New web-photography project: dev.journog.com

My new project starts – I am working on a new kind of blog and travel website, in fact it’s hard to pigeonhole right now and if I am being honest, good! I don’t like having to fit a category….

Journog is about photography and travel writing combined with geotagging.

I am starting it off with a series of tests as I venture into Europe next week. Hopefully this will prove that my geotagging etc works. Then the project will develop from there fairly rapidly…..

Currently lives under dev.journog.com because of my existing photoblog but this will take over from that and go well beyond being just a personal site.

My project revealed: A new kind of photo and travel site

Two weeks ago I wrote about a project I’m working on that would enable me to post geotagged photos to a website by email.

I’ve done it!

The site is currently in prototype, very early at that, so please bear this in mind. Lots to do yet.

Go to http://dev.Journog.com

You will see a simple clean design consisting of a Google map at the top with placemarkers scattered across it’s surface and a content area beneath that. By default the most recently added location is displayed on the homepage. Clicking on placemarkers reveals the locations in their full glory at the bottom of the page.

Nice and simple hey?!

Well yes and no. Getting the geotags to work was fun and to begin with, most of my idyllic Hampshire towns were appearing off the coast of Somalia! I soon realised I had my hemispheres, lats and longs all in a muddle. Macgellan wouldnt have been impressed. Funny that I will be visiting what used to be believed as being the edge of the earth later this week to test my project out. We shall be heading for Portugal. A great opportunity to put it to real use.

The overall idea will be to shoot and write about great locations that you can visit too. Places that shouldn’t be kept secret. Ultimately I will invite other people to share their places too, always with the aim of inspiring other travellers. I will be seeking out competent photographer/writers in this quest.

How do I geotag?

I use a gps receiver that sits on the hotshoe of my camera which geotags every image I shoot (apart from indoors). This data is embedded in both RAW and Jpeg files with the EXIF data.

How do I add images and text to Journog?

I email them and the server processes the attachments, resizes them, extracts the gps, uses the subject and body of the email as the blog entry.

What next?

Follow the development site to see how it works. Fingers crossed it works whilst in Portugal!

Italy 2011

Our big trip next year will be a month in Italy, May to be precise. Thing is with such a wonderful choice of places to visit and things to do, planning it isn’t going to be easy. However I love to plan, to study books, research online, so it’s a task I relish rather than fear. Anyway today we got the go ahead for my wife’s leave request from work. As for me, my boss is me and he is very happy for me to take the time off. Did that sound a bit loopy?

Posting photos to a map and more on the so-called secret project!

A little while back I set myself a technical challenge, an important one as it is a fundamental need for a project I’m chipping away at right now. My aim was to develop something that would allow me to post via email, photos to be pinned to a Google map. Well I’ve got it working in principal.

All that I want to do now, is to work on the presentation of it and put it through a real-world test whilst we are in Portugal. Even better you will be able to see it.

I will reveal the URL before that time plus more details on the overall project, now I am more confident with its concept. Once it has been tested with my own photography and travel, I will be looking for contributors.

Until then, I’m not going to reveal much more other than to say I’m excited in that way that you are when you are developing something new!

Please feel free to ask questions!

Coding Challenge #1: Getting there

Last week I set myself a programming challenge as part of a bigger thing I’m working on. This will now trigger off a wild frenzy from people who follow me on Buzz, as you will be asking, is it ready?

Well not entirely but a big chunk of it is on the server side. You’ll have to bear with me a little longer before you can see something online. Plus a bit more if you wish to actually be one of the first closed beta testers.

Apologies if this is all a bit cloak and dagger but I don’t want to tell you what this is before there is something for you to see.

Anyway I’ve got my email photos to the server bit working. A little more work is needed on this before I can work on the front-end and that is where the fun will begin!

Expect more over the next 3 weeks and some further announcements.

I never thought camera phones could be fun!

This week I discovered a fantastic Android app that has certainly had a great impact on my daily life. Working in London as a web developer, I don’t tend to carry my full camera kit around with me nor do I have the time. Life certainly flies by too fast, far too fast to appreciate what is going on around me at times. However I do have a phone on me all of the time, it has a crappy camera though…

However Vignette (the aforementioned app) has made me think again. The toy cameras of yesteryear were all terribly flawed, they leaked colours, they were grainy and none of them were controllable in anyway. Focus? On your bike! It occurred to me (as it probably did Neil & Theresa, the developers of Vignette) that camera phones are no different. Just imagine carrying a Holga in your pocket, those classic unpredictable Russian cameras made of plastic. Well now it seems that you can.

You can visit the developers site at http://neilandtheresa.co.uk/Android/Vignette/ or download the app from the Android market.