Posts tagged with “Twitter”
Over the holidays, my family and I took a three-day trip to Chicago, and because I had left my charger for my Canon Powershot G9 at home, I was stuck taking pictures with my Droid’s built-in camera. I thought it would turn out to be a disappointing endeavor, but it actually got me really excited about the future of internet connected cameras.
My least favorite part of photography has always been all of the work afterwards to get it online. I have to take out the SD card, copy the files to my computer, edit them, and then post them to Flickr. When I was taking photos with my Droid in Chicago, I loved how easy it was to instantly post photos online. Using Twidroid, I was able to easily upload photos to yFrog, tweet the link, and have it all geotagged, almost instantly. It allowed me to share what I was doing with my friends as I was doing it, something I could never do with my G9.
The quality of the photos certainly isn’t anywhere near what I could accomplish with a better camera, but that really didn’t bother me too much. As the quality of phone cameras improves, this will become less and less of an issue. Since I had a limited amount of time in the city, I was more concerned with sharing snapshots of where I was (like at the “Bean”) than with creating works of art. On a longer trip, where I have the ability to take my time and set up shots, I’m sure I would want to have a nicer camera along, but for a quick 2.5-day trip to Chicago, my phone worked pretty well.
There are certainly areas where this method of taking photos could improve, however. Like I said before, the quality of the camera is a drawback, but it was one I was willing to accept. Beyond that, I was a little disappointed by the geotagging abilities of Twidroid. If I took a picture of something inside (like the Apollo 8 command module, cool!), the coordinates would be way off, since it couldn’t get a good GPS signal. I would have preferred to be able to pick the Museum of Science and Industry as my location, rather than relying on what the GPS picked out for me. This is something that appears it would be relatively simple to fix. The Google Maps 4 Twidroid source code is available online, so I might try and update it myself to use places (using Google’s local search API or something similar), or at the very least it could allow you to check back into a previous location. I am also hoping Twitter releases more features related to geotagging on their site. Right now, coordinates are only visible through the API, so unless you’re viewing my tweets in a geo-enabled Twitter client, you won’t see my location.
I certainly could use a service such as Brightkite to fix some of the issues above, but I really want to stick to just using Twitter. It’s become clear to me that Brightkite really isn’t pushing the envelope any more as a service, and there really is little incentive to post there. I definitely agree with Colin Devroe that their future should be to act as a Twitter client, rather than as their own community, since I really don’t see them being very successful otherwise.
Clearly, the future is bright for geotagging, and I can’t wait for the day when I can have a high-quality camera in my pocket that allows me to do everything my Droid does on vacation. While I’m not someone who likes broadcasting my location constantly, it’s a nice ability to have while travelling, to both share your trip with others, and to be able to look back at what you did. Hopefully the tools will continue to improve, and they’ll be more and more universal, because I think this is something everyone could enjoy.
After my friend Paul asked me to text him updates from a Euro 2008 game while he was at work, I came up with the idea to set up a twitter bot that posted updates from Soccernet’s gamecasts. After a couple hours of work, using Hpricot and the Twitter gem, I was able to build a Ruby script that worked pretty well. I’m planning on posting a complete post on how I did it, but first I want to work some of the kinks out. There are three twitter accounts you can follow if you’re interested:
- @euro2008cup - All updates from the gamecast (about one post per minute in the game). Tweets are shortened with a link to the full update.
- @euro2008scores - Only updates from the gamecast that are marked as “alerts” (goals, for the most part). Like @euro2008cup, updates are shortened.
- @euro2008sms - This has the same updates as @euro2008scores, but updates longer than 140 characters span across multiple tweets. This is best if you want to follow on your phone, as you’ll get the full update instead of having to click on a link.
Hopefully these will help someone out. Like, I said, I’ll be posting a how to on making your own twitter bot and screen scraper, so keep an eye out for that.