Fresh & New(er)

discussion of issues around digital media and museums by Seb Chan

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Flickr meets Google Street View – Paul Hagon’s Then & Now (or interesting things clever people do with your data #6247)

August 27th, 2008 by Seb Chan

A week or so ago Paul Hagon got in touch with me to say he’d done something really cool with our geo-coded historical images in the Commons on Flickr. In what he describes as “about 30 minutes of coding” he had taken a KML feed from our Tyrrell photos in the Commons on Flickr and combined them with the recently released (in Australia) Google Street View.

The results are stunning and another example of why geocoding and releasing your data makes a lot of sense.

Go and have a play.

Tags: 6 Comments

  • What Paul has done here is really great, and definitely begins to illustrate the potential, but the real fun begins when the user is at the corner and the older images from many collections are arranging themselves on a mobile screen, along with objects from collections of many institutions that were found or made nearby. Filter a bit by decade or century and watch history be reconstructed. Talk about contextualization:-)

  • The Lucid Librarian

    What have you done here? Have actual coordinates or simple street names/locations been released as data? Is that data in the collections information relating to the museum image or has it been added to demonstrate a concept?

    Just curious.. ;-)

  • Seb Chan

    Lucid,

    The coordinates – where known – are included with the images as metadata. Paul’s demo pulls this data out from Flickr using the API, and converts it to a KML file which then can be displayed using Google Maps.

    We are *also* importing the coordinate data back into our collection database from Flickr.

  • How good the results are depends on how accurately you can geo tag your material in Flickr.

    I’ve found with my own material that the hardest part is accurately attaching the lat/long data in Flickr, because Yahoo Maps lacks the detail of Google Maps and you can’t tag down to street or building level, which you need in order to make something like this work.

    What I’ve been doing is finding the block level coordinates in Google Maps and copying that data over to the editing screen in Flickr for the accuracy you need, and want, to make it a better experience. Then, when you use the .kml feed, you really do get some goodness. Takes time though. Is there an easier way?

  • Seb Chan

    Hi Martin

    I have a sneaking, yet still inconclusive, suspicion that the Yahoo satellite maps don’t quite match up to the Google satellite maps.

    This is especially noticeable on the photos taken around Central Station. The positioning looks correct in Yahoo Maps at maximum satellite zoom but when viewed with the Google Street View are on the other side of the station.

    As I say, I have to sit down and do some inspection of the KML files to prove this properly.

  • The Lucid Librarian

    I am most gladdened to hear that the data is being drawn back into the museum’s collection system! More more.. perchance another step towards collaborative description…