Singapore

I am back in the Nether­lands for over sev­en weeks now but I am still busy run­ning around the coun­try recon­nect­ing to peo­ple and telling them about my expe­ri­ences in Sin­ga­pore.

It was great.

I real­ly did man­age to recon­sid­er a lot of things and got reori­ent­ed, about which more lat­er.

Learned a lot about myself and oth­ers by meet­ing and work­ing with lots of new peo­ple from dif­fer­ent back­grounds.

And I do miss the city already. The iron-clad guar­an­tee of sun and warmth. Many places to explore offer­ing lots of sur­pris­ing expe­ri­ences. And on every street cor­ner, amaz­ing afford­able food.

I will miss Sin­ga­pore, and I am thank­ful for all it has done for me in the brief peri­od I got to call it my home.

Below are some pho­tos. More are over at Flickr. Hap­py scrolling and maybe don’t look at these if you’re hun­gry.

Con­tin­ue read­ing Sin­ga­pore

My photos in Schmap’s Rome, Venice and Florence guides

Lieke in the inner cloister

Plan­ning on mak­ing a trip to Rome, Venice or Flo­rence? Check out the free dig­i­tal trav­el guides from Schmap. The new edi­tions con­tain some pho­tos I took while vaca­tion­ing there this spring. Schmap use Cre­ative Com­mons-licensed pho­tos from Flickr in their guides. They always polite­ly ask for per­mis­sion first even though strict­ly speak­ing they don’t have to. The guides are PC only but they’ve promised me Mac ver­sions will fol­low short­ly.

And yes, Edgar was there first.

Update: the nice peo­ple over at Schmap real­ly love me. They’ve includ­ed this insane­ly great pho­to of the Cab Inn City hotel in their next Copen­hagen guide.

Finito

Just now I final­ly fin­ished tag­ging the last few pho­tos tak­en in Venice. The whole set of Lieke’s and my vaca­tion in Italy is now online. Total num­ber of pho­tos we end­ed up select­ing is a whop­ping 411. You can start at the first new one since the pre­vi­ous update over here.

Plen­ty of pret­ty shots in this update, my favourite is prob­a­bly this one:

Pigeons, lanterns and scultpure

Enjoy!

K-141 АПЛ Курск

Some­times you learn some­thing strange while tag­ging vaca­tion shots. At least that was the case with this pho­to I took in Venice:

K-141 АПЛ Курск

Look­ing for some prop­er tags I Googled “K-141” and found a Wikipedia arti­cle on the Russ­ian sub­ma­rine Kursk. I pulled out the prop­er Russ­ian text to use as tags but was puz­zled about the rea­son behind the sten­cil.

I decid­ed to let my direct col­leagues in on the mys­tery and mailed it around at the office. Soon after, Peter point­ed out that the same sten­cil art was blogged at zom­bizi zero-six and Woost­er Col­lec­tive.

Quite enter­tain­ing, but it gets even weird­er. He point­ed out this link, which appar­ent­ly proves the sten­cil spree was part of Russia’s pres­ence at the 51st Venice Bien­nale…

Bart right­ly point­ed out that it’s strange they didn’t get caught doing it. I mean: wouldn’t it be easy for the police to hold the Rus­sians at the Bien­nale respon­si­ble for this bla­tant act of “van­dal­ism”?

Any­way. You learn some­thing new every day, don’t you?

Geotagging on Flickr: flaky

Geotagging on Flickr

Flickr launched its geo­t­ag­ging feau­ture a few days ago. Today I came across a few rav­ing posts on Tech­n­Crunch, so I decid­ed to give it a go.

I’ve been geo­t­ag­ging my pho­tos using Plazes for a while now (has it been more than a year already? This pho­to seems to prove as much.) I enjoyed doing that but it was always a bit involved. Also, geo­t­ag­ging becomes real­ly use­ful and fun once lots of peo­ple start doing it. That wasn’t real­ly hap­pen­ing yet so I’m excit­ed about Flickr inte­grat­ing it.

My first impres­sion of their map-dri­ven inter­face was pos­i­tive. It’s tucked away in the orga­nize sec­tion though; I won­der whether they’ll include some bits in the indi­vid­ual pho­to pages soon. For instance: a lit­tle map show­ing the loca­tion where the shot was tak­en and an easy way to add geo­t­ags (maybe even allow oth­ers to do it for me?) I’d like this most­ly because now the map isn’t real­ly social (in the sense that it shows an aggre­ga­tion of geo­t­agged shots, just my own.) Update: I found the social fla­vored map here; a bit under­whelm­ing, but fun.

How­ev­er: although Flickr proud­ly sports “gam­ma” at the top of its logo, the tech­nol­o­gy still lags behind. It’s beta qual­i­ty at best. New­ly tagged pho­tos don’t appear on the map after a reload; per­haps Flickr doesn’t like me chang­ing the tags out­side of the map inter­face? Update: edit­ting geo­pri­va­cy set­tings on batch­es gives back strange results too, these pho­tos should show up on the map some­where near Baarn, but they don’t. Weird…

Also, I think not being able to “snap” a batch of pho­tos to a city I found through the search inter­face is a usabil­i­ty issue. Adding pho­tos to loca­tions I haven’t iden­ti­fied in Plazes (and thus don’t show up as hotspots on the map yet) becomes arbi­trar­i­ly. Call me a meta­da­ta nut, but I real­ly want to add my pho­tos of Jurjen’s pret­ty street Zwarte­hand­spoort in Lei­den to the exact street, not drop them some­where in the vicin­i­ty of the city Lei­den.

Con­clu­sion: a promis­ing addi­tion to every­ones favourite social pho­to shar­ing site, poised to make geo­t­ag­ging ready for the big time, but not exact­ly there yet due to some tech­ni­cal and design issues.

Anoth­er update: after rum­mag­ing through the help forums, I learnt that indeed, Flickr doesn’t automag­i­cal­ly pick up on new­ly geo­t­agged pho­tos from oth­er ser­vices (such as Plazes.) You need to re-import them (as described in this post). This sucks big time, Flickr seems to think that only pho­tos that have been tagged inside the sys­tem mat­ter. Think again! (Of course all this is prob­a­bly sim­ply due to tech­ni­cal lim­i­ta­tions, which is no excuse, but still…)

A few more shots of Florence

Despite the heat and humid­i­ty this evening I got around sort­ing through a few more pho­tos tak­en in Flo­rence. Around 50 new ones have been added to the set. You can start at the first new one here.

I’d like to treat you to a nice exam­ple of serendip­i­ty. Here’s a pho­to I took of some stained glass win­dows depict­ing the agnus dei:

Stained glass

Now check out this pho­to by Rich Nur­combe… Weird.