Archive for the ‘Experimental’ Category

Resurrecting the Google KML Embed and Tour Gadgets

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Long time since posted here, but just wanted somewhere to record links to these tools:

Fake KML Embed Gadget

and

Fake KML Tour Gadget

They are replicas of the KML Gadgets that Google used to offer (they disappeared with the demise of iGoogle). Was able to save the code and get them working again, if you already have embeds on your site, should just be able to make a small change to the code to get the gadgets working again – more detailed instructions the above pages.

Geograph Javascript Playgrounds

Friday, July 1st, 2011


I often have little ideas for new ways to display images from Geograph, but its a pain building prototypes.

It usually involves finding some other part developed prototype or feature, that I can use as a template. Then have start up a code editor, and get connected to a server. Think of a name to call the file. Strip out the bits not needed for the new application. Then have to remind myself the APIs available. Work out how to call the APIs etc, etc, etc.

… well now I’ve began work on a platform to make this easier. Online code editor – quick forking of current projects. Easy wrapped access to relevant APIs, jQuery already loaded.

No more worrying about what to call the file, or making sure I keep backups of previous versions (should want to find a previous one!). This is all handled automatically. Setup to handle browser caching and invalidation on new versions. No worrying about stale code.

It’s primarily for my own use, but thought may as well open it up so others can use it build quick prototypes – or even fully fledged applications (based on Geograph images of course!).

The applications created all run client-side in browser – so utilizes the power of jQuery to create immersive and compelling interfaces.

Probably the best place to start is from a few of the early demos I built with the system:

Public Listed Applications

Please use them as starting points – or simply inspiration to build your own application! (They are not meant as complete applications!)

No special tools required – other than a browser. Firefox with Firebug, or Chrome (press F12!) recommended – to help catch javascript errors.

(note: it only wraps one Geograph API currently – loading all images in a gridsquare – more to be added)

Want a copy of the Geograph Archive? (by snail mail)

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

For the past few months I have been sending out copies of the Geograph Archive (all of it!) on USB hard disks.

If you are interested then let me know, plan to make an order for blank hard disks early next week.

I plan to offer these at £60 a piece Рpostage to the UK included. Depending on postage worldwide, might be slightly more, quote on request. Which is pretty close to cost.

The drives will be 640G, and include about 490Gb of jpgs. (about 2222222 files) The database and code is included, but that can also be downloaded from online. Probably these.

… With an added twist, will send it completely free (I’ll finance it myself) if you promise to make an application to view the images off the disk (ie works entirely offline). This would have be Open Source so it could be included on future disks, and downloadable for holders of disks already). More details of this on request.

Historic OS Maps in Google Earth

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Thanks to the people at getmapping.com, who have taken the Historic 1940s OS Maps available at NPEmap.org.uk, I hearby present:

Historic OS Map layer for Google Earth.

This loads up a layer of Historic New Popular Edition (mainly) maps, onto the 3D Google Earth globe. This is made possible because the original maps are over 50 years old and hence the Crown Copyright has expired.

The getmapping.com WMS service only includes (Most of) England and Wales, no Scotland.

The scans themselves are (c) npemap.org.uk and licenced under this Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial Licence 2.5.

(Don’t forget to select the ‘OS Map’ layer, and drag the transparency slider!)

Geograph Mashup Challenge (new deadline!)

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

We are pleased to announce a developer challenge to build a cool Mashup using Geograph Data/Photos. The closing date for entries is 11pm 31st March 2010, extended until 11pm 30th April 2010.

The first prize is a Space Navigator, with 5 runner up prizes of a Geograph key ring!
Judging will be by a panel of judges and possibly a user vote on a the Challenge showcase web site (TBA).

The rules are simple:

  • Create a web site, mobile, or desktop application (or similar) that uses Geograph data
  • The application must be available for free
  • Of course free to mashup the information with other sources (in fact its encouraged!)
  • Welcome to submit multiple distinct mashups – but each needs to be substantially different.

Other than let your imagination and ingenuity run wild.

Geograph will provide to all entrants:

  • Live API to search/download Photo data – includes hosting for thumbnails only
    • (includes bespoke development at Developers discretion – will try to provide to all that ask within resource constraints)
  • Static Dumps of pretty much the whole Geograph Database (mysql format)
  • Torrent Downloads of a sample of 250,000 images
  • Potentially help with hosting if you don’t have available (please ask!)
  • All confirmed mashups will be showcased/linked on the Challange Website.

This is for Geograph British Isles, but if can incorporate Geograph Germany data too, all the better – what data is available may vary.

For inspiration, offer up my pithy attempt:
Geograph Photos on a OpenSpace Map

Entry Form!

(note this is not sponsored by 3dconnexion – its entirely Geograph run)

Faceted browsing of Geograph images in Flamenco!

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

Totally accidently, via a recent Ask-Slashdot post looking for a Search Engine interface, happened across Flamenco search interface framework. It didn’t suit the asker, but its pretty close to great for Geograph, which has lots of categorization. I’ve been looking to build something like this, and have been slowly building the components, scattered around the Geograph website, but havn’t had the time and dedication to pull together. However this interface, does lots and creates a single consistent interface for browsing geograph images, by browsing multiple dimensions of data.

Flamenco screenshot

After a few stumbling blocks getting the python application running on my server (a python noob), set about importing a sample of the Geograph Archive. And frankly the results are nothing short of amazing – esp considering this is the venilla application, next to no customization for Geograph was needed. Try it out by clicking on the screenshot above, or here, wont say too much about how to use it, but its pretty intuitive. Or Direct link to an example results page

Really want to get it going on the whole Geograph archive (1.6 million photos plus) – have a few doubts about running that on my own little server, but definitely going to work towards that.

Geocube Geograph Clusters in Google Earth – part 2

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

Now ready with the next version of the Geograph Google Earth Clusters layer mentioned yesterday.

Google Earth Layer Geograph Google Earth Clusters

It’s the same download link, if you already have a copy, just right click and select Refresh on the “Geograph Google Earth Clusters” feature.

This has a number of advancements:

  • Filterable – click the main title in the Places panel to open configuration options in the popup balloon. Includes options to filter by keyword or Geograph contributor. (Requires Google Earth version 5)
  • Cubes/Cloud – Geocubes offers two clustering options, can how choose between then on the same popup as above
  • Thumbnails – Now shows a image thumbnail in the placemark balloons.
  • Shows a few coarse clusters when not zoomed on the British Isles
  • Source code available! Download the GPL licenced PHP source code here

But its not all rosey – this version seems to suffer from an annoying bug, when first loads sometimes the layer ‘freezes’ and doesnt automatically update as you move around. If that happens right click on the ‘Clusters’ feature in ‘Places’ and select Refresh, doing that once seems to fix it!

Thanks to Geocubes to the amazing service that powers this – highly recommended if you have larger numbers of features to display!

Geocube Geograph Clusters in Google Earth

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

It’s about time did some Google Earth hacking, so thanks to the people at Geocubes, have made a new interactive layer for Google Earth.

Geograph Google Earth Clusters

This works in a similar way to the Geograph SuperLayer, by showing coverage overview, and then zooming in to reveal more detail. The Geocubes layer has the advantage that the clusters work into a closer zoom, and updates to the geograph database make it into the layer within hours. The SuperLayer is slower updating (weeks), but navigating should be much quicker being as its based on KML regions.

You can view also a Google Maps based version of the layer, using the Geocubes API directly.

This is only version 0.1 – there is more to be done – including being able to filter the results based on words and contributor, but this is exciting enough on its own. Once done a bit of work on tidying up the code plan to release it so others can use the geocubes service to create their own layer like this :) Watch this space!

Geolocated websites on the go?

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Want to quickly access location based websites, while on the go?

Then enter:

m.nearby.org.uk

into your mobile browser.

Very privative, only goes to the nearby location links service, and a few pages on geograph. But between them give access to a fair number of (UK esp) websites.

Disclaimer: Only tested on a Google Android phone so far. Doesn’t seem to pickup GPS position (yet). To be honest surprised not found something like this in the Android Market.

If works out will probably add direct links to other websites, and possibly make it configurable so can choose which sites to show :)

Multi Destination Routing + Altitude Profile

Friday, May 8th, 2009

There is a tool on nearby for taking a multi destination route – and loading it into Google Earth. It was also used to load directions into a “My Map”, but thats basically redundant now, but as the script just converts the directions to a KML file, there are many useful things that can be done with it…

Such as plotting an altitude profile with gpsvisualizer.com***, but to make it even easier, have added a button to the page, that links direct to the form on gpsu with the data prefilled as well as the ‘add altitude’ option enabled.

Enjoy! (Oh and let me know if there are any other interesting destinations would like to load the KML file into!)

Multi Destination Routing Toolkit

*** which Adam recently added the functionalty to add alitude automatically – previsoully a problem as the KML files from Google maps dont include altitude