How to geotag photos from any camera using iPhone with iOS 4.0+

One of the best features of the latest iPhone OS is ability to run apps in the background. As you already know you can use a variety of applications in the background. So by using a background application which records GPS coordinates all the time and combining it with a time-synced camera, you can geo tag photos taken with any camera.

Here are the tools you will need:

1. Any camera of your choice
2. An iPhone with iOS 4.0+
3. The MotionX app installed on your iPhone
4. Geosetter software installed on your PC (you can download this here)

How to combine all these:

First and most important step is that your camera and your iPhone are synchronized and have the exact same time. So find the time at your camera settings and make sure it’s the same as on your iPhone.

Next, launch the MotionX app and start recording a track. You can put MotionX in background and the track will still be recorded. While you record your track you can take any photo with your camera. Once you finish your track, click on “Save track” on MotionX app and then use the “Share” feature to send the track to your email (You will need to set this up first at the settings of MotionX app).

Going back to your base, you will need to save the “GPX” file that MotionX sent you through email to a folder on your PC. Also, download the photos from your camera.

Final step is to launch the Geosetter software. You will need to browse to the folder where your photos reside and select them all. Then click on the icon that says “Synchronize geo data of selected images with GPS data files”. Simply select the GPS track and click to synchronize images.

Don’t forget to save your images again through Geosetter so that the GPS coordinates and embedded into the EXIF data of the images.

After all these, you can upload your images to Flickr and your images will be automatically featured on the map. Moreover, Geosetter will figure out the name of each area you visited by using a Geonames service with your coordinates.

Here is an example of an images geotagged with that way (notice the map at the right column in Flickr and also the camera I used (Panasonic DMC-LX3 which has no GPS).

p.s. GPS will drain your iPhone’s battery really fast. In my recent trip I was also using Dexim Bluepack iPhone charger from Amazon. Doing so I achieved about 12 hours of continuous GPS track recording each day.

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3D TVs almost ready to become mainstream

3D TVs are obviously the new hottest items that will keep us shopping for new TVs during the 2010 and following years. Take a look at the Google trends page and see the explosion in searches happening right now.

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Molecular gastronomy

The process of cooking itself can be truly amazing sometimes. However, behind it there is also chemistry. Molecular gastronomy is the way to cook using chemistry disciplines. For me it’s a kind of science which explains a lot about food and cooking and I think it’s worth to learn more about it. Figure out which temperature is best for cooking beef, discover all the myths related to food & cooking and find out why caviar with on chocolate not only makes perfect sense but also tastes great.

Find out more at:
Wikipedia page on Molecular gastronomy
Kitchen chemistry TV show
Youtube video of basic spherification
A very good blog on molecular gastronomy

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Amazon Web Services in Greece, meet up #2

Almost 5 months after the first AWS meetup in Greece, I would like to announce the second one. This time we will also have Simone Brunozzi with us, who is an Amazon Web Services Evangelist. A lot to be discussed like the AWS management console, the reserved instances, the Public Datasets and the new Elastic Mapreduce.

The event will take place on Friday 24th April 18:30 – 20:00 at Nixon (map).

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The reversed social network

A few days ago I posted an update on Twitter, asking if someone knows a tool that would find the most unrelated interests to me. While most of people thought it was very funny to get to know such thing and that I am obviously not interested into many many things, it would definitely make sense to me to find the MOST unrelated interests.

I am not looking for an easy and obvious answer here. I am looking for a way to leverage a huge social graph (maybe of millions of people) and find out what I would probably mostly miss/skip in my life based on my current profile. Furthermore I definitely want to get in touch with the people that are totally unrelated to my interests. I am sure they will offer me a different view of the world.

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The future of operating systems: Part 2

Back in August I was writing my thoughts regarding the future of operating systems. One of the things that I was thinking back then was that Google was going to offer Android as an operating system for devices other than mobile phones. Some months later and we started seeing announcements about this plan like “Asus developing Android netbook“. Moreover Eric Schmidt hinted that Google netbooks might be coming soon. There is a possibility that we will be seeing different versions of Android for PCs and mobile devices. I am also looking forward to see Android market having applications for PCs running Android as well, since that could mean that the free and open source operating system could be a great monetization source for the company. It would be a great and unique way to connect a commercial marketplace with a free product.

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Retarded or genius?

I have seen this video many weeks ago, so I decided to share it with you. Apart from showing how bad the education system is nowadays in almost every country of the world is also gives a message that can fit to any industry/field/aspect of our life: “Only the artist knows that he is building a masterpiece before he finishes it. Once it’s finished, the rest of the people say WOW”. I have seen this many times happening in business when people from the outside do not understand why you are working on something that seems so dumb for them. But once you reveal the whole concept everyone is amazed.



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Best Windows 7 keyboard shortcuts

I am working with keyboard shortcuts a lot since they save a great amount of time especially when you do repetitive tasks or you are dealing with many windows. Yesterday I switched my computer to Windows 7 beta. I have already played around some time with it by installing it on a virtual machine and they worked great. While I have never used a beta operating system for my main computer, this time I decided to do it since I saw that I could be working faster with Windows 7 than I used to work with Vista. So here are some of the keyboard shortcuts I am using to make working easier and more productive:

Using Win key + arrows you can control the window you are working on. Win + Left makes the window occupy the left half of the screen and Win + right the right part. Especially good if you want to have windows side by side. With Win + Up you can maximize the window and Win + down minimizes it.

An issue that could be really frustrating in some computers is switching between screens. Now you can just hit Win + P and a panel will appear with all the possible cases. Also if you are a multi monitor fan then you can now send windows to other monitors by hitting Win + Shift + Left or Win + Shift + Right depending on which monitor you want your window to go.

Hitting Win + Home will minimize all your Windows except for the one you are working on. This shortcut is useful especially when you are trying to focus on a window and you have many other applications running in the background. However I usually work on maximized windows so I don’t use this shortcut frequently.

The best tip for launching apps from the new taskbar is that you can hit Win + the number of the application you want to launch. I used to have keyboard shortcuts for each application on Windows Vista but now I have docked all the applications I need so it’s very easy to launch them using this shortcut.

Should you need to see what’s happening on your desktop, just hold down Win + Space. Also if you have mupltiple windows of the same applications which are grouped at the new taskbar you can hold down Control key and start hitting the icon of the application at the taskbar. This will start displaying the windows one by one just like Alt + TAB does but only for that specific application.

The fastest way to the taskbar is the shortcut key Win + T which moves focus to the taskbar. Then you can navigate with the arrow keys to open / select programs.

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How will technology hack religion

Religion always tries to give answers to questions that can not be answered in any logical manner. With many people believing the same thing about human and world existence it’s easier for most of them to assume that the truth given by religion is the right one. Of course the answer is that no one knows for sure but everyone is trying (even subconsciously) to attach himself to a theory about where we come from and what happens after we die.

However in the next years (maybe that’s many many years, but eventually it will happen) scientists will achieve a perfect understanding of how brain works and how we can alter our memories. What used to be science fiction is now becoming partially a reality. For example some people with permanent loss of vision can start seeing again by using electrodes which stimulate the right areas of the brain which generate what we know as vision. This is just the beginning of science being able to manipulate the brain. I totally believe that in the future, scientists will be able to create memories and experiences on demand.

This is where is gets very interesting. While it would be fun that we will be able to experience a trip to Paris without even being there by simply attaching this experience to our brains through whatever device will be able to do this, things will get serious once these experiences alter the fundamental values of our brain. And let me give you an example: How would you think of life and your daily routine if deep inside in your brain you had memories of yourself before you were born and after you are dead? These are memories that most religions of the world are trying to “persuade” you that they exist. All religions have an answer for what happens after death. But once technology will be able to manipulate the human mind, these answers will be able to become real experiences for everyone. They will be 100% real and totally authentic for the people who try this. This will be either used for good (people working together to achieve a very specific thing in their lives) but either for bad (I guess it will be a lot easier to persuade people to attempt suicide attacks)…

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DLD 2009 conference short review

I had the luck to be one of the participants of the DLD 2009 conference. It was my first time there and I can definitely say that the conference was amazing, so I would like to share with you what happened there.

Day 1:

After a short opening, the first panel (Global Challenges) came on stage and it was consisted mostly of CEO of very big companies: Nani Beccalli-Falco (CEO, GE), Stefan Oschmann (CEO, Merck & Co. Inc), James S. Turley (CEO, Ernst & Young), Kasper Rorsted (CEO, Henkel), Thierry Antinori (Executive Vice President, Lufthansa), Hermann Ude (CEO, DHL / Board member @ Deutsche Post), Patricia Szarvas as moderator of the panel (CNBC). I would say that this panel was the least interested since I didn’t feel I heard something new. But anyway it was really good to see all these people together!

The next panel (From ideas to reality) was very interesting since the was Philippe Pouletty on stage who is Founder and General Partner of Truffle Capital and he presented his company that develops an artificial heart which instead of what we have seen so far this heart mimics the movements of a real heart. He has still some way to go but he believes that in two years from now the first hearts will be used on the first 20 patients. Philippe has a view that people will be getting spare bio-parts in the near future and this is something that I also believe it will happen sooner or later. I will be blogging about this on a separate post soon. The panel was moderated by Jennifer Schenker who is a journalist covering technology for quite a long time (30 years!) and has now started a website called Informilo.

Just next, Dan Ariely came on stage and gave one of the most amazing speeches I have ever seen. He presented some illusions and some stats of how some really major decisions in our life are affected by simple and very minor things. You have to see the video of this presentation. Moreover I was very emotional touched by his story and how he created a whole new science due to his stay in hospital for 3 years. I will be definitelly following him from now on. You can check his website at (www.predictablyirrational.com).
Then Chris Weeks was on stage. Chris is the Director of Humanitarian Affairs for DHL/DPWN. He talked about how difficult is to get to help people in 3rd world countries and how complicated is to just be able to send them goods and medicine. It was pretty fascinating that one of the greatest technology that is being used to drop supplies from helicopters is the well known and commonly used red postal bag. He described us how it is stuffed and why it is so important.

The last panel for that day was “Philanthrocapitalish”. The panel consisted of Abigail Disney (Daphne Foundation), Sean Parker (Facebook Causes, co-Founder of Facebook, Plaxo, Napster), Matthew Bishop (The Economist), Arend Oetker (HERO), Edwin Moses (Laureus World Sports Academy). I was totally amazed with what Abigail told the audience. Abigail has made a documentary titled “Pray the Devil Back to Hell” about women in Liberia and their efforts to bring peace to their broken nation after decades of destructive civil war. The fact is that even is there have been already 3 years of such efforts, no media has ever covered these efforts. This can be a great example of how some very important facts of our world are very well hidden behind the scenes. I am really looking forward watching the documentary.

The first day ended with a blogging meet up at a Bavarian restaurant and we enjoyed some very good traditional food and lots of beers:)

Day 2:

The second day of DLD started very early (8:00) with the Social Networking Breakfast hosted by Jeff Pulver. While I arrived a little late, it was very fun since you had some stickers and after talking with anyone you would stick them a tag. A great networking idea:)

The first panel “On Leadership” was one of the most interesting panels I attended. The speakers were Peter Hirshberg (Technorati.com), Brad Anderson (CEO & Vice President, Best Buy), Michele Azar (Internet Growth Group, Best Buy), Don Tapscott (Author, moderator of the panel). Brad and Michele showed how they turned best buy to become a company that’s is totally driven by their employees. The presented their company wiki and showed how the employees are involved into daily operations and even advertisements of the company. I think that many companies should take this as an example and try to build up a similar business culture. After all it’s all about people who run the company to make it a success. Same time was the Internet Politics panel which I didn’t attend.

Afterward there were two panels. The one was called “100 Million uniques” and it was consisted of some of the most successful web entrepreneurs in the world: Chad Hurley (YouTube), Samir Arora (Glam Media), Mitchell Baker (Mozilla Foundation), Moderation: Yossi Vardi. Unfortunately I wanted to attend the other panel for Eastern Europe markets so I will be watching this one on video. The Eastern Europe panel was very interesting especially in terms of the numbers mentions. The speakers were Vuslat Dogan (CEO, Dogan Group), Zoltan Kovacs (Co-founder, ISOBAR), Andrew Paulson (co-founder, SUP / Livejournal), Lukasz Gadowski (Spreadshirt.com) and the moderator was a very good friend of mine, Andrej Nabergoj who runs Noovo.com. It was great to hear how big these companies got and the large number of acquisitions they did to grow faster.

I then enjoyed a pretty cool session about robots before attending the “Fashion Business” panel. During that panel it was great to hear Marc Ecko telling his story of how he rented a plane and painted like the Airforce one before getting to shoot a home made like video with people spraying the plane and writing “Still free” on it. Amazing how viral this video got and how this serves as a new way to advertise your company. I was also very amazed to hear Xavier Court from Vente-privee.com saying that the very same morning he sold about 70 apartments in Germany through his website. The panel was moderated by Susann Remke (Focus Magazine).

I then watched the hot deep earth session which has been very inspiring especially when I saw the world record man Herbert Nitsch describing how he managed to dive to more than 200 meters deep. It was also a pleasure to meet Fabien Cousteau who is the grandson of the very famous Jacques Cousteau. The photographs of Sebastian Copeland were fantastic and I wish I will get a chance in my life to visit Antarctica. The panel finished with the presentation of Pangaea which offers a chance for young people to discover the unseen world of Antarctica. The man behind this is Mike Horn.

NextI did some networking and then attended the Software session which was quite fun since Marissa Mayer is was a great moderator. The speakers were Max Levchin (Slide.com), Joel Spolsky (Fog Creek Software), Daniel Ek (Spotify), Suhas Gopinath (Globals Inc) and Hendrik Speck (University of Applied Sciences Kaiserslautern). There was a good discussion on which software can move to web.

Some networking following again and I left to get prepared for the great party. I was told that the DLD party is one of the biggest events in Germany since Hubert Burda is a big publisher in Germany with several magazines and newspapers. And so it was; the party was amazing. Maybe this is what happens when you combine people from social magazines like woman fashion or Playboy with people from the internet industry:) There were many German celebrities which I unfortunately didn’t know and lots of media coverage. Everyone had really great time there!

Day 3:

On the third day of the conference I focused more on networking so I only attended two sessions. The first one was the most enjoyable session since among the speaker were Julia Allison which is a very popular blogger in the US through her website nonsociety.com and has a great style of describing facts but also Loic Le Meur who has a great sense of humour. The session was called “Telling stories” and there were also Ora-Ito (Designer) and documentary maker Fernando Sulichin. It was moderated by Constantin Bjerke. The last session I watched was the best of the conference. The speakers were Daniel Kahneman and Nassim Taleb and it was moderated by John Brockman. The subject was “Reflection on a crisis” and I won’t write anything more about this because I strongly recommend to view the video on the DLD website.

The surprise of the day was Mark Zuckerberg, who came to DLD and spoke about facebook and its plans on expansion. He mentioned that his focus is on creating a platform that will eventually reach everyone in the world and also to build a very good product which I believe his already does. Facebook is growing like crazy and Mark preferred not to reveal any income statistics since he said that is not the top priority for the company (of course it’s a private company so he had no obligation to tell everybody the revenue insights). There was a part of the conversation were privacy issues were discussed, especially the fact that people can upload photos of others without their permission and without them being able to remove them. Of course facebook reflects the real world so practically everything that happens inside is quite similar with the real world. On the other hand, it was highly suggested that users should play around with their privacy settings and also create friend relationships only with trusted people who already know. This use of facebook makes it a great and possibly “safe” tool for social networking.

During the event, Ester Dyson was awarded the “Aenne Burda Award” Ester is now training to become a cosmonaut and travel to space. I really admire her.

Finally the last day I had the chance to meet with people Hyve.de which is a great company behind many innovative product designs and has also created a web innovation platform were people can submit their ideas to companies for evaluation or for the purpose of an innovation contest.

There is a huge number of photos from DLD on flickr and a dedicated area on the DLD conference website for video sessions.

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