Geotag Photos with Foursquare / Swarm / Instagram and Facebook Check-Ins

Following up on my previous post on Geotagging Photos with Foursquare / Swarm Check-Ins, I stumbled upon an interesting scenario- How about a solution in which you could use your Foursquare/Swarm check ins, but the location information from Foursquare, Facebook, and Instagram.

I did some research and found possibly the best app for managing such data- the aptly named PinDrop. With Pindrop you can aggregate your Foursquare, Facebook, and Instagram locations as well as add your own. The locations, or pins you add on the app can be either shared or kept private. This is great for when travelling and if you want to keep track of the places you visited, but don’t necessarily wish to share it with your friends.

Now, for the frosting on the cake – you can export this information to a KML file which you can load into Geosetter. So far you can only export the data by visiting the website settings section. With the KML file you can more easily append the location place names to your photo’s metadata.

Now, combine this app with Geotag Photos Pro, which can record your location for easier location tagging, and you have a pretty interesting photo geotagging solution.

Happy geotagging!

Geotagging Photos with Foursquare / Swarm Check-Ins

Your are on vacation, so take a lot of photos with your camera and mobile phone. You keep your friends and family up to speed on your whereabouts by checking in on Foursquare / Swarm.

Now you arrive home and want to organize the photos you took on your PC. If you like to geotag your photos and update the photo metadata geo locations here is a helpful tip.

You can use the foursquare location names of your check-in and add them to the location fields of the photos you took.

1. Export your Foursquare check-in history in kml format  – Visit http://foursquare.com/feeds. Right mouse click on the kml feed link and select “Save As”. Save the file to your PC.

2. Load the kml file in Geosetter (http://geosetter.de/en)-  On the “Tracks” pane, click on the open track track files button, and load the track to GeoSetter. Your foursquare locations will appear as dots on the map.

3. Assign Position and/or Name to Photos – Load the photos you which to add the geographic information and click on the waypoints from the loaded locations. You can add the position information as well as the location name to the photo metadata.

If you then load the photos on applications such as Windows Photo Gallery or share the photos on sites (such as Flickr) which can read this metadata, the information will be shown.

foursquare Logo 800x800 viewer

IVU Loto: A novel approach to tax collection enforcement

If you purchase something in Puerto Rico you might find something peculiar in your receipt. Printed in the receipt on many merchants you might find something like:

IVU LOTO: XBSA1-GOSH1    DRAW: May-30-2011

This means that you are automatically participating in a raffle without probably knowing it! You see, ever since Puerto Rico implemented a sales tax, many merchants have not been fully honest sending the tax revenue to the Puerto Rico Treasury- but they still charge and pocket the 7% sales or IVU tax for themselves. Estimates vary but it is believed that the tax evasion is around 60% (likely more). So in order to ensure that the merchants are paying their dues to the state a new law has come into effect which turns citizens into IRS agents. Here is how:

-          All merchants must register to participate on the IVU Loto Program.

-          Merchants who qualify for the program are outfitted with devices on their cash register machines. For most merchants it is fairly straightforward if they have credit card terminals. The terminals have been reprogrammed to issue out IVU Loto codes when they print out their receipt.

-          Merchants must use these devices/terminals to report the sales taxes collected upon a purchase transaction and yes, even cash transactions. The devices record the transaction amounts and report it to the Treasury Department in real time.

-          Merchant must hand over a receipt, failure to do will result in a fine on the merchant. A lottery number will be printed on the receipt.

-          Every other day the Treasury Department will pick some of the IVU Loto codes at random and give away prices.

-          If a merchant refuses to give a consumer a receipt the consumer can report them to the Treasury Department.

This is quite novel approach to tax collection enforcement, but it has stirred up some controversy. Already local religious groups are claiming that this is forcing gambling upon the people. As you can imagine, merchants aren’t too happy either. Some merchants are claiming that coming “clean” will force them out of business or raise prices. Consumers aren’t too sure on to know if they have a winning ticket/receipt. Who knows what is next?  Las Vegas style slots on soda vending machines?

Here are a few helpful links:

-          Puerto Rico Department of the Treasury – IVU Loto Page

-          IVUSpots.com – A website for consumers to record and organize their IVU Loto receipts from a PC or Smartphone. If you have a winning number you get an email alert.

So long Windows Live Spaces…

      The day Windows Live Spaces launched, I managed to secure the nifty jose.spaces.live.com address. 30 million spaces and I had the one with my first name reserved. Sadly, that was the only reason which made me hold on to my Live Spaces for the few posts I do. Over the years, the site saw features being taken away instead of added so it was no surprise that recently MS decided to pull the plug. I moved my site to WordPress, so if you are subscribed to my blog make sure to change the RSS feed. My blog is now hosted at http://jmoliver.wordpress.com

Windows Live Photo Gallery Wave 4–Geotagging wackiness

Not long after posting on my initial thoughts on Windows Live Photo Gallery Wave 4 geotagging feature I was contacted by another blogger in the Netherlands who did a bit more digging into how the geotagging feature works. I was surprised to learn that WLPG w4 does indeed write GPS lat/long coordinates to the file as well as city, state/province, and country info under certain circumstances. However, I am disappointed some wacky logic is involved which result in inaccurate lat/long coordinates to be written to the file as well as the lack of a map feature which would allow for more precise geocoding.

I can only assume that a map feature was not included in the beta due to some scheduling reason but it will make it into the final release.
Yeah, that’s the reason…. I hope Confused smile

Check out this excellent post on how Geotagging works in Wave 4- Geoff Coupe: Geotagging in Windows Live Photo Gallery – Wave 4