Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Format for quoting geolocation on the internet ?

Expand Messages
  • Simon Slavin
    Not, strictly speaking, on-charter for this group, but you people know all about this stuff. What with the explosion of devices which can tell you your
    Message 1 of 17 , Jul 1, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      Not, strictly speaking, on-charter for this group, but you people know
      all about this stuff.

      What with the explosion of devices which can tell you your location, I
      suspect that many internet messages will soon include longitude and
      latitude information. This is fine but it would be convenient if all
      these cites were in a standard format. That way software could
      recognise them and automatically show the locations on a map, either
      responding to a click or just as it displays the message.

      So how does one get started defining such a thing ? Would the URL
      format be appropriate:

      <geoloc:54.123,1.234>

      or is there something better ?

      Simon.
      --
      http://www.hearsay.demon.co.uk | I'd expect if a computer was involved
      | it all would have been much worse.
      No Buffy for you. | -- John "West" McKenna
      Leave quickly now. -- Anya | THE FRENCH WAS THERE
    • Robert Lipe
      ... Define internet messages . (That s not a troll, Simon.) There are a variety of microformats. What s catching on in the GeoRSS world may not be
      Message 2 of 17 , Jul 2, 2008
      • 0 Attachment
        > What with the explosion of devices which can tell you your location, I
        > suspect that many internet messages will soon include longitude and
        > latitude information. This is fine but it would be convenient if all
        > these cites were in a standard format. That way software could

        Define "internet messages".

        (That's not a troll, Simon.)

        There are a variety of microformats. What's catching on in the GeoRSS world
        may not be appropriate for, say, Twitter-like substances.

        I'm not saying that's a great state, but I see it shaping up to take several
        different shapes depending on the niche.
      • Simon Slavin
        ... email messages, blog entries and comments, web pages, usenet messages, Instant Messages. If possible, should be useful in SMS as well. ... I have no idea
        Message 3 of 17 , Jul 3, 2008
        • 0 Attachment
          On 3 Jul 2008, at 5:29am, Robert Lipe wrote:

          >> What with the explosion of devices which can tell you your
          >> location, I
          >> suspect that many internet messages will soon include longitude and
          >> latitude information. This is fine but it would be convenient if all
          >> these cites were in a standard format. That way software could
          >
          > Define "internet messages".

          email messages, blog entries and comments, web pages, usenet messages,
          Instant Messages. If possible, should be useful in SMS as well.

          > (That's not a troll, Simon.)
          >

          > There are a variety of microformats. What's catching on in the
          > GeoRSS world
          > may not be appropriate for, say, Twitter-like substances.

          I have no idea what Twitter messages look like, but you can encode
          URLs in most IM systems I've seen and the software can deal with them
          in useful ways. Can someone who Twitters tell me if URLs work okay ?

          People on another list told me that any format I invent had better be
          able to deal with direction as well as position, so I expanded my
          format to five parameters:

          <geoloc:latitude,longitude,altitude,direction,tilt>

          latitude: decimal number, WGS84
          longitude: decimal number, WGS84
          altitude: height above geoid or height above ground, depending on
          application
          direction: degrees from -180 to 360, with 0 indicating local north
          according to WGS84
          tilt: degrees from -180 to 360, with 0 indicating a level sighting

          Any instance of a 'geoloc' URL can include from 0 to 5 parameters. If
          less than 5 parameters are supplied then the N parameters supplied are
          read as the first N of the 5. Omitted parameters are considered
          'unknown', or whatever value is most convenient to the application.

          Example: to expand

          <geoloc:154.123,.01,,25>

          one parameter in the text is missing, so interpret it as unknown

          <geoloc:154.123,.01,unknown,25>

          only four parameters listed, so make it five

          <geoloc:154.123,.01,unknown,25,unknown>

          So it's a location of {154.123,.01}, at an unknown height. And
          whatever it is is pointing 25 degrees east of WGS84 north. If we
          think that the application is photography, then good values for the
          two missing parameters would be five foot above local ground level,
          with the camera pointed neither up nor down.

          Criticism, correction and suggestion welcomed.

          Simon.
        • Paul Tomblin
          On Thu, 3 Jul 2008 10:25:11 +0100 Simon Slavin ... I would think would be more XML-like, and would make the
          Message 4 of 17 , Jul 3, 2008
          • 0 Attachment
            On Thu, 3 Jul 2008 10:25:11 +0100 "Simon Slavin"
            <slavins@...> wrote:

            >People on another list told me that any format I invent had better be
            >able to deal with direction as well as position, so I expanded my
            >format to five parameters:
            >
            ><geoloc:latitude,longitude,altitude,direction,tilt>

            I would think <geoloc latitude="NN.NNN" longitude="NN.NNN"/> would be more
            XML-like, and would make the optional parameters clearer.
          • Anthony Cartmell
            ... Or perhaps borrow from KML, now known as OpenGISĀ® KML Encoding Standard (OGC KML). It is now maintained by the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC)
            Message 5 of 17 , Jul 3, 2008
            • 0 Attachment
              >> <geoloc:latitude,longitude,altitude,direction,tilt>
              >
              > I would think <geoloc latitude="NN.NNN" longitude="NN.NNN"/> would be
              > more
              > XML-like, and would make the optional parameters clearer.

              Or perhaps borrow from KML, now known as "OpenGISĀ® KML Encoding Standard"
              (OGC KML). It is now maintained by the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc.
              (OGC) rather than Google.
              http://www.opengeospatial.org/standards/kml/

              A KML Placemark can contain all sorts of useful information in a pretty
              flexible way. It also allows for areas (and lines) as well as discrete
              points, so might be useful for cities, states, etc. where a single point
              is less relevant.

              Anthony
              --
              www.fonant.com - Quality web sites
            • Simon Slavin
              ... Or I could use GPX. But I ve never seen any of these formats used for specifying a location in the middle of a human-readable message. I m trying to
              Message 6 of 17 , Jul 3, 2008
              • 0 Attachment
                On 3 Jul 2008, at 3:06pm, Anthony Cartmell wrote:

                >>> <geoloc:latitude,longitude,altitude,direction,tilt>
                >>
                >> I would think <geoloc latitude="NN.NNN" longitude="NN.NNN"/> would be
                >> more
                >> XML-like, and would make the optional parameters clearer.
                >
                > Or perhaps borrow from KML

                Or I could use GPX. But I've never seen any of these formats used for
                specifying a location in the middle of a human-readable message. I'm
                trying to devise something that people would use like this:

                "I went to the new local Ford dealership <geoloc:154.123,0.1> and
                asked about service."

                In the much the same way as they would quote a URL:

                "I went to the new local Ford <http://www.ford.com> dealership and
                asked about service."

                If I'm to do that, then my format needs to be compatible with existing
                software (nobody is going to adopt new email or web software just to
                read locations). So I chose to use RFC-3986 URI format. That way all
                I need is for someone to write URI handlers for Linux, Windows and Mac
                and almost everyone can use the system.

                KML is not really compatible with that. Paul's sugestion of XML-like
                parameters would be possible if you started with '<geoloc:' but it
                would make the URIs look different to the ones we're used to (e.g. 'mailto:'
                , 'news:'). Did I miss a bet ?

                What about the parameters ? I thought of altitude myself. I added
                direction and tilt because some photographers pointed them out as an
                obvious lack in most GPS formats. Is there anything else I missed ?
                Or does anyone think the photography parameters belong in a different
                piece of information (e.g. a <direction:> URI).

                Simon.
                --
                http://www.hearsay.demon.co.uk | I'd expect if a computer was involved
                | it all would have been much worse.
                No Buffy for you. | -- John "West" McKenna
                Leave quickly now. -- Anya | THE FRENCH WAS THERE
              • Pierpaolo Bernardi
                ... Why not http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geohash ? Cheers P.
                Message 7 of 17 , Jul 3, 2008
                • 0 Attachment
                  On 7/3/08, Simon Slavin <slavins@...> wrote:
                  > On 3 Jul 2008, at 3:06pm, Anthony Cartmell wrote:
                  >
                  > >>> <geoloc:latitude,longitude,altitude,direction,tilt>
                  > >>
                  > >> I would think <geoloc latitude="NN.NNN" longitude="NN.NNN"/> would be
                  > >> more
                  > >> XML-like, and would make the optional parameters clearer.
                  > >
                  > > Or perhaps borrow from KML
                  >
                  > Or I could use GPX. But I've never seen any of these formats used for
                  > specifying a location in the middle of a human-readable message. I'm
                  > trying to devise something that people would use like this:
                  >
                  > "I went to the new local Ford dealership <geoloc:154.123,0.1> and
                  > asked about service."
                  >
                  > In the much the same way as they would quote a URL:
                  >
                  > "I went to the new local Ford <http://www.ford.com> dealership and
                  > asked about service."

                  Why not http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geohash ?

                  Cheers
                  P.
                • Hal Mueller
                  I think having a standard URI-looking thing is more important than being able to squeeze in every possible parameter. This would be very cool if it caught on.
                  Message 8 of 17 , Jul 3, 2008
                  • 0 Attachment
                    I think having a standard URI-looking thing is more important than
                    being able to squeeze in every possible parameter. This would be very
                    cool if it caught on. In particular, would be a nice add-on for
                    iPhone, and would be a way to give more third-party software access to
                    maps beyond Google Maps.

                    The use case is being able to state, succinctly in a Twitter tweet or
                    email text, where something is. Now you might want to specify the map
                    more explicitly. "Altitude" doesn't really do that unless you assume
                    some field of view. "Radius" seems more useful to me if you're going
                    to allow that. Either altitude or radius needs a way to specify units,
                    as I don't think there's a reasonable default for all regions/all user
                    domains.

                    "Pan/tilt" would allow you to specify a 3D view. But at that point I
                    think we've gone past what would be reasonable for a human to type
                    into text. I can envision a program wanting to specify a bunch of
                    stuff (like what map layers are shown). Coming up with a URI that
                    covers all possible parameters and is also human-usable is a tall
                    order though. Maybe having two separate URI schemes is a better
                    approach.

                    Hal
                  • Anthony Cartmell
                    ... Ah, I see. Do you want that code displayed to the user as-is, or rendered somehow by the browser? If you just want a link, an http URL that returns a KML
                    Message 9 of 17 , Jul 3, 2008
                    • 0 Attachment
                      > "I went to the new local Ford dealership <geoloc:154.123,0.1> and
                      > asked about service."

                      Ah, I see. Do you want that code displayed to the user as-is, or rendered
                      somehow by the browser?

                      If you just want a link, an http URL that returns a KML or GPX document
                      would work, using whatever mapping software the user has installed?

                      If you're looking for something that's embedded, perhaps the various
                      geotagging formats described at Wikipedia might be worth looking into?
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geotagging

                      and the two markup templates used for geotagging Wikipedia articles:

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Coor_title_dms
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Coord
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:PrefixIndex&from=Geolinks&namespace=10
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:PrefixIndex&from=Mapit&namespace=10

                      Sadly not everyone uses the same format in Wikipedia, as geonames.org has
                      discovered.

                      HTH,

                      Anthony
                      --
                      www.fonant.com - Quality web sites
                    • Simon Slavin
                      ... That s exactly it. Obviously my first explanation was poor but the second one was understandable. ... Radius is a very good idea. Thank you. And since
                      Message 10 of 17 , Jul 3, 2008
                      • 0 Attachment
                        On 3 Jul 2008, at 7:57pm, Hal Mueller wrote:

                        > I think having a standard URI-looking thing is more important than
                        > being able to squeeze in every possible parameter. This would be very
                        > cool if it caught on. In particular, would be a nice add-on for
                        > iPhone, and would be a way to give more third-party software access to
                        > maps beyond Google Maps.

                        That's exactly it. Obviously my first explanation was poor but the
                        second one was understandable.

                        > "Altitude" doesn't really do that unless you assume
                        > some field of view. "Radius" seems more useful to me if you're going
                        > to allow that.

                        Radius is a very good idea. Thank you. And since you can leave out
                        any parameters you don't want to specify, allowing for it just means
                        one extra comma, and only for links which include direction and tilt
                        information. My preferred units for both altitude and radius would be
                        metres.

                        > "Pan/tilt" would allow you to specify a 3D view. But at that point I
                        > think we've gone past what would be reasonable for a human to type
                        > into text.

                        It's specifically for people like photographers and people who do
                        other types of scanning. And I'd imagine that the links would be
                        created automatically from EXIF information or by other software.

                        On 3 Jul 2008, at 8:22pm, Anthony Cartmell wrote:

                        >> "I went to the new local Ford dealership <geoloc:154.123,0.1> and
                        >> asked about service."
                        >
                        > Ah, I see. Do you want that code displayed to the user as-is, or
                        > rendered
                        > somehow by the browser?

                        I've been toying with this question. A nice way to render it would be
                        to have a single, poor resolution, image of a world map built into the
                        OS. The software could show the location as a dot or arrow on the
                        map, zoomed in if appropriate. The map could either be rendered
                        inline, or as a window that pops up if you hover your mouse cursor
                        over the link. I don't think there's any need to define this in my
                        specification: implementers will have their own ideas what it should
                        look like.

                        > If you just want a link, an http URL that returns a KML or GPX
                        > document
                        > would work, using whatever mapping software the user has installed?


                        I think it should behave like an http link. If you're reading the
                        message the link will just sit there. After all, many people reading
                        the message will know where the author lives or not be curious about
                        the exact placement of the dealership, so they don't care about the
                        link. But clicking on the link should fire up the user's favourite
                        way of viewing geoloc details. For many people, using a conventional
                        computer connected to the internet, this would probably be Google Maps
                        or Google Earth. But there's nothing to stop the handler being
                        configurable: users may have an alternative favourite mapping
                        application.

                        Simon.
                      • magnells
                        ... There is already proposal (internet draft) within the IETF geopriv working group for a geolocation URI. A Uniform Resource Identifier for Geographic
                        Message 11 of 17 , Jul 4, 2008
                        • 0 Attachment
                          --- In gpsxml@yahoogroups.com, Simon Slavin <slavins@...> wrote:

                          > So how does one get started defining such a thing ? Would the URL
                          > format be appropriate:
                          >
                          > <geoloc:54.123,1.234>
                          >
                          > or is there something better ?

                          There is already proposal (internet draft) within the IETF geopriv
                          working group for a geolocation URI.

                          "A Uniform Resource Identifier for Geographic Locations ('geo' URI)"

                          It is very similar to what you are suggesting. The document may be
                          found at:
                          http://tools.ietf.org/id/draft-mayrhofer-geopriv-geo-uri-00.txt
                        • Simon Slavin
                          ... Thanks very much for bringing this to my attention. I had googled several ways for such a thing but failed to find this document. Simon.
                          Message 12 of 17 , Jul 5, 2008
                          • 0 Attachment
                            On 4 Jul 2008, at 8:01pm, magnells wrote:

                            > There is already proposal (internet draft) within the IETF geopriv
                            > working group for a geolocation URI.
                            >
                            > "A Uniform Resource Identifier for Geographic Locations ('geo' URI)"
                            >
                            > It is very similar to what you are suggesting. The document may be
                            > found at:
                            > http://tools.ietf.org/id/draft-mayrhofer-geopriv-geo-uri-00.txt

                            Thanks very much for bringing this to my attention. I had googled
                            several ways for such a thing but failed to find this document.

                            Simon.
                          • Andy Mabbett
                            In message , Simon Slavin writes ... It s unlikely that one standard
                            Message 13 of 17 , Jul 12, 2008
                            • 0 Attachment
                              In message <5CF6D2BD-1071-493B-8952-66473D7C2B3A@...>,
                              Simon Slavin <slavins@...> writes

                              >>> I
                              >>> suspect that many internet messages will soon include longitude and
                              >>> latitude information. This is fine but it would be convenient if all
                              >>> these cites were in a standard format.

                              >> Define "internet messages".
                              >
                              >email messages, blog entries and comments, web pages, usenet messages,
                              >Instant Messages. If possible, should be useful in SMS as well.

                              It's unlikely that one "standard format" will suit all those media.

                              >I have no idea what Twitter messages look like

                              140 characters, for example:

                              <http://twitter.com/pigsonthewing/statuses/849487036>

                              so (as with SMS) brevity is important.

                              >but you can encode
                              >URLs in most IM systems I've seen and the software can deal with them
                              >in useful ways. Can someone who Twitters tell me if URLs work okay ?

                              Yes, but they're usually converted to "TinyURLs":

                              <http://tinyurl.com>

                              for the above reason.

                              >People on another list told me that any format I invent

                              Don't invent; reuse. The Twitter post cited above:

                              Wonder if anyone is parsing #geotagged posts like this:
                              #geo:lat:52.478342 #geo:long:-1.895389 ( #birminghamuk #rotunda
                              #geo #geotag)

                              (where the hash prefix denotes tags) reuses the "Machine Tag" aka
                              "Triple Tag" format:

                              <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_tag>

                              as used on Flickr:

                              <http://flickr.com/photos/pigsonthewing/2360534419/>

                              and elsewhere.

                              >had better be
                              >able to deal with direction as well as position, so I expanded my
                              >format to five parameters:
                              >
                              ><geoloc:latitude,longitude,altitude,direction,tilt>

                              Though you only need to encode all those attributes in some cases (The
                              Rotunda doesn't move!), machine tags would cope with all of them.

                              Machine tags can also be used on blogs, and in regular HTML pages:

                              <a href="http://example.com.tags/geo:lat:52.479692" rel="tag">
                              geo:lat:52.479692
                              </a>

                              as on:

                              <http://pigsonthewing.wordpress.com/2007/11/23/oops/>


                              Coordinates in HTML can also be marked up using the geo microformat:

                              <http://microformats.org/wiki/geo>

                              thus:

                              <span class="geo">
                              <span class="latitude">
                              52.479692
                              </span>,
                              <span class="longitude">
                              -1.905848
                              </span>
                              </span>



                              Incidentally, there is a proposal for a URI syntax for coordinates:

                              <http://tools.ietf.org/id/draft-mayrhofer-geopriv-geo-uri-00.txt>

                              --
                              Andy Mabbett
                              Says "NO! to compulsory UK ID Cards": <http://www.no2id.net/>
                              and: "Free Our Data": <http://www.freeourdata.org.uk>
                              (both also on Facebook)
                            • Simon Slavin
                              ... Yes, I ve seen that tagging format. Unfortunately, email and web software isn t already programmed to know what to do when it encounters it. That s why I
                              Message 14 of 17 , Jul 12, 2008
                              • 0 Attachment
                                On 12 Jul 2008, at 7:14pm, Andy Mabbett wrote:

                                > Don't invent; reuse. The Twitter post cited above:
                                >
                                > Wonder if anyone is parsing #geotagged posts like this:
                                > #geo:lat:52.478342 #geo:long:-1.895389 ( #birminghamuk #rotunda
                                > #geo #geotag)
                                >
                                > (where the hash prefix denotes tags) reuses the "Machine Tag" aka
                                > "Triple Tag" format:
                                >
                                > <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_tag>

                                Yes, I've seen that tagging format. Unfortunately, email and web
                                software isn't already programmed to know what to do when it
                                encounters it. That's why I used a URI scheme.

                                >> <geoloc:latitude,longitude,altitude,direction,tilt>
                                >
                                > Though you only need to encode all those attributes in some cases


                                Yep. I would imagine that almost all uses will use only the first two
                                parameters. I added another one, prompted by Hal Mueller's post to
                                this thread: 'radius'. If anyone wants to read my current
                                specification of my idea, see

                                http://www.hearsay.demon.co.uk/geoloc/index.html

                                Simon.
                              • Andy Mabbett
                                In message , Simon Slavin writes ... Yes; you said you wanted to be
                                Message 15 of 17 , Jul 13, 2008
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  In message <FAA4D050-0516-4546-9516-57A4DEF5325D@...>,
                                  Simon Slavin <slavins@...> writes

                                  >
                                  >On 12 Jul 2008, at 7:14pm, Andy Mabbett wrote:
                                  >
                                  >> Don't invent; reuse. The Twitter post cited above:
                                  >>
                                  >> Wonder if anyone is parsing #geotagged posts like this:
                                  >> #geo:lat:52.478342 #geo:long:-1.895389 ( #birminghamuk #rotunda
                                  >> #geo #geotag)
                                  >>
                                  >> (where the hash prefix denotes tags) reuses the "Machine Tag" aka
                                  >> "Triple Tag" format:
                                  >>
                                  >> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_tag>

                                  >Yes, I've seen that tagging format.

                                  Yes; you said you wanted to be able to "quote" geolocation...

                                  > Unfortunately, email and web software isn't already programmed to know
                                  >what to do when it encounters it. That's why I used a URI scheme.

                                  >If anyone wants to read my current specification of my idea, see
                                  >
                                  >http://www.hearsay.demon.co.uk/geoloc/index.html

                                  ...but now it seems that you want to link to some sort of representation
                                  of a geolocation. As I pointed out in my last post:

                                  there is a proposal for a URI syntax for coordinates:

                                  <http://tools.ietf.org/id/draft-mayrhofer-geopriv-geo-uri-00.txt>

                                  If you see some sort of problem with that, it would probably be more
                                  helpful for you to collaborate with its authors, than to propose an
                                  alternative scheme.


                                  Incidentally, there's an error in the example I gave;
                                  "#geo:long:-1.895389" should be "#geo:lon:-1.895389" ("lon" not "long").

                                  --
                                  Andy Mabbett
                                  Says "NO! to compulsory UK ID Cards": <http://www.no2id.net/>
                                  and: "Free Our Data": <http://www.freeourdata.org.uk>
                                  (both also on Facebook)
                                • Simon Slavin
                                  ... It doesn t have a place for the other parameters (to which I ve since inserted radius after altitude). Also, I m reluctant to use geohashing because it s
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Jul 13, 2008
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    On 3 Jul 2008, at 5:56pm, Pierpaolo Bernardi wrote:

                                    > On 7/3/08, Simon Slavin <slavins@...> wrote:
                                    >> On 3 Jul 2008, at 3:06pm, Anthony Cartmell wrote:
                                    >>
                                    >>>>> <geoloc:latitude,longitude,altitude,direction,tilt>
                                    >
                                    > Why not http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geohash ?

                                    It doesn't have a place for the other parameters (to which I've since
                                    inserted 'radius' after altitude).

                                    Also, I'm reluctant to use geohashing because it's not human-
                                    readable. SatNavs and hand-held devices show raw degrees so it's easy
                                    for someone to type those into a computer, or take them from the a
                                    computer to their SatNav. With geohashes you need a calculation to
                                    convert one form to another. I think SatNav users would consider it
                                    too 'computery' for them to use.

                                    Simon.
                                  • Carlos Tejo
                                    Hej! ... There is a tutorial from the people of RDFa (W3C) about Adding Geolocation information to HTML that maybe is useful in that point
                                    Message 17 of 17 , Jul 14, 2008
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      Hej!
                                      > Machine tags can also be used on blogs, and in regular HTML pages:
                                      >
                                      > <a href="http://example.com.tags/geo:lat:52.479692" rel="tag">
                                      > geo:lat:52.479692 </a>
                                      >
                                      > as on: <http://pigsonthewing.wordpress.com/2007/11/23/oops/>
                                      >
                                      > Coordinates in HTML can also be marked up using the geo microformat:
                                      > <http://microformats.org/wiki/geo>
                                      > thus:
                                      > <span class="geo">
                                      > <span class="latitude">52.479692</span>,
                                      > <span class="longitude">-1.905848</span>
                                      > </span>
                                      >
                                      There is a "tutorial" from the people of RDFa (W3C) about "Adding
                                      Geolocation information to HTML" that maybe is useful in that point

                                      http://rdfa.info/wiki/Geo-tutorial

                                      Regards,

                                      Carlos Tejo
                                    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.