July 27, 2005

GeoTagging Flickr via Google Earth - New GreaseMonkey Script

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)

* Firefox Web Browser (you need to enable cookies and you also need to set Firefox as the default web browser in Firefox Tools/options/general menu)

* GreaseMonkey Firefox Extension

* 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

Setup Instructions:

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"

Usage Instructions

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.



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June 21, 2005

GeoTagging Photos WorldWide with MultiMap and Flickr

Ive written another Greasemonkey / GeoTagging / Flickr script. This script utilises multimap.com which currently has much better worldwide map coverage than maps.google.com

If you have either of my geotagging with google maps or the geotagging with streetmap.co.uk scripts installed and you wish to try this new script out, you should first disable them before trying out the new multimap.com script.

You can get the new script here:


To install this script you need Firefox + Greasemonkey to be installed.

The only major difference between this script and the older ones is when you click the "Add GeoTags" link on the flickr photo page, instead of being presented with an input box to enter the location data, you are instead redirected to the multimap.com site. When you get to the site, you should select the country you wish to search in and then enter the location data into the form, and from there locate the position that you would like to geotag the image with. Once you have pinpointed the location, just click the "Add GeoTags" link which should then be located beneath the map. And from there the procedure is the same as with the other GeoTagging scripts ive written.

As well as adding the geotags this script also adds a tag for the country name.

UPDATE 14/7/05 I've updated the script to fix a couple of bugs,
1) country names with more than one word in them are no longer split into separate tags for each word
2) the bug where the "add geotags" link wasnt showing up directly after doing a post/zipcode search, is now fixed too.

If you've got the old version of the script installed, you should reinstall it from the link above.

Here is a list of the main countries multimap.com covers:
Australia, Austria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Belgium, Belarus, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain & NI, Greece, Hungary, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United States

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May 08, 2005

Geotagging Flickr with Google Maps and Greasemonkey Part 2

UPDATE: Please note, this method no longer works

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.

Cheers :)


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.

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December 17, 2004

GenieTexter now supports sending Ringtones and Logos!

I just made a cool discovery, while experimenting with trying to get GT to send VCards, i discovered that I could actually send Ringtones and Logos.

The secret is sending the right SCKL code, which is documented at: http://www.csoft.co.uk/sckl/

Basically the SCKL code tells the receiving phone that though the message is text, it should be treated as a binary file.

An example you can try is to send the following message


(you need to replace the <space> with an actual space and you need to remove any new lines as well, as the message should just be on one single line) If you send that as a message to a compatible phone (practically all nokias and a few others, see the page at csoft.co.uk mentioned earlier for a compatibility chart) then the phone will recognise it as a ringtone :) Try it out and see if you can recognise the song! :D

Another example is how to send a logo (this info is quoted from the above website btw so all credit to those cool dudes at csoft :)

the image we want to send is a picture of the number 777
in order to send this we need to send 2 separate SMS, the receiving phone will automatically join them together and decode the image. The messages must each be on a single line (they are on both on 2 separate lines here to try and fit them on the page better), and you need to replace <space> with an actual space.





If you do it right the recipient will receive an operator logo with a picture of the number 777. Pretty cool huh? Important things to note, you need to choose your genietexter script carefully when sending these types of messages, as most free sms sites add an advert to the end of your message, or some extra text at the beginning of the message, so this method wont work with those type of sites, the only sites i think that offer you the max 160 characters per sms that genietexter has scripts for are orange_pay, tmobileUK and 1rstwap.

I think this method should work for VCards and VCals too, the only problem is actually converting your data into the binary/digital format. Though i expect theres probably a program out there that will do it for you, it would certainly be a really cool set of functions to add to GenieTexter i think you would agree! :D

UPDATE If you are wondering how to convert files into the SCKL format, you could try using a program called "Ringtone Tools" Which despite its name can convert music and graphics files to SCKL format.

December 09, 2004

How to browse the web via email on your 3 UK phone with my new phone application, www3mail

Ive written a web page application that you can use on your 3 phone, it will let you grab web pages and files from the internet, thus getting around 3's "walled garden". I have so far only tested this application out on an NEC e616v, so dont know if it will work on other 3 handsets, I dont see any reason why it shouldnt also work on other 3 handsets, please let me know your experiences, cheers.

The way it basically works is it lets you enter a URL, and you send that URL by email to a web service that grabs the Web page or file that you have requested from the web and emails it straight back to you.

Installation of my www3mail application is easy, just save the www3mail web page to your computer then send it as an attachment via email to your 3 phone's 3mail account.

Now you need to open your phones email client and open the email attachment. The problem is the phones built in email client, which is accessible by clicking the Msg softkey and then clicking on 3mail, doesnt let you view html attachments, so the solution is to open the phones "web browser" and go to the services page where you can check your 3mail via a webmail type interface. To do this you need to click the triangle button on your 3 phone which opens the phones browser, now go to the services page, then select Mail. To make this process of opening the webmail client quicker in future its a good idea to bookmark this page, then in future you can just open the browser, select bookmarks then select Mail. Anyway you should by now have a new mail in your Inbox. Open it then drill down to the attachment and click on the attachment and it should open the attached www3mail web application in your phones browser. You should also bookmark this page, as the process of opening the mail and then drilling down to the attachment is a bit long winded, so if you bookmark the attachment, you will be able to return to it much quicker in future :)

Once the www3mail application page has loaded, you are presented with a number of options.

First you need to select the retrieval service, next you need to select what type of web query you want to make. The default selection is "grab this url", which lets you enter a full URL into the text box below, and when you submit the page to the webgrabber service, it will grab that page and email it back to you.

The other options basically let you enter search terms for various search engines, thus saving you having to type in extra long URLs. The search options available at present are: Search Google, Search Google (alt), Search Google News, Search Google Groups and Search IMDB.com

After entering your query and pressing submit, you will be presented with a choice of either sending the message as an SMS, an MMS or an email, you need to select email. After you do that, you will be in the email sending window, with the email you are about to send ready assembled. All you need to do now is click the send button then wait for the service to send back your requested page or file.

Though this system works, theres a number of flies in the ointment:

1) 3 started charging to send emails on 1st December, I think it now costs 25p to send an email, even if its just 1 or 2 lines long! Imagine trying to surf the web at 25p per page! it would soon work out rather expensive, though i guess it might be useful in emergencies. But if it was an emergency, the second fly in the ointment wouldnt help much.

2) The amount of delay between sending out your request and the reply coming back can sometimes be quite long, you would need to find a faster grabbing service, as the current one is quite slow to respond. Anyone fancy offering such a service to 3 UK users? :)

3) There is no instant notification of emails arriving in your inbox, well there doesnt appear to be any on my NEC e616v handset, perhaps other handsets do have this feature. So you wont know if your request has been answered or not.

I will leave you with this extra tip. Go into the phones settings and make the font smaller, this will mean you can fit much more text on the screen. Quite handy for reading long emails or web pages.

Another tip is I suggest you try out the www3mail application in your web browser on your pc before installing it on your phone. Just to familiarise yourself with how it actually works.

Anyway I hope someone finds this article helpful, perhaps if you are still getting free email on your three UK phone, it could be of some use.

Oh BTW i should point out the agora webpage grabbing service is only meant for research purposes, so bear that in mind. Someone should set up a similar service just for 3 UK users, would be cool! :)


Just had some more ideas, another thing to be aware of is that you could use this application to retrieve other types of files eg multimedia content, so it could actually work out cheaper, than downloading 3's own content. For example say someone encoded a video and put it on the web somewhere, you could download it via this process for 25p whereas 3 would charge you 1.50 or whatever the rate is for video downloads.

*Just had another Brainwave!*

Another idea that would make it even cheaper (free even), if you could get the application to work via SMS it would work out even cheaper, as the requests that are sent by email are quite short, the info that is sent could fit in an SMS, if someone were to setup a service where you could SMS your request for a webpage or file, and the service would then email the webpage or file back to you, (you would need to register your number with the service first so they know what email address to send the files to) then it would work out at 10p a page, or if you had inclusive text messages on your contract completely free!!

If you liked this article you might also be interested in an earlier article i wrote which was about connecting your PC to your NEC e616v mobile phone so that you can send and receive 3mail directly on your PC. You can read that here: http://tinyurl.com/5yue4

YET ANOTHER UPDATE Ive heard rumours that sending mail via the phones built in email client is still free, people in various forums have noticed that they can still send emails via the built in email client when they have run out of credit on their pre-pay phones. If you try to send email via 3's webmail client, you will still be charged. And the good news is that my www3mail web browser uses the phones built in email client to send webpage requests, so in theory you shouldnt get charged for using it :) !!!!!

Further Update
I have done some research into what browser the nec e616v phone is using, it appears to be NetFront3 by a Japanese company called Access. A list of phones with the NetFront browser in it is available here: http://www.access-us-inc.com/Prod_Deploy_Mobile.html in theory my application should work with most of those phones...

August 06, 2004

How to setup WebDAV and FTP on your Spymac account.

OK so you may or may not know this but Spymac were the first company to freely offer an email account with 1 Gigabyte of storage. Well actually thats old news, but the other great thing about them is they also offer webspace (lots of it). Your website is basically your Spymac Username followed by spymac.net so if my SpyMac username was johnsmith my webspace would be at http://johnsmith.spymac.net and my ftp server would be at ftp://johnsmith.spymac.net and my WebDAV folder would be at http://johnsmith.spymac.net:81

I was scratching my head trying to figure out how to connect to Spymac using WebDAV and FTP today, as I wanted to upload a file. The Spymac site itself, though it offers these cool features, doesnt have a very easy to find Help system or a list of FAQs for people who want to actually use their services. Maybe thats the point, if everyone used all their webspace, im sure it would soon bring their whole system to its knees.

Anyway WebDav is easy to use on Windows 2000 and WinXP you can just goto your Network Neighbourhood, then "Add a network place" then just type in your WEBDav folder url, in this case it would be http://johnsmith.spymac.net:81

this will add the folder as a computer/folder in your "Network Neighbourhood", when you click to open the folder, a dialog box will pop up asking you for your username and password, these are the same as for your email account and also for your FTP account.

Im quite new to WebDAV, i havent quite figured out what the advantages of it over FTP are, but it integrates quite well into Windows Explorer anyway. It lets you just drag and drop files to and from it, treating it like just another drive on your network :)

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