or as a comment. You can only add the link to the description if you are the images owner though, if you arent the owner, you can only add the link as a comment. Choose which method you want to use and click the appropriate button.
13) You should now be redirected back to your image page, and you can now check the tags etc have been added properly.
14) Finally click the "GeoTagged" link in the images description / comments, and then you are done, the geobloggers site should add your images location to its database.
Any Bug reports, suggestions and ideas on improving the process flow are most welcome.
UPDATE Christopher and Dave have discovered that this method will not work unless you set the browser to accept "third party cookies". Thanks Guys.
FURTHER UPDATE: A guy called Mark has created a lovely visual step by step walkthrough of the process of adding GeoTags via this method.
*Yet another update* You can geotag the rest of the world, even though Google doent have the detailed maps, they do have a satellite view of the whole world, just not high resolution for anywhere apart from USA+Canada. If you want to geotag somewhere not covered in detail by Google Maps, try zooming all the way out from the map, and changing to satellite view, you should now be able to see the whole world if you move the map about.
Further Update At present MultiMap.com have greater worldwide map coverage than google has, so I wrote some geotagging with MultiMap.com scripts for people in countries not currently covered by google maps. You can get the multimap.com geotagging scripts here.
Further Further Update 27-Jul-05 Ive written yet another new GeoTagging Flickr script, this one utilises the fabulous Google Earth. You can read about it here.
A GeoTagging Flickr Group has been started, for anyone wanting to discuss geotagging/geoblogging stuff.
A guy called revdancatt created a cool new website called GeoBloggers that lets you "geotag" your flickr photos, geotagging means adding longitude and latitude coordinates to the tags for the image. Then his website pulls in the images and overlays them on google maps, its very cool! and will be even cooler for us in the UK when google maps adds the sattelite images for the UK.
Here the bookmarklet: (*UPDATE* I dont think the bookmarklets below work any more.)
To get the bookmarklet to work just create a new bookmark/favourite and copy and paste the above code in for the URL. then to use it just hit the bookmark when you are browsing google maps, and you should be redirected to the geoblogging site for that location.
I also wrote another bookmarklet that is based on one listed at http://libgmail.sourceforge.net This one when selected on a google maps page, will display the longitude and latitude coordinates of the current location on the page. Unlike the other version, this one doesnt autoupdate all the time, so its a bit quicker to run, though the downside is the center of the map isnt marked so its harder to get an accurate position for your geotags.
UPDATE Ive updated the GreaseMonkey scripts, see GeoTagging Flickr with GoogleMaps PART 2 for more details.
Found another couple of cool Firefox extensions, both useful for developers working with XHTML and mobile devices.
Small Screen Rendering XPI
This extension basically lets you see what your pages will look like when rendered on a small screen mobile device.
This extension lets you view how a web page has been built, and also useful for troubleshooting page layouts etc.
A guy called Phillip Torrone in the flickr hacks forum suggested a Universal Translator application for mobile devices, that would work by using "tagged" pictures from flickr, whereby you would enter a word/phrase in your own language and it would return pictures tagged with that word/phrase, and after all pictures speak a thousand words, so in theory this might be useful if you are in a country where you dont speak the language. Of course it only works if people using your language have tagged pictures with the words you are searching for.
Anyway I thought it would be an easy thing to put together, so I made it, and here it is Visual Dictionary.
And the original blog post that sparked the whole idea is here
I might update the search so it also searches pictures titles and descriptions at some point, as it might give better results.
UPDATE Ive added a choice of 2 modes now, previously it was always in mobile mode, designed for mobile devices, but now you can choose whether you search in PC or Mobile mode, if you choose pc mode, the thumbnail images and usernames are linked the pc version of the Flickr site, and if you choose mobile mode, they link to the mobile version of the site. The default mode is mobile, though it seems most people are accessing the site from their pc's. I guess mobile internet usage hasnt reached critical mass yet, which is probably due to the high costs or something.
FlickrFox is a cool new extension for firefox that displays a stream of images from Flickr in a sidebar on your browser, its really cool, you should check it out! :)
Another cool new firefox extension is called Smiley Xtra, its basically an easily accessible database of smileys that you can easily insert into online forums and chatrooms.
Ive written another GreaseMonkey script, this one is also for Flickr.com. It adds a "quote" link, at the bottom Flickr forums (it should be beneath each post in the forum, but i couldnt get it to do that yet)
If you select some text from a post that you wish to reply to in the forum, then click the "quote" link, the selected text will be added ready formatted as a quote to the input box at the bottom of the page.
Anyway you can get the current 0.01 version of the script here:
The script is still quite useful i think even though its functionality is not 100% complete, and can save some typing time, when you wish to reply and quote someone in the forums...
Script Usage Instructions
After installing the script, you can select the text of a users post in a flickr forum, who you wish to reply to, then click the quote link and the selected text will be added to the text input box at the bottom of the page, nicely formatted and ready for you to add your reply.
FURTHER UPDATE Ive made some minor, mainly cosmetic, alterations to the script, including adding in some insallation instructions. Heres the updated version
Greasemonkey is a cool extension for firefox that lets you add user defined scripts to specific websites, which means you can filter parts of sites you dont like or even add new functionality to sites.
I thought it was a cool technology, so i decided to have a go at writing a script for it, I noticed a cool new application on the web called Flickr Rate by a guy called Nicolas, that lets you rate photos on Flickr.com, though the current interface is via a bookmarklet, I thought it would be cool if the rating applet was embedded in the actual Flickr photo page as it would make things a lot easier. And thats where GreaseMonkey comes in handy, anyway I had a look at some of the currently existing GreaseMonkey scripts for Flickr and put together a script that would work for Flickr Rate application, and here it is. In order to install it, you first need to install the GreaseMonkey extension.
Update, Nicolas has updated my script here http://flickrate.gasteroprod.com/flickrate.user.js
Mark Taws website has a great list of free really useful small applications here:
Ebay Negs! is the Extension I wrote for Mozilla Firefox, that lets you check all the Negative feedback an Ebay User has received. And now a cool programmer dude called Guido has kindly updated the Ebay Negs! Firefox extension with some cool new functionality. You now no longer need to highlight the text on a page before selecting EbayNegs, you can now just right click on an Ebay Username Link, or if you are on an auction page just right click on the page and then select Ebay Negs. The old functionality is still there too. Another new feature is that you can select whether Ebay Negs opens the Toolhaus site in the current window or in a new tab.
If you have the old version of the extension installed you can update it by going to the Tools menu then Extensions, then click the Update button, then you should be able to update the Extension easily. If you havent yet installed this extension, just Click Here to Install Ebay Negs! For Firefox
I just read the brilliant tutorial at Roachfiend.com on how to write extensions for Firefox and I decided it would be fun to write one myself, So I decided to convert my eBay negative feedback checker bookmarklet into a Firefox Extension, and the roachfiend tutorial helped out a great deal :) It was pretty straightforward to convert, and you can try it out here: Ebay Negative Feedback Firefox Extension
Any feedback gratefully received :)
UPDATE 19/1/2005 A new updated version (0.6) of this extension has been released, thanks to a cool dude called Guido who supplied some brilliant code to extend Ebay Negs' functionality. If you have got the old version (0.5) installed you can use Firefox's update feature to update it to the new version. To do this go to the "Tools/Extensions" menu, then click the "Updates" button. This version allows you to right click on Ebay username links without having to highlight them first, it also alllows you to rightclick anywhere on an ebay auction page and it will try to automatically work out the username.
Recently found this really cool site called Stanaphone.com. They have their own VOIP network, and are offering 100 free minutes of calls to international destinations per month for everyone who signs up for a free account.
Quoted from the website:
What is StanaPhone?
StanaPhone is the first free and extremely easy to use internet telephone with real US phone numbers. It allows you to call and receive calls from regular home and mobile phones as well as place free calls to and receive them from any StanaPhone number, regardless of its location. All incoming calls to StanaPhone are free. Beta version of StanaPhone is free to download and free to use. It does not require any special computer knowledge to make it work. All you have to do is download our free software and sign up for a free StanaPhone number.
so basically U gotta download their small easy to use software phone and create a free account, when i did it, u didnt need to give credit card details, though this might have changed, as they recently changed their system. The sign up process was really quick and installation of the software is really easy too.
u get $2.00 free calling credit every 30 days, and can use that to call a huge list of countries ( including the UK! ) (this is pc to phone, not pc to pc, though u can use it to call pc 2 pc too)
Its even possible to call mobile phones using the free credits, though I think its much more expensive than the flat 2 cents rate for calling other countries and "normal phones" and of course as usual with VOIP phones, you can call other VOIP phones for free anyway, and you can also use it to call Freephone numbers in other countries and i presume calls to freephone numbers are not taken off your call allowance, will have to check this out.
the companys website is http://www.stanaphone.com
and theres more info on their about page here http://stanaphone.com/whatsstana/ including the list of countries you can call.
when your free credit runs out for the month, its only 2 cents a minute to call anywhere in the world!
you also get a free US "regular phone number" for free, (you can choose what area code you want) so people in the U.S can call u for the price of a local call!
and even though its a U.S company, you can sign up for an account from any country :)
Apparently its possible to set up X-Lite the "softphone" to use multiple VOIP services, at the same time, havent actually got this to work myself, but ive been told u could have mysipphone, stanahone and freeworlddialup all working on a single phone. Sounds cool! :D
*UPDATE* 06/10/2004 They have decreased the free credit to $0.20 Oh well, its still 10 free calling minutes! :)
*Further Update* 29/10/2004 You now only get $0.10 of free credit, so its just 5 free minutes...
BT know this and they are planning on converting all their phone systems to VOIP (Voice Over IP).
Dont get left behind, download a VOIP softphone such as X-Lite now and try it out! :) Its fun :) You can use it to dial freephone numbers in america, japan, holland and supposedly the uk (though i havent managed to get this to work yet) Have sucessfully called Japan though :) There is also beta support for calling freephone French numbers.
In theory if you want to call a "normal" phone you can connect to a phone service provider/calling card provider on their freephone number then dial out from that to the number you require, for cheap calling rates. Though Im sure there are other ways of doing it.
You can get an easy to setup and use VOIP "softphone" called X-Lite, useable with the FreeWorldDialup (FWD) network here:
BT have just launched a cool new product called BT Communicator, its an application that lets you use your pc like it was a phone, i.e you can make and receive calls as if it was a normal phone, and as an incentive to sign up they are giving away one months worth of free national and local calls through the service :)
Havent actually tried the service out yet, gonna look thru the T+Cs to see if theres any catch, so far havent seen anything. Looks like a good offer to me
One drawback is the minimum pc spec required is a 700mhz windows machine. My aging 500mhz pc might struggle to get it to run. They say it should still work on slower machines, though the call quality might suffer..
Heres a link to their webpage with info on how to signup and download the program: http://tinyurl.com/6tgkp
Wow! i just tried out Skype the new internet telephony application from the original developers of Kazaa. The sound quality is amazing! The program is free. Try it out today! Skype
I've written a new GenieTexter script for uboot.com, which lets you send free and "paid for" international sms (depending on your available credits) through uboot.com using the cool free GenieTexter program. I think you can only sign up for uboot if your mobile is a german, swiss, austrian or uk number, but you can send texts to most international countries.
The script is available via the genietexter service manager.
If you find any bugs or have any problems with the script get in touch. Cheers.
GenieTexter can be downloaded from here.
Genietexter 0.8 (scriptable version) is now officially released, and they have also got a new domain name http://www.genietexter.co.uk. Good stuff! :)
Genietexter scriptable version (beta) is now available for testing.
The smsac.xml script is for sending sms via the sms.ac portal. They let you have 8 free texts a day, allowing international texts and also replies to your texts. They also give you 150 free texts as a bonus to use in your first week of signing up, or more if you sign up at the same time as a friend, pretty cool offer. The textmine.xml script is less useful as textmine.co.uk only give you a one off allowance of 10 free texts but the replies go straight to your phone.
Recently I've been experimenting with free TV Guide aka EPG (Electronic Program Guide) software for Windows. The software I've tried are Digiguide (free 1 month trial period, then after that its £10 a year which is pretty reasonable as the quality of the listings is very good, the number of channels available is huge, and the program has lots of useful features, such as spoken audio reminders.
The winner of the TV Guide applications shoot out for me, has got to be DigiGuide though the winner of the totally free TV Guide application has got to be TV Guide by Paul Ledbury. Unfortunately the program no longer works "out of the box" as it relies on downloading XMLTV formatted TV listings from the ananova.com website, unfortunately Ananova no longer provide this service.
The Freeguide-tv Java application is quite good too but is currently rendered practically unusable as it relies on downloading its listings from the Radio Times website, and takes forever to download a single days listings let alone a whole weeks.
So in general the free TV Guide programs are suffering from a lack of a good source of free TV listings. Luckily a new free UK TV listings provider has emerged: bleb.org. At present they don't supply the listings in XMLTV format, which TV Guide requires, so Ive written a coldfusion script that grabs the listings for the main terrestrial UK channels (bbc1,bbc2,itv,channel4,channel5 and also ftn and UK History) from the bleb site and converts them to the TV Guide raw format and saves them in the TV Guide directory. You can get the coldfusion (v4.5) script here., you also need this script called sleep.cfm I havent tested it on CFMX yet. In order to get TV Guide working with these files, you will need to run the cf script once a day, and you will also need to edit the TVGuide.ini file, to get the channels to match the ones you are downloading. N.B you should not allow the program to try and download new TV listings on its own, as it will overwrite the files that the cf script has created. The TVGuide.ini script I use, which works with my script can be viewed here: TVGuide.ini You can of course edit the script and the ini file to match the channels you want to download and view.
Confusingly there is another TV Guide program called TV_Guide, this is similar to TV Guide in a way, though it downloads its listings directly from Bleb.org as it can interpret their listings directly, from what I have seen of this program it is very basic, and I didnt like it at all, i much prefer Paul Ledburys TV Guide program.
I've been working on converting some ASP scripts I wrote for sending free SMS messages via various SMS portals on the web, into the SMSSend format. Ive managed to get both my orange uk and my 118 com script working. I tried to upload the scripts to the official SMSSend website, but they are having a database problem there. So I've decided to host them here: 118.sms, orangeuk.sms for now
EGenie was the first windows program i used for sending free SMS, it was cool as it was the only program of its kind at the time, it worked by allowing you to send text messages via the Genie.co.uk site (now renamed to o2.co.uk). Then along came Genietexter, which also let you send SMS via the o2 website but offers lots of new extra features, including the ability to send SMS via other free SMS services.
The problem with both of these programs is the slow turnaround time in getting the programs updated, dont get me wrong im not criticising the programmers behind the 2 programs, as i realise how much time and effort it takes to maintain free software of this kind. I guess its partly the fact that these 2 programs are closed source, which adds to the apparent slowness of maintenance updates.
Recently I came across a new program, it was actually released in 2002 so its not really new, just new to me. Anyway this program has an open scripting interface, that lets anyone update existing scripts, of which there are loads, including lots of internation free sms portals. If the script for a site stops working you can go in and fix it yourself, you can also add your own scripts which let you send sms via newly discovered free sms portals. The program is not as polished looking as either EGenie or Genietexter and doesnt run as smoothly but its 'semi-open sourceness' (the actual program is closed source, but the scripting API is open) adds a whole new dimension to the genre of SMS sending applications. The programmer of EGenie, is working on a second generation sms sending application codenamed Mercury, which will feature similar features as SMSSend, but right now the only program in the game is SMSSend. Unfortunately the programmer of SMSSend is also rather slow at updating his program, but luckily the fact that the program is scriptable lets the users update the SMS portal script files themselves and share them amongst themselves via the website.