Want to see BlurbBits in action? Click , visit our Sailing Blog or more examples.
And use the BlurbsViewr to navigate our blogs via an interactive lifestream map.

2008-12-23

MoBlogging - Blogger on the Go


Update: We are also reviewing
posterous for remote email blogging AND photo sharing. Posterous' focus is "dead simple" blogging via email. Blogger's email functionality is very limited and support/updates to the email method are non-existent.

Sometimes you want to blog but you can't access the internet directly (i.e you're in the middle of the ocean 1000 of miles from the nearest Internet Cafe).



Blogger has two methods to support moblogging which can be used to add text, a small photo, or both (hey I didn't make up the term).
Geo MoBlog Photo Maps

Note: this section is mostly applicable to Blogger-Mobile users who take photos with a GPS enabled device and want to map their tracks through photos NOT blog post content.

If your photos are geotagged (either manually or via a geotagging enabled phone) you can easily create a photo based map of your travels. When images are uploaded to Blogger, an album is automatically created in Picasa Web Albums. Go there, find your Blogs Album and click on the link (notice the AuthKey in the URL you'll need that).

In the examples below, use the i (Info) button to view the embedding options. Use the Blogger AddGadget button to add to the sidebar and the BlogThis button to add to as a new post. Adjust the &width and &height to match your blog layout size and usage (sidebar vs post).

Interactive Examples:
&picasa=SailBillabong:IndianOceanPictures&pm=1&width=220&height=200&mark=smallred&smark=smallred
Our Indian Ocean Photos Mapped
&picasa=SailBillabong:IndianOceanPictures:start-index=10&pm=1&width=220&height=200&mark=smallred&smark=smallred
Skip the first 10 photos from our Photos Above.
&picasa=SailBillabong:IndianOceanPictures:start-index=10
Show the Album Photos to find the correct start-index.
&picasa=SailBillabong:Sailing2007&pm=1&mark=midredx&smark=smallred&width=220&height=200
The Sailing2007 map from SailBillabong (try Sailing2004, Sailing2005, Sailing2006). The X mark represents the end of the year location
&picasa=SailBillabong:BillabongAtSea:authkey=VtVRMtCavYI&pm=1&width=220&height=200&mark=smallorange
The BloggerAtSea Blog Album map. Unpublished Albums require AuthKey shown in Album Url

Picasa orders their feeds starting with the first photo taken, so you may need to adjust the start-index to focus on a certain portion of the trip. Leave off the &pm=1 and make sure you are starting with the correct photo. Once you have completed a trip you can copy a set of photos into a new Album which details the trip. Do not move or delete the photos, they will be removed from the Blog post.

I have already seen photo blogs dedicated only to geotagged photos for tracking purposes. The photos are usually horrible quality and the posts don't include text, which in my mind is pretty much a completely useless Blog. If you are only using photos to track your travels it makes more sense to use Picasas email upload.

Picasa Email Upload

Picasa also supports email upload of photos and you can place them into specific albums by using an existing album name as the email subject. If your mobile device supports geotagging you can easily get a map of just that album using the method above, use the album name to differentiate various trips. You can even highlight your favorite photos in a BlurbbBits photo album in a Blog post about your trip.

Interactive Travel Photo Maps

You can even use the same data to build an interactive map by using the same URL parameters with the BlurbsViewr.

Here's the BlurbsViewr map for our Indian Ocean Pictures (?picasa=SailBillabong:IndianOceanPictures).

If your photos are taken sequentially along your travel path you can add &tt=travel&mi=out to the URL to create a Travel Tracking Path with a calculated total distance - (select Trip Summary from the list in the upper right).

Extracting geotagged data

If you have a GPS Enabled phone or an automatic method for geotagging your photos, the location data you need is already hidden inside it. You can easily extract the Lat/Lng data using the BlurbBits Mapr and then use it to geotag your blog posts.

Here's the Indian Ocean Pictures. Click on sidebar list to navigate/zoom to a photo. The Center Lat,Lng,Z: field is the Lat/Lng and zoom of the photo location. Use the first two fields for the Lat/Lng in the Blogger-in-draft location editor to geotag the Blogger post (don't forget to remove the comma).

You can also use mapr to add a BlurbBit map of this location into your blog post. If you are using the non draft version of Blogger, this also allows the blog post to be mapped.

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