ScreenCastsOnline: HoudahGeo Video Tutorial

Todd Olthoff of ScreenCastsOnline takes you on a tour of HoudahGeo 5.

HoudahGeo is an application that streamlines adding location and other metadata to your files. The best part is that it writes that information to the files themselves instead of the library’s catalog.

Todd walks you through the various ways to get photos into HoudahGeo and then covers all of the geocoding and metadata options. You also learn how to add metadata to the files and share them with outside libraries. Exporting that added information to other services that read them is covered in the last section of the show.

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Photos & Track Log: Documenting an 8-day Kilimanjaro Trek

We’ve been dreaming about trekking to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro for quite some time. Last October, we finally made the trip. Climbing Africa’s highest mountain, crossing its different climatic zones and finally reaching the summit was an amazing once-in-a-lifetime experience. We documented this unique vacation by taking hundreds of photos – and by recording a track log.

Snow-covered peak of Mount Kilimanjaro
Looking through rainforest foliage at the snow-covered peak of Mount Kilimanjaro

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Create Custom KML Templates for Google Earth Export

When you export your photos for viewing in Google Earth or Google Maps, HoudahGeo creates a KML file from one of two templates: “Default” or “Extended Track Info”. The later includes more details and thus produces larger files. This makes the “Default” template the better choice for use with Google Maps.

There are occasions where you may want to customize these templates:

  • Modify the appearance or contents of the photo “balloons”
  • Modify the appearance of the track logs or photo pins
  • Change the Places folder structure within the KML file
  • Add your own branding or contact information

Please note that KML template customization is not an official feature of HoudahGeo 5. It is very much a work in progress and still has rough edges. Moreover, the template system is subject to changes. The intrepid may read on and learn how to create custom templates for KML output in HoudahGeo.

You will need a basic understanding of HTML, XML, the Google Earth Keyhole Markup Language as well as the Mustache template system.

Please let us know if you use custom KML templates. But do understand that we cannot provide support for template customization. Malformed templates may produce unexpected results or cause HoudahGeo or Google Earth to crash.

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Export Geotagged Photos for Viewing in Google Earth

Google Earth can be a great tool to explore – and show off – your photos: as “balloons” pinned to the locations where they were taken. Add a GPS track log and you get a bird’s eye view of your trip and the spots where you stopped to take photos.

Photo viewing in Google Earth is not limited to holiday snapshots. A real estate agent, for example, can create a Google Earth file with photos of a particular property. Buyers can download this file. It lets them explore the property and neighborhood – and see the exact vantage points from where the photos were taken.

Google Earth: Leopard in a tree
Google Earth: Leopard in a tree

With HoudahGeo, it is easy to prepare your geotagged photos and GPS track logs for viewing in Google Earth. Continue reading Export Geotagged Photos for Viewing in Google Earth

Drag-and-Drop Photo Geocoding

When you remember where you took a photo, wouldn’t it be great if you could geocode it by simply dropping it on a map?

In HoudahGeo 5, you can do just that. In the video demo, I am geocoding a series of photos taken at Taj Mahal. I distinctly remember walking from bag check to the great gate. On the way, I took a few photos as the majestic site revealed itself.

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Geotagging for Apple Photos 2.0

The newly released macOS 10.12 Sierra includes a major update to the Apple Photos application. In Photos 2.0, the Places feature makes a comeback. The Places album lets you explore your photos on a beautiful world map. The new Memories feature also includes a map showing where the photos in the collection where taken.

Being able to organize and find photos by location is one of the best reasons to geotag all your photos.

Starting with Photos 2.0, it is now possible for HoudahGeo to update places information in the Photos library. This allows you to use the many options HoudahGeo offers for geocoding to add locations to photos in your library.

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Fill Geotagging Gaps Left by Slow-to-Start GPS Camera

In order to save battery, many GPS-enabled cameras power their GPS receiver only once you turn on the camera. It then takes anyhwere from a couple of seconds to several minutes for the GPS to know where you currently are.

If you take a photo during this power-up phase, the camera is left with the option to use a previously recorded GPS location or forgo geotagging the photos.

At the end of the day, you will have a set of photos where some images lack geotags. This can easily be fixed with HoudahGeo.Geocoding gap left by GPS camera

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Incremental Photo Geocoding Using Maps

Manually geocoding a long list of photos can be daunting. With HoudahGeo it’s a snap. Follow the workflow outlined below and you’ll be done in no time.

The workflow takes advantage of the fact that the distance travelled between two photos is often rather short and easy to retrace. Once you have determined the location of the first photo, you just need to make incremental adjustments to geocode subsequent photos. It takes but a nudge to the map and a click for each photo.

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