May 2008

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« My Life as a Hologram | Main | True Story »


Robert Gibson

The tech keeps rolling on...


Not many people seem to have noticed that you can do a lot of this with some PDA phones. With my HTC P3600, I can take (moderate quality) photos each of which is place-stamped by the internal GPS, then email/upload them to flickr (all from the device) and see them on a map. This is much easier than merging photos with a separate GPS track-log (although I can do that too). It's also a much cheaper device than most present GPS-enabled cameras. And you can always write your diary, log your calls or draw cartoons on it too. OK, I also take higher quality photos with another camera but it's good to take a couple of GPS-tagged ones in each place I visit.

Veronica Hugger

Well, to make your scrapbook a reality, print it out and embellish it with products from the scrapbook store. Find your local scrapbook store on the NSA store locator, where we've interfaced our store data with Google. It's more accurate and allows retailers to promote their store and offer discounts and coupons.

Veronica Hugger
National Scrapbooking Association


This has been done. Check out this video from the TED conference - Microsoft has it all just about worked out.


"I’m guessing no more than a million got crapped on. So that’s 1-in-22 right there, or .0455."

So you start your calcuation by simply guessing that maybe 1 million out of 22 million got crapped on.

Actually, calculating probability is a lot more accurate if you don't just pull numbers out of your ass.


Ok, Scott.... here's your "I predicted this would happen" boner:

Geotagging links photos to locales:


Once again, you lead the news pack. Your GPS-tagged photos is now one of the lead articles on I think they must read your blog...

Steve Bosman

A bit late (I've been on holiday), but one thing I'd like to see added to your idea is the ability to record the orientation of the camera. Not just landscape/portrait, but is the camera facing north/south/east/west, towards the ground etc. I think that would help the system determine whether you are taking a picture from a hotel of something else or of the hotel itself.


This gadget gets you halfway there:

It is a simple gps logger. It records your time and position. It comes with software that adds gps data to your photos.

Synchronize your camera (any digital camera will work) and carry it with you when you take photos.

Then once the photos are on your PC, tell the gisteq software which photos you want it to check. It will compare your photos' timestamp against its time/position log and it will add precise gps data to the exif data for each photo.

Then the photos' gps info integrates flawlessly with flickr maps:
(some people tag/locate their photos manually, but this system does it automatically)

(It also works with google earth, but I haven't tried that yet.)

Tom Gao

All my holidays & vacation trips turned sour. The last thing I would ever want is a permanent record of those painful memories. Quite often, I could hardly wait to go back to work.

This is probably the last post. E-mail me my wooden spoon.

Tony Pott

Dreadful idea.
Anything that makes it easier to create a slideshow of people's holidays should be banned. I've sat through quite enough for one lifetime, thankyou very much. The only valid use for holiday snaps is to be put away and forgotten for 20 years, then brought out to play the gane of "Isn't that Bob? I wonder what happened to him after his release." and "Oh! Isn't that that dreadful couple we gave the phoney phone number and email address to?"


This already exists. Our pictures are being taken by CIA reconasaince satellites (that have spell check built in), our conversations recorded by the phone companies and the NSA, and credit card transactions reviewed by the FBI. Just call 202-456-1414 and ask for George for copies.


I had an idea very similar to this two months ago, and am actively working on it.

A Yahoo

Good news! Most of the functionality you are after already exists with the right hardware and software:

- Get a Nokia N95 (built in GPS)
- Install ZoneTag, . Not only it will upload your geotagged photos to Flickr, it will also help you with tag suggestions based on where you are - including names of attractions, landmarks and restaurants. Oh, and also based on your own labels, so it's easy to tag a photo with "Bob".
- Check out your travels on Flickr's map: , including photos taken by others at the same locations...


I was driving thru Indianapolis 2 weeks ago and stopped at the on ramp to interstate 65 help someone. It was an African American couple that said they were out of gas, trying to get home to Noblesville from a youth basketball tourney that they were coaching. Hmmmm. I gave them $20 and left. After, I felt good. Now I feel scammed.

Abhay Vohra

Scott Adams, you are one of our true geniuses – the only one after one Albert Einstein!

Aashish Gupta

You don't need the credit-card bit to guess the name of the restaurant or attraction where you took the picture. Check out


hi, do you know anyone who invented that technology called g.p.s. Nice page and info anywway.

D. Mented

But where's the fun in that?
Really, the fun in a scrapbook is in putting it together...NOBODY wants to see it unless your photos are as good as my father's (the only person I've ever heard of who has been asked "When are you bringing your vacation slides over? - and there'd better be more than an hour's worth this time!") His photos could be covers for National Geographic, but anything less than that you'd better plan on enjoying it as you put it together, and then again as you reminisce fourty years later about the fact that you were able to walk out to the restaurant sign.
Hint: if you show it to your grandchildren, you will not have to worry about them pestering to come visit you so often.
D. Mented


The Nokia N95 phone has some of the functionality required already (GPS, Camera, Nokia LifeBlog)

Diana W

A couple other people mentioned voice chips. Really, rather than screwing around with GPS and credit cards, wouldn't it be much simpler to record "Disneyland with Bob and Nancy" immediately after taking the picture (if you liked it) and having voice recognition software name the photo for you?


"You could run it as a slide show, with a little icon of a car traveling from location to location on the Google map, while the calendar date appears in the corner."

Hi-tech boredom at its best.


Check out United States patent application publication no. 2005-0216464 and some of the other applications naming the same inventors.


I know a girl who does some writing for PanRaven. They make books, and they have pre-written text for historic/tourist locations. It's not nearly as convenient as your idea.... but it potentially could give you a head start.

Kristofer Hoch

There was something strange about this idea. It was so strange that I read it from from bottom to top. I don't know why I did this. Each sentence was read left to right, only I started with the bottom sentence and worked my way up.

Very strange read when you do something like that.

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