When I did my presentation “Geotag This! Adding Location to Learning” at EdTech I wanted to give examples of geotagging different types of media, not just photographs. With the new YouTube layer now available in Google Earth, it was easy to demonstrate how to geotag video, and with GeoRSS feeds now available, I was able to use Yahoo Pipes and other GeoRSS readers to demonstrate how to geotag blog posts and news feeds and display them on a map. What I found lacking were examples of geotagged audio and geotagged podcasts.
When I did searches for geotagged audio, almost every hit pointed me to the Freesounds Project. With a bit more in depth searching, I was able to come up with a couple more. One was audioTagger, from Moolab. According to their website…
audioTagger is a mobile-phone-sound-art-in-urban-space project.
audioTagger is a location-based sound application for mobile phones.
audioTagger is using the sound recorder in the mobile phone to capture a sonic moment in urban space, and to send the sound to the Internet, in a seamless computing environment.
To contribute to audioTagger, users send sounds recorded on a mobile phone to the system via e-mail. In the e-mail, contributors are asked to include the street address, which audioTagger apparently uses for geocoding purposes.
Another interesting site is the SoundTransit project, which is “a collaborative, online community dedicated to field recording and phonography.” As with audioTagger, contributors submit sounds via e-mail, and the geocoding is done from address and other location submitted with the sound. In a strict sense, neither SoundTransit or audioTagger really use “geotagging” to the extent that the Freesounds Project does.
I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are so few audio geotagging examples. Take a look at photos – the only real online players are Flickr and Panoramio. It’s just that these two have gotten so much more press than their audio counterparts. However, to me it seems that anything that can be tagged should be able to be geotagged. You simply add the standard triple tag format…
…and you’re set. The only difficulty might be finding a way of displaying the data on a map. Even this shouldn’t be too hard. If the system allows for tagging, mostly likely it has an RSS feed. Just use Yahoo Pipes and its location extractor, and you’ve got both a map display and a KML file that can be downloaded for Google Earth.
Speaking of RSS feeds, this brings me to the next topic, geotagging podcasts. This seems like it would be the simplest thing to do, but I haven’t found ANY examples of geotagged podcasts. Geopodcast.com has a listing of podcasts that refer to specific locations, but these are not actually tagged. What I have in mind is a podcast where each episode has location data associated with it – not just the entire podcast. Using the standard RSS feeds for podcasts, I can see two ways to do this.
First, if you’re manually creating your RSS feed, you can add GeoRSS data to the <item> portion of the feed. I would recommend using the “simple” format. The example below comes from Dan Fergus Designs, which has an excellent breakdown of the elements of a podcast feed. I’m only going to include the elements for the specific episode items…
<title>The Title of Your Podcast Episode</title>
<description>A description of your podcast episode. This one can be fairly lengthy. Some people will put in all their show notes and specific links referenced during the show.</description>
<enclosure url=”http://www.someurl.com/episodeName.mp3″ length=”11779397″ type=”audio/mpeg” />
<pubDate>Sat, 25 Nov 2006 08:30:00 -0600</pubDate>
I’ve modified Dan’s example in the line in bold to add a sample geographic point. This seems like it should be trivial to do. I would love to see feed generators such as the one from TD Scripts add a feature like this.
Dan goes on to include optional RSS elements specific to iTunes. This brings me to the second possible method for geotagging podcast episodes. Within the <item></item> section one can place the following:
<itunes:keywords>keyword1, keyword2, keyword3, keyword 4, etc </itunes:keywords>
This looks like a perfect place to include some triple tags. Even if you’re using an automated system such as the one from TD Scripts, you could simply include the lat/long coordinates in the description, then parse the feed through something such as Yahoo Pipes or Exploreourpla.net. Exploreourpla.net is already set up to read geotagged podcasts. It’s just that no one seems to be generating any. Or, at least none that I’ve been able to find. I’m hoping this will change as more people catch on to these simple methods for geotagging podcasts.
[tags]geotagging, geotag, podcasts, audio, Google Earth, Google Maps[/tags]
6 thoughts on “GeoPodcasting – Adding Location to Audio”
I’m glad you found my RSS info useful.
“Mapping Hacks” Hack #59 claims to address geocoding audio files and such, using a script from the perl Geo::Track::Log module. Unfortunately, I’m guessing that all that’s really being done is taking a list of timestamps (that you have to supply yourself) and simply interpolating the position from a supplied track.
(Sadly, the URL given in the book appears to be useless – it gives a picture of the “Mapping Hacks” book cover and a link to the blog postings there, and the promised “more on geocoding, mapping arbitrary data, and creating online voice-annotated travelogues.”)
It doesn’t appear that the sound files from either freesound or soundtransit are what I would think of as “geotagged” – the actual files when downloaded appear to contain no geographic information in their tags, so all of the geographic information is apparently stored separately somewhere in their servers’ databases.
(Oops typo: The end of that second paragraph should read
“[…]and the promised €œmore on geocoding, mapping arbitrary data, and creating online voice-annotated travelogues.€ are nowhere to be found as far as I can tell.)”
Followup: I’ve got a page set up at my blog for my little geotagging project now…
Dear all, I am looking for an IT expert who can help me designing a geotagged composition that is projected in a park. Listeners should hear sounds on their mobile phone headphones when they walk through the park. I want to program the location of sound files in the park. Do you know people that can help me realizing this?