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Life, Tech and Unimportant Minutiae

3+ Years of Pointless Waymarks CMS, GeoTools, Night Music - 12/20/2022

Created by Charles on 12/20/2022. Updated on 12/27/2022.

2022 November Fall Color in Ash Creek 01
Fall Color in Ash Creek 01. Charles Miles. 11/7/2022.

2022... This year started with a week long septic install and ends with COVID - questionable bookends but there were lots of great times and great people in-between. Notes from the end of the year.

Pointless Waymarks CMS - Main Interface - 12/25/2022
The Main GUI Interface for the Pointless Waymarks CMS.

I've been working on the Pointless Waymarks CMS for over 3 years! I currently use it to create and maintain this site, Pointless Waymarks and 2 private sites. This is by far the largest and longest-lived personal software project I have worked on and I am excited to continue development in 2023! The targets/goals/setup of the project still seem like good choices to me:

Pointless Waymarks GeoTools - Connect GeoTagging Preview
Pointless Waymarks GeoTools - Garmin Connect GeoTagging Preview Screen.

Late this year I added a GeoTools GUI to the Pointless Waymarks Project. This program is centered around geotagging photographs and adding tags automatically based on locations.

My interest in geotagging photographs has waxed and waned over the years. Part of the reason that my interest dwindled is because I believe that it is rarely appropriate to make public the exact location of a landscape photograph. But more recently I have been convinced that having the GPS location of a photograph for personal use is well worth the cost of having to carefully manage what metadata is exported when publishing an image.

Colliding with my renewed interest in geotagging is my long term use of Garmin Connect. In addition to geotagging from local .gpx files the GeoTools program can use an Unofficial Garmin Connect Client to geotag photographs.

Pointless Waymarks GeoTools - Feature Intersect GeoJson File Setup
A screenshot from the Pointless Waymarks GeoTools showing the setup screen for GeoJson files that will be used as a reference in Feature Intersect Tagging.

I have added tags (keywords) to at least 8,000 photographs by hand over the last two decades. Especially in the last decade I have tried to include location information including land ownership and management agency, for example: 'Santa Catalina Mountains', 'San Pedro River Valley', 'Coronado National Forest', 'Zion National Park'. For the most part I have remembered to apply these tags and have applied them correctly - but just like all 'by hand' data entry no matter how much you know, care and try there will always be mistakes...

After working with more geospatial data this year it occurred to me that tagging locations - if the photograph is geotagged - is really better done by a computer! I'm based in the Southwestern United States and there is quite a bit of publicly available data about Public Lands - a great example of the available information is the Protected Areas Database (PAD-US) from the U.S. Geological Survey.

How it works:

The Pointless Waymarks GeoTools Feature Intersect Tagging works offline and it is easy to create your own reference files (perhaps for unofficial areas/names - is a good starting point. Because the program scans thru the local GeoJson files on each run it can be relatively slow - but for now it seems 'good enough' considering the amount, quality and value of the tags that it produces.

If you are a C# programmer it is worth knowing that this functionality is fairly simple to code if you leverage the NetTopologySuite.IO.GeoJSON and NetTopologySuite packages.

Pointless Waymarks GeoTools - Feature Intersect Tags
A screenshot of the Pointless Waymarks GeoTools showing new tags generated from Feature Intersect Tagging.

When I was in High School in the 1990s I saw Night Music on TV - I remember several episodes but the episode that stick in my memory the most over the years is Night Music #210. This episode manages , in 40-some minutes, to show Diamanda Galas, Indigo Girls, Daniel Lanois, Aretha Franklin, Sonic Youth and Evan Lurie & His Tango Band in both individual performances and collaborations! Rewatching random episodes of Night Music in 2022 it strikes me as the most interesting, diverse and authentic media I have ever seen - it is almost beyond belief that this made it onto commercial over-the-air TV - what a marvel...

2022 December Sunset and Moon
Sunset and Moon. Charles Miles. 12/6/2022.

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