Photography Rants

Flickr Geo Tagging… Major Problems

Flickr GeotaggingOn the surface, the idea of Geotagging your images in Flickr sounds GREAT. You’ll be able to position your photos and always know where they were taken. But there is one major problem at least here in Australia.

The Yahoo Maps information is very, very behind when compared to say Google Maps. Without at least street names (let alone the streets themselves) it makes it very hard to acurately position you dot for your photos.

See the attached photo for instance… seems we are all a little confused as to where the Twelve Apostles actually are on the Great Ocean Road. While I don’t know how others decided to position their dots, I opened another window and loaded Google Maps and tried to use the rivers, major roads and land formations to position my dot as closely as I could. On Google Maps they even HAVE the Twelve Apostles there in the water.

Of course it could just be that Geo Tagging should have been left to those who could provide GPS co-ordinates for where the photo was taken, and with some cameras now having this function built in we’re not too far away from more accurate positioning of dots.

And while I’m bagging Yahoo Maps, let me just say their pointy roads are a far cry from the curved and more accurate formations seen on other mapping sites.

Another thing that needs to be sorted is the spelling of GeoTagging/Geo Tagging?

Family & Friends

Happy Birthday Jacob

Jacob Kirk - On FlickrToday is our Nephew Jacob’s birthday… He’s 9 today. Yikes time flies.

Even though I’ve just spent two weeks with family, it’s the birthdays that remind me just how far away we are from them all now.

If you check out my Flickr, you’ll see I have photos of Maygen from the day of her birth, unfortunately I can’t say the same of Jacob.

And as the saying goes, that’s all in the past and I’ve made up for it with many, many photos since then.

So happy birthday Jake… I hope you’ve had a great one and you’ve gotten all the presents you wanted. We wish we could be there with you and are thinking of you.

Destinations Photography

My First Flickr Group

A lone image from the Great Ocean RoadI’ve decided to create my very own Flickr group for the Great Ocean Road, Victoria, couldn’t find one similar so there I went creating one.

If any avid photographers out there have some pics of this spectacular stretch of road, join Flickr and start posting.

Our recent trip there didn’t yeild any good shots of the Twelve Apostles so any help in filling out this group would be appreciated.

Destinations Family & Friends

Werribee Open Range Zoo

Lioness at Open-range ZooI love a trip to a zoo, any zoo. I love animals and appreciate what they go through in the wild at the hands of we humans and our constant encroachment upon their lands and harvesting of them for food.

While Zoological parks in the past have been places for humans to oggle animals, locked in tiny cages where they can’t escape from view, the animals weren’t allowed to have off days, today it’s very different.

Werribee Open Range Zoo, like practically every zoo, is actively involved in breeding programs for a lot of their animals. For endangered species, they have to wait for approval, often from an international board before they can breed their animals. The board’s intention is to ensure genetic diversity in the bloodlines of offspring.

At Werribee Open Range Zoo I think my favourite animals are the Meerkats (a form of mongoose), the Lions, the Rhinos, the Hippos… oh all right, all of them.

We arrived at the zoo at about 12.20 and were invited to join the 12.30 tour bus, I didn’t really want to join a bus that was probably quite full, but the others had already said “yes”. When we got to the queue there were quite a few people already in line, so I was further concerned about the seats we would get.

Buses at Werribee Open Range ZooHaving been there three times already before, I know it’s important to get good seats. As the day was overcast I was surprised to see so many people around. As luck would have it, when the doors opened everyone rushed to the centre and rear of the bus, no one thought to enter through the disabled door and it was left to us as the last to climb onto the bus.

These seats are directly behind the driver, I reckon we ended up with the best seats in the house.

The tour is always, there is quite a bit to see. I was a little disappointed however that this zoo was undergoing renovations with the roofing contractors at The Australian Native section (with Kangaroos, Wallabies and Emus) and the Hippos were unavailable.

In the case of the Australian Natives, their area had become over-run with rabbits and they currently have bunny poison in place to wipe them out. The hippos have a brand new enclosure and are currently getting used to it before going on display, they’ll be available from September 10.

After the tour you can walk around the zoo to see some of the animals not covered by the tour. David and Jennifer had Alek a little on-edge going through the man-made savanna, having him believing that the sounds of lions were real, rather than projected from speakers as they were.

It only rained a little, and for the most part was a fantastic day. I’ll be going back many many times to this zoo. At $22.00 per adult it may seem costly, but is well worth it.

Check out my photos from the day (an previous visits to the Zoo) at Flickr.

Family & Friends Restaurants

Mum’s Birthday

Today is Mum’s birthday, other than a spot of shopping we’ve ended the day with dinner at one of our favourites, Viva Zappitas in Williamstown.

This restaurant is no longer one of our favourites. It seems that while a couple of the staff are the same, the restaurant has changed dramatically. The menu was different, the service was bad and our all round experience was unpleasant. All in all, not what I wanted for the first time taking my mum, sister and nephew to what has been, until now, a great place to eat.

David sent them an e-mail and we have advised them that while we had been there numerous times since being in Melbourne, and taken practially everyone we know there, we will not return again. Taco Bill is now our number one Mexican Restaurant (truth be told, it always has been, but it is in the city… williamstown is much closer).

We finished off the night with cake and coffee (for those who drink it) at home. We also presented mum with a bottle of Chivas Regal.

Daily Life Family & Friends

The Great Ocean Road

Razor Back RockI wanted to call this one “Big Long Drive”, but I already used that one the other day.

Yesterday was a HUGE drive… we left around 9am and got home around 9pm.

We headed off to Tourquay, Bells Beach, whale watching dana point, The Twelve Apostles (via the Great Ocean Road), the Razorback Rock and the Island Archway then home via Colac.

Check out My Flickr for more photos, and my sister Jennifer’s Flickr for more

Daily Life Family & Friends

Spot of Shopping

Back from the early morning run to the Queen Vic Markets, a few purchases were made by all.

David and I have never been there on a Sunday before and I’ve never realised how different the place can be one day to the next. Half of the space that held general merchandise today (Sunday) usually holds fruit and veg (on Saturday) and the stalls where you hire the little trolleys are closed on Sunday too.

So it would appear that making sure we were there before 8.30 was not required today.

After a couple of hours walking around looking at basically kitch stuff, we went to Chapel Street, Prahran. Little more shopping and a stop in at Lamb on Chapel for the best souvlaki in Melbourne.

I tell ya, having a small kid around makes you do crazy things… for instance today I was walking along Chapel Street with my eyes closed being led by Alek, who thankfully, didn’t run me into any walls or under any trams.

Mum also bought me a copy of Lord of the Rings, the complete book. She says it is to replace the copy that she borrowed then lent to my Aunty Cheryl that was never seen again. My other one was quite old and was bought long before the movie ever came to be. The new one of course is covered with “Now a major motion picture…”.

Daily Life Family & Friends

Bowl Me Over

Alek BowlingOff we went to the other side of the city today… all the way to Chadstone, the Fashion Capital (or so they think). The plan was a bit of shopping and a whole lot-a bowling.

Two games were played, Alek’s bowling style had everyone a little on edge, for fear the ball would either

  1. land in another persons lane and wipe out their pins, or
  2. come out of hand on the back swing and take out some spectators.

Clearly though Alek was more in command of his ball than we reckoned and he played a fine couple of games, even if he did become a little frustrated when he walked away with pins still standing.

Jennifer took out honours in the first game, and I secured the second.

The purchase of Scabble saw us play a few games upon our return from Chaddy. A further purchase tomorrow of a Scrabble dictionary will ensure less arguments over real words occur.
Scrabble was followed by a failed attempt to watch RENT, our copy having a scratch in it. We made it about halfway through the movie before it failed. We’ll rent RENT again on cheap-ass Tuesday (all DVDs $2) and watch the rest of it.

I also note that Mark is finally updating his blog now that he has moved to the US, so check out Mark’s Rant’s, Raves and Other Things ;).