Geode, Flickup, and Ubi-Archaeology

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At the beginning of last summer I managed to get a working geospatial/flickr/archaeology hack for embedding archaeological information in the landscape with the iphone.  I posted a short how-to on the Remixing El Presidio blog, here.  Since then, I’ve kept an eye on geolocative technology, but it’s mostly taken a back seat to my work in archaeological narrative and visual representation if only because that’s what I’m writing about for my dissertation at this point.  With the release of the iPhone G3 with built-in GPS and iPhone applications being developed, geolocation has once again surfaced in the form of Flickup, an application that automatically uploads photos that you take with your phone to Flickr, with geotag intact.

There are a few snags with the program–with older iPhones, you have to reload google maps so that it will have the proper geotagging information before you take any photos.  The photo above was taken at the Berkeley post office, but was auto-located in the “French Quarter” in San Francisco.  I don’t know if this is fixed with the G3 phones, but if someone has one to loan me, I will test it thoroughly, I promise.

This is a step toward (cheap) cameras that will record a timestamp and spatial data, making it easier for people who come along after the excavation has closed to locate archaeological information in place.  Another development that I’m keeping track of is Geode, the Firefox plugin that allows websites to provide information tailored to the user’s location.  In theory, archaeologists could develop a website in the same vein as Yelp, which provides recommendations and reviews of local businesses, but instead would allow a user to view local archaeological/historical images and information.  Ideally this website would be publically funded and would accept submissions from projects and people from around the world.  That reminds me to work on my HASTAC application, boo.

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One response to “Geode, Flickup, and Ubi-Archaeology

  1. Don’t forget that, at least in Texas, the location of an archaeological site is protected by state law. I think I probably push it by mapping some of my Flickr photos. It gets kind of silly, like removing topo maps with site locations from reports for the general public while leaving in text that basically walks you right to it.
    I would be happy for an app (not that I have such fancy phone technology anyway) that would allow you to view historical marker information without stopping. I think that’s sort of what you’re talking about only probably more wiki and less Official Story.

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