Posts Tagged ‘gps’

Flickr Beefs Up Privacy with “Geofences”

Flickr introduced an innovative location-based privacy feature today called “geofences“. It’s a way of assigning default privacy settings to certain locations for geotagged photographs. For example, you can assign a geofence with a certain radius around your home, and automatically set those photos’ location data to only be visible to your friends and family. Each user can have up to 10 geofences, and existing photographs are automatically updated to new geofence privacy settings.

Satellite Photographs Being Used to Cheat at Corn Mazes

This has got to be one of the saddest uses of imagery ever. The Daily Mail is reporting that iPhone owners in the UK are using satellite photos and GPS to cheat at getting out of corn mazes. By seeing their current location in a birds-eye view of the maze, visitors can quickly solve even the most challenging corn mazes.

Adventure seekers usually spend anything up to 90 minutes getting lost in the Hedge Maze at Longleat Safari Park, Wiltshire, before finding the exit.

But staff at the attraction have noticed people are working their way round the labyrinth of two miles of pathways and 16,000 yew trees in just a matter of minutes.

The idea is clever, but super lame. Can you think of anything else that satellite imagery can help you cheat at?

iPhone cheats crack Britain’s biggest hedge maze in minutes (via Wired)


Image credit: Cheating in the maze by Andrew*

Casio EX-H20G Uses Hybrid GPS System to Track Your Location

Just unveiled at Photokina, Casio’s new EXILIM EX-H20G point-and-shoot is a pretty ordinary 14.1 megapixel HD video-capable camera with a trick up its sleeve: a hybrid GPS system for geotagging your photos. Ordinarily cameras geotag your images with location based on signals from GPS satellites, but become oblivious to where you are if you move to a location where the signals can’t be detected. The EX-H20G attempts to overcome this problem by storing the user’s last known satellite location in the camera’s memory, and then using data from internal motion sensors to calculate where the user has moved to since the signal was lost.

It’s not clear yet how accurate this hybrid system is, or whether the camera needs to stay on for all this to work. If it does indeed work as advertised, then this is a pretty nifty solution to a common problem. The camera will be available in November 2010 for $350.

Man Creates World’s Largest Message Using GPS and 12K+ Miles of Driving

Here’s a method of scrawling gigantic messages that puts skywriting to shame: Nick Newcomen spent 30 days driving 12,238 miles across 30 states in a GPS-logger equipped car, tracing the message “Read Ayn Rand” across the face of the United States. Ayn Rand is a Russian-American novelist and philosopher who write two bestselling books (The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged) and introduced a philosophy called Objectivism.

After the road trip, he loaded the location data from the logger (a Qstarz BT-Q1000X) into Google Earth to produce the end result: the world’s biggest writing.
Read more…

Digital Kodak Nikonos Mystery Solved

In 1998, this US Navy photo was published, showing a Nikonos camera no one recognized from the IPTC caption:

NAVAL AIR BASE CORONADO, California (June 8, 1998) — Navy SEALs attached to SEAL Team One, Naval Air Base Coronado, CA, conducts training using the Nikon/Kodak DCS 425 underwater digital camera which can sends real time digital images to decision makers, and an LPI LPD tracking device uses brevity codes to send both mission status and precise longitude/latitude. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Ted Banks. (RELEASED)

The enigmatic photo and description sparked much interest — this is a digital SLR that requires no underwater casing, and was far advanced for its time with its built-in tracking, real-time uploading, GPS, and communications. The underwater film Nikonos RS camera existed on the market already, but this futuristic iteration was unheard of in 1998.

What’s more, Kodak denied existence of the camera altogether. When Jarle Aasland of NikonWeb did some research into the matter in 2005, Kodak told him:

“I’m sorry but those cameras never existed here at Eastman Kodak. We never made cameras for that specific use. The information you have is incorrect.”

Another Kodak source told him:

“I think the issue is who they were made for.”

After further investigation into the mythical camera, Aasland finally found photos of the camera listed on eBay, hard evidence of the cameras existence. He published a story on his findings.

Days after Aasland published his article, he was contacted by Kodak’s lead engineer for the DCS cameras, Jim McGarvey. As it turns out, the camera was not quite top secret, but it was so low-profile that few knew about it, including Kodak Professional, McGarvey said. Quite simply, the specialized cameras were not advertised on a consumer level, since they were designed for government use, McGarvey wrote:

“The Nikonos body cameras were made by Kodak’s Commercial & Government Systems division. Through most of the DCS years, that group would take our commercial camera designs and adapt them for government and other special needs. Some of that work was secret, but most of the products were simply only marketed in limited venues and didn’t appear on the commer[c]ical photography radar screens. I don’t think the Nikonos cameras were ever actually secret.

…I have no idea how many Nikonos units were built, but I doubt the total would be over 100. They had no super secret special communications stuff, just standard DCS420 features.”

While it’s still highly unlikely that we’ll see such a formidable does-it-all camera on the mainstream market anytime soon, it’s pretty fascinating to see how today’s consumer products are taking a step in that direction. Some 12 years after the legendary digital Nikonos, we’ve got cameras equipped with GPS, wi-fi enabled cards for real-time uploading, and a plethora of hardy, underwater point-and-shoots on the market.

(via Nikon Rumors)