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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Find MacOS Files by Extension

The default search form in HoudahSpot lets you to search for files by name, text content and content kind.

Default HoudahSpot search
A fresh HoudahSpot search window

When you know the type of the file you are looking for, you may want to search by file extension.

Let’s say, you want to search for .png files. Here is how:

  1. Click the pop-up menu that is currently set to “Content Kind” and select “File Extension”
  2. Type “png” in the form field on the same row
Search for .png files

Do you frequently search by file extension? Wouldn’t it be convenient if the “File Extension” search was available by default?
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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

Search for Top Level Files. Exclude Subfolders

HoudahSpot searches always go into subfolders. For example, when you search in your home folder, you can find letters saved to your Documents folder.

When you don’t want files from a subfolder to clutter search results, excluding the subfolder is easy: just drag the folder from the breadcrumb path at the bottom of the HoudahSpot window to the Locations/Exclude list.

You can repeat the procedure to exclude more folders. But if you want to see only results from the top level folder, it is easier to use the path filter to simply hide results from nested folders.

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Quick Tip: Return Focus to the HoudahSpot Search Field

After you start a search, HoudahSpot moves the keyboard focus to the search results. You can then navigate results using the arrow keys. Press return to open the selected files.

When the search brings up too many results, you will want to refine it. One way to do so is to add to the search field at the top of the HoudahSpot window.

You may now be tempted to reach for the mouse to click the search field. Don’t.

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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.

Continue reading Drag-and-Drop Photo Geocoding

How to Access Hidden Folders

In macOS, it’s possible to hide folders. The user Library folder, for example, is hidden by default. Hidden folders are invisible to the Finder and don’t show up in open/save dialog boxes.

What can you do if you need to access a hidden folder, e.g. when searching for a specific file within? Continue reading How to Access Hidden Folders

Save HoudahSpot Searches as Finder Smart Folders

In Mac OS X’s Finder, you can save searches as “Smart Folders”. These give you quick access to all your files that meet certain criteria. For example, all Microsoft Word files modified this month. All JPG photos taken with a specific camera. Or all e-mails you’ve received from certain senders within the last seven days.

Because Mac OS X Smart Folders are actually saved searches, they differ from regular folders: they don’t actually hold anything – they only list files stored elsewhere. The content of Smart Folder is not static but dynamic. It is updated continuously as new files come to meet the smart folder’s search criteria. This means that its content changes every time files on your Mac are added, changed, or removed.

With HoudahSpot (4.1 or later), you can easily set up a search and export it as a Finder Smart Folder.

Continue reading Save HoudahSpot Searches as Finder Smart Folders

Creating Snippets in HoudahSpot

In HoudahSpot, snippets let you to set aside frequently used combinations of search criteria. HoudahSpot comes with a few pre-installed snippets, but you can also define your own.

Snippets can hold a single search criterion or a group of criteria that serve a certain purpose. The pre-installed snippet “Date Created range”, for example, holds two criteria in an “All of the following are true” group: “Content created before” and “Content created after”. Use this snippet whenever you want to find files created in a range of dates.

HoudahSpot's Sidebar & Refine Pane
Drag the snippet from the sidebar to refine pane (example: Date range snippet)

Continue reading Creating Snippets in HoudahSpot