HoudahGeo – another addiction!

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HoudahGeo ($34.95)* serves no real purpose, isn’t something that you ‘can’t live without’, but is totally and utterly addictive. It is also a very clever idea.

“With HoudahGeo you may “pin” photos to the locations where they were taken. The thus created information may be exported to EXIF tags as well as to Google Earth KMZ files. Such a file allows for browsing your photos within Google Earth.

EXIF tagged files are understood by a number of applications and web services. E.g. Panoramio, Flickr,…”

It is really easy to use; remarkably so for something with such a technical sounding name and tag line. Two preferences let you check for updates or quit on close of last window and that is it. You can upload you picture from either your library or a file (it only uses the link to this picture so don’t go moving your pictures around once you have pinned them). Once you have uploaded the picture you pin it either with the Waypoint from a GPS or my matching it to Google Earth – a very easy method that I much preferred, although just adding the Waypoint was easier **

And that really is it. What you are left with is a picture pinned to Google Earth where you want to pin it it – so obviously it makes sense to pin it where you took it. That is the only real flaw, and it is nothing to do with the application, just the use of the application – you can end up with 100’s of pictures pinned to the same spot. I reckon it could be great for Forum members to pin a picture of themselves etc, but to post 25 pictures of Uncle Arthur’s 90th birthday may be a bit excessive.

My only other (slight) negative is that by the time you have photoshopped your picture, added it to iPhoto, tagged it, uploaded it to SmugMug you may well think that pinning it with HoudahGeo is a bit excessive. It is, but it is also great fun and somewhat addictive.

I have left one picture pinned for you to see at 36֯ 42’05.02″N 2֯ 46’52.69″W

* “HoudahGeo will be priced $34.95 for a single user license.

For a limited time however, that same license will be on sale at only $24.95. With the release of HoudahGeo 1.1, the price will go up by $5. Starting with HoudahGeo 1.2, single user licenses will be priced $34.95.

Get HoudahGeo on the cheap. Now! Your HoudahGeo 1.0 licenses will remain valid for all later 1.x versions. “

** “HoudahGeo is a pure software solution for geocoding photos with latitude, longitude and altitude information. Just like a GPS camera, HoudahGeo can store this information right within the image file – invisibly with no loss of quality.

Unlike a GPS camera, HoudahGeo allows you to export your photos directly to Google Earth.”

3 thoughts on “HoudahGeo – another addiction!

  1. Wayne LeFevre

    A few caveats of this software that I found. The first one that I found was if you tag the GPS info into photos in Aperture, (and I’m assuming any non-destructive editing program such as LightRoom,) it will tag the version copy just fine. If you do any editing at all, when it writes the version to the disk it will erase all of your GPS information.

    You can export directly into Google Earth. Your Google Earth, of course. In order to share photos, you need to share the actual KMZ file. Sorry Chris, when I go to your coordinates in Google Earth all I see is an apartment building in Almerimar. BTW, do you golf?

    One of the biggest reasons I wanted to test it out was to test it on a piece of software called MemoryMiner. It’s a photo timeline software that can track people and places of your photographs. It’s actually a pretty neat app, that unfortunately, doesn’t pick out HoudahGeo’s GPS info. The developer says it will pick out of IPTC but not EXIF. Also it’s a tricky subject, for he doesn’t know how we would deal with many different places being that they can be just a few meters apart.

    So Google Earth right now is it. However it does do a great job putting in GPS coordinates from Google Maps, which if you want that data for maybe something in the future, it would be worth it.

  2. Chris Marshall Post author

    LightRoom has the same ‘problem’ as Aperture, but I sort of saw this application as a neat little add on to the point and shoot stuff. You are right though it is a flaw!

    I hadn’t noticed that with Google Earth – thanks! Makes it all seem a bit pointless in a way – I know where I was when I took the picture!! Yes play golf – but not much. Too many injuries to deal with (neck, back, shoulder) from the past.

  3. Pierre Bernard

    1. I am just back from Macworld Expo where I showed off HoudahGeo. HoudahGeo was written with the traveler in mind: document a trip with pictures to show family and friends. I have also imagined professional uses. E.g. a realtor may send clients a KMZ file with pictures of a property viewable in context. At the expo I met many people who found the most various uses to geocoded photos: document forrest damage, document roadwork, … Actually the possibilities are endless.

    2. To those wanting to archive location data, I recommend geocoding all their pictures before importing them into a photo management application. Others may use HouahGeo only to publish their images. In that event it is fine to grab photos from a library (after cropping, adjusting, …).

    3. KMZ files are “private” to whomever has the file. You need to hand it to friends, family or clients for them top see your work. As KMZ files are self-contained, you need just to email one or put it up on your web server for download.

    KML files are a bit more open for broad sharing. Just put one up on your web server and have viewers point Google Maps to your file. Additionally you may make such a file available to the general public by publishing it to Google’s “My Maps”.

    Photos uploaded to Flickr! are, by default, public.

    Best,
    Pierre Bernard
    Houdah Software s.à r.l.

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