Thursday, August 7, 2008

The mobile geo-blogger, for iPhone

You might have seen a previous post on this blog, describing a work-flow, how to let Google maps show your photos and the pace they were taken. It is fun to have such a "geo-blog", it lets your readers follow your movements along with photos, all posted by You on the go.
That was just a few initial setup steps, while posting itself is practically not more than sending an email with a photo attached. In the message body you needed to either specify a place name like "Murau, Austria", or put down the exact coordinates using the geo microformat, eg: geo:lat=47.123 geo:lon=19.123. This is an universal method, you can use it from almost all cellphones able to handle emails.
Fortunately, there are some new deviced capable to geocode the pictures you take. This means that each picture gets and EXIF attribute containing the exact coordinates determined by the device. With such gadgets You needn't specify the location anymore, your picture already contains it. Just do not forget to attach the photo to your mail :)
Now, let's see how to set up such a geo-blog.
First, subscribe for a Flickr account at In your profile, enable the server import location info from the EXIF attribute of the photos. Also here, check out the email address that receives photos and puts them in your gallery.
And it is almost done! Send a test image to your gallery via email, and visit it on the web. Copy the geofeed URL, and use it as a search criteria in Google maps. Take the URL of the search results of Google maps: this is the link to your geo-blog!
Have fun, happy geo-blogging!
Ps.: in case of iPhone 3G, there is a known issue that the mail app cuts off the EXIF from the pics. Until it gets fixed, use indeed

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The incredible first Everesters

I have just found this photo in the gallery of National Geographic. Of course, it became my new background image immediately. It is so much motivating to look at the faces of these extraordinary people, standing on the snow at the base camp of Everest, back in 1924, wearing baize coats and weave trousers, with no doubt in their eyes, ready to try the ascent again and again, until they succeed... Sometimes I even say hello to them when they appear on my screen
Andrew Irvine, George Leigh Mallory - they story is widely known. But have you heard about Edward Felix Norton or Theodore Howard Somervell?
After two unsuccessful trials in 1921 and 1922, Charles Granville Bruce organized the third expedition, but finally he could not participate, since he got malaria while hunting for tigers in India. Norton took over the leadership, and together with Mallory, Irvine, Somervell, and some more great climbers they returned to the North-ridge of Everest.
From the summit camp, the first trial begun with Norton and Somervell, whose throat was so much ill that he could hardly breath. They made a traverse across the North-face and climbed along the Great Culoire - the recent name of which is Messner-culoire. At about 8500 meters over the sealevel, higher then anyone sofar, Somervell's throat allowed no more steps, he sat down to let Norton finish the job. Unfortunately, it was too dangerous to climb alone, so from approximately 8580 meters Norton decided to turn back. On the way down Somervell was so sick that he nearly lost control, but suddenly he could cough up the phlegm and suddenly he felt much better. If only it happened before leaving for the summit... Next day Mallory and Irvine set out, along the ridge, using Oxygen. After a couple of hours they disappeared, and it is still not calrified wether they managed to summit or not. Mallory's body was found in 1999, but not his camera
Anyway, the altitude Norton and Somervell achieved has not been reached for 29 years, and both of them returned home successfully, and lived a great life after the great adventure. From alpinistic point if view, the last 300 meters of elevation does not count too much, and considering that they climbed without oxygen, wearing very poor clothes, their performance is simply incredible