Geotagging Nature

Every now and then—well, every spring—I get the urge to go hiking, which to me means looking for interesting, beautiful, or uncommon flora and fauna. Over the years my interests have varied among ferns, fish, insects, birds, fungi, and trees. This year it’s back to the ferns and fern allies. I recently had the idea to start recording more data about my ‘discoveries’, and with the iPhone, GPS, camera, this blog, and geotagging, I could have a bit of geek fun recording it.

This project requires a couple of pieces of software and the aforementioned hardware to complete:

  1. I’m trying out the free version of GPS Log for the iPhone. A nice App that lets you record GPS coordinates, notes, and photos, then export them to a variety of formats, notably kml, the format used by Google Maps.
  2. Just installed the GeoTag plug-in for WordPress (which is the CMS that drives this site). This post is the first one I’ve tagged with GeoTag. The plug-in allows you to tag any post or page with gps info via google earth or direct entry of coordinates. It provides fully customizable google earth maps on the public facing post or page. GeoTag will also read a kml/kmz file at whatever URL you provide.
  3. Fire up the Magellan handheld GPS. Since my iPhone is a first generation model, it has no built-in GPS receiver, and so uses cellular triangulation to obtain a position. Fortunately, GPS Log (iPhone App) allows direct editing of the rough coordinates, so I can correct them based on another sample taken with the Magellan GPS. In the field I will probably just mark the Point-of-Interest on the GPS, then later match it up with the iPhone records. Yes, this is kludgy; but it’s the best solution I can think of until I throw down for a new iPhone.

Some ideas and requirements:

The solution must be lightweight, compact, and require as little fumbling with devices possible. The iPhone is ideal in this regard, but that I will also need a separate gps.

I think the info I gather, along with some commentary, will be good fodder for some future letterpress work.

GPS Log exports kml and gpx via email, or to GPS Log’s servers. What would be even better is interfacing directly with WordPress on my web server.

[gmap type=”G_PHYSICAL_MAP” zoom=”14″]

One thought on “Geotagging Nature”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>