Geotagging Web Pages and RSS Feeds

Providing geographic metadata in Web sites and syndicated feeds can provide users with the ability to search easily for services and articles based on location and proximity.
What to Do with Geotags

Now that your Web site has been geotagged, what can you do to share this information with users and have new users find your site? A2B is the new incarnation of the defunct geourl.com. A2B allows Web site administrators to register their sites. From there, users can search for sites based on location or geographic locality to another Web site. It may be interesting to find out what other sites and places can be found in your area.

A2B also provides a free public API that allows application and Web site developers to query the A2B database of locations. The A2B query does not return the actual location of the Web sites, however, merely their distances and directions (compass headings) from the queried location.

To find out the latitude and longitude or city and region of a Web site, the user can view the Web site's meta information. To illustrate this, we have written an extension to the Firefox browser that alerts users that geotags are available for the Web site currently being viewed. The extension also retrieves that information without the user having to look at the Web site's markup source. Download and install the extension to try it out for yourself.

Another index to check out is WorldPress. For RSS feeds, MapBureau and Michael Maron's WorldKit Mapper have on-line mapper applications that parse out the locations from your feed and display them on a map. It then is possible to embed a link to a map of your feed in your Web site.

Other applications of geotags include creating a Web page of closely related Web sites, similar to a Web ring, and display their locations on a map of the Earth or a specific region. A restaurant review Web page, for example, could display a map of their reviewing regions, and users could click on locations to read reviews of the restaurants located there. Furthermore, travelers could pull up Weblogs and travel information for the area they will be visiting. Hopefully, larger services similar to Google Local or Multimap will be developed that automatically will collect and use this information to provide users with a large database of services.

Future of Geotags

Geotags currently are not employed widely, and only a small number of services support their use. However, many could benefit from better geographic knowledge of Web sites and on-line data. Applications could provide a central location to assist users in finding out about their locations or intended travel locations. In order for this to occur, a better standardization of geospatial metadata must be created, utilized and supported by the Internet community. The W3C Semantic Web is such an effort to standardize the extension of Web data. Many groups across the globe are working together to create enhanced definitions (see Resources). Part of these efforts is defining a complete standard for geospatial tagging and for supporting other location-based services. With this work, the future of geotagging will provide better integration between the digital world and the physical world.

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i have read several articles

nokia 5310's picture

i have read several articles on Geo tagging ,but this one i feel is the best in terms of content and illustrations i myself use to update about geotag or fear being tagged,but this is very detailed information.

Metadata are invisible: enter the Geotag Icon

Bruce McKenzie's picture

Wish I'd come across your summary of the situation earlier, although what is really interesting is how little has changed since 2005. Geotagging is about to surge forward for a number of reasons, but whether geo-location uses meta tags, microformats, or EXIF-GPS it's hard for people to identify content that is location-specific. All these standards are invisible to people (but not to machines). Visibility is one reason why we need a web "standard" geotag icon; others are that it provides visual homogeneity in meaning, is format- and service-agnostic, and encourages development of the semantic web.

This is the rationale behind the Geotag Icon Project, which is a community-designed icon free for use by geotaggers everywhere. See geotagicons.com.

Thanks

teia's picture

Thanks for the article. I wish there were a Drupal module that could do this automatically.

Drupal has great Geo-modules

Anonymous's picture

Drupal actually has great modules for adding GeoRSS and KML:

http://drupal.org/project/georss
http://drupal.org/project/kml

Great Article, got me started on geotagging

grasshoppermind's picture

Your article is an excellent reference for anyone wanting to geotag their own content. However, I also wanted to be able to tag any content. I finally figured out how to do this and I've written up a quick HOWTO: geotag anything article.
Many thanks

Superb Article

dankeblog's picture

I agree, the article is great, and I really hope it'll help me for my future website. Geotagging your content is one of the prospects.

Re:Geo

Falko Paradus's picture

The tools provided includes "WWMX Client Application", which it says will add geotagging to a photograph by dragging and dropping photos to a location on a map (presumably supplied as well).

For more accurate tags, it providess "WWMX Location Stamper", that checks a digital photo's embedded timestamp, correlates it to GPS track files loaded in GPX format, and "WWMX TrackDownload" that can be used to extract tracks from handheld Garmin GPS device (and some others).

Re: Geo

Florian Kater's picture

I don't know about software solutions, but there are a few cameras out
there with GPS built in that will give you that data, along with
direction you are facing and elevation. They are used in real estate,
appraising, etc. You then download from the camera to a map.

Geotagged blogs on Multimap

Richard Rutter's picture

Over the past few months, Multimap has been scraping weblogs for geotags. So far Multimap has collected and mapped nearly 6,000 blogs.

You can search for blogs on any given map by selecting 'Weblogs' from Multimap's local information feature. For example here is a map of blogs in Brighton, UK.

There are more details on Clagnut.

Man, don't you know today's

Diana's picture

Man, don't you know today's statistics? Very interesting to see it.
b.t.w geotap article is very useful.

Mobiletracker reports that

Faustus Erratus's picture

Mobiletracker reports that over the weekend, Yahoo released some
interesting alpha geotagging software called Zonetag.

It's the application for Nokia Series 60 smartphones that automatically
tags photos with the location where they were taken according to info
from the cellular towers the phone was connected to at the time. Photos
are then sent to Yahoo's photo sharing site, Flickr.

A2B - some extra features in last few days

Sam Critchley - A2B's picture

Hi Andrew (everyone),

Many thanks for writing the article - great article (which I will definitely be bookmarking) and it's very exciting for us at A2B to get a mention!

I think the real challenge for the future of the whole geotagging area is integration with mapping. Wealthy commercial applications can afford the huge prices for mapping data, but the USA is about the only country where full country mapping information is available for free (called "TIGER data" from the US Census), and commercial services are charging a LOT for mapping data (which A2B can't afford at the moment).

Anyway, thought you and your readers might like to know about a couple of new extras on A2B which add to what you wrote:

- RSS feeds. You can now autogenerate an RSS feed URL which shows "most recently added/updated sites within XX kilometres/miles" of your site.
- Blog/site buttons - you can now autogenerate the link for an "A2B Nearby" button for your blog/site which will show your visitors which other sites are geographically nearest to yours.
- Map-based A2B searching - you can now put up your own map image file (including scanned maps, assuming copyright permission) and generate imagemap HTML to put on your site.

Details in the latest A2B newsletter at http://forum.a2b.cc/viewtopic.php?t=26

Many thanks,

Sam

thanks!

Ben LeMasurier's picture

Thanks for the great article. I think I will start to include this in all the sites I build. Is there a known lat/long search engine?

thanks again,

Ben

uidzer0.org

geourl.org

neilp's picture

yea - you should check out geourl.org it (sort of) does lookups based on latitude and longitude.

re: Is there a known lat/long search engine?

Richard Rutter's picture

The map information are below every map on Multimap.com displays latitude and longitude. So you can search for any location world-wide and Multimap will give you the map and associated coordinates below.

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