Phase 2 Complete

Alright, so we got phase 2 out. It feels like we gave birth – smugmug HQ was up for 36 hours straight, and we kept the site offline for hours longer than we wanted to. Ugh. Luckily, our customers are the greatest customers on earth, and they came running to our rescue. Thanks!

On to the features! (These went live early morning on the 16th)

  • smugMaps! You can now anchor your photos to any spot on earth and everyone can see them.
  • Google Earth feeds! Once you’ve anchored your photos, you can view them on smugMaps OR on Google Earth.
  • All smugmug RSS/Atom feeds now have geodata embedded in them, if their owners have allowed it, so you can write your own appications, web services, and the like to use them. Go wild.
  • New styles! ‘smugmug’ and ‘smugmug small’ replace ‘Elegant’ and ‘Elegant Small’ and are even more refined and clean. Just wait until Phase 4 (Themes!) is done – you’ll be able to customize every tiny detail of how they look & feel.
  • AJAX! You can now edit many of your gallery & image details inline right on the page, rather than going to an image or gallery tool.
  • New version of the BETA universal uploader. Now with *no* upload limit.
  • New “play slideshow” button takes you to our super fullscreen slideshow, which itself isn’t new, but was too hard to find.
  • Your favorite uploader is cookied so you don’t have to keep picking it.
  • Pro Account holders can now download comma-delimited sales info, allowing import to spreadsheets or other apps of their choice.
  • The signup page is now much more robust about pre-checking your entries, especially coupon codes and the like.
  • Fixed some bugs with RSS & Atom feeds. They should be more compatible with more readers now.
  • Whew. That’s enough for now. We’re working hard on Phase 3 and it should come soon.

    Don’t forget to check out our other blogs, especially web tricks f you’re into customizing your smugmug site, for more information.

    Tagging photos with a GPS

    First, the good news: the note attached to your photos called EXIF, which contains stuff like the time your photo was shot, can also contain location info. Cool.

    The bad news: unless you have a high-end Nikon attached to a GPS, your camera is clueless about location.

    You could buy a Ricoh with GPS card like I did, but it sucks. The GPS card goes where the memory card normally goes, so you’re left with 8 MB of built-in memory. Not many photos… And it isn’t a good camera but costs a lot.

    However! You can buy Robogeo to sychronize the time stamps between your GPS log and photos. If the GPS says you were on the Golden Gate Bridge at 8:13 PM and you took a photo around that time….you get the idea.

    Some camera phones have GPS and you can get a GPS card for a Treo 650, which has a decent camera. But I haven’t figured out whether they embed the location info into the EXIF. Anyone know?

    Sometimes the location reported by your GPS is not what you want in your photo. If you stand on the Brooklyn Bridge and shoot the Empire State Building, you might prefer to have the location be the Empire State Building.

    For those exceptions, you can look up latitude and longitude using Google Maps: find the spot on the map and double-click it. The map centers. Now click the Link to this page link. An URL will appear in your browser address bar. The first two numbers you see in it, reading from left to right, is the latitude and longitude. Copy and paste them to Robogeo and you’re set.

    Easier by far is to use Smugmug’s Edit Geography tool. You find the location and it fills in latitude and longitude for you. But it does not yet burn it into the EXIF of your photo.

    What’s your experience?