Mac and Cheese

On May 9, 2009 · Comments Off on Mac and Cheese

I’ve gone Mac! Actually it happened a few weeks ago but it took me a little while to feel like I was fully proficient. I don’t want to turn this into a Mac versus PC discussion — people make choices based on personal reasons — rather, I’ve stumbled across a couple of different mapping features I’ve enjoyed that I’d like to share.


Longtime readers know that I like to throw little video clips onto these entries from time-to-time and they’re all stored on the world’s lamest YouTube channel (voted least likely to go viral). I’m no professional, in fact I’m pretty sure I’m about as opposite as humanly possible. It doesn’t help that my equipment consists of a point and shoot camera combined with a shaky hand. It’s one step up from a cellphone video but not by much. I’m never going to win an Oscar for cinematography just like I’m never going to be an Olympic athlete or a Nobel Laureate. That’s OK. I’ve reconciled with those facts and I manage to lead a happy life.

Anything that might enhance or improve my crappy raw video footage would have to be a good thing, and iMovie delivers. This is a geo-Blog so I’m going to totally ignore every aspect of iMovie except for one. There is a feature that allows a user to embed a map, complete with custom long/lat coordinates and labeling, within the video during the editing process. Check out this screen shot from my most recent video:

Dry Tortugas map from video clip

I’d advise you to not click on it unless you really like lighthouses on windy days (it might be advisable to put it on mute). The video wasn’t created for the Twelve Mile Circle per se, but was actually designed for a page on my permanent site. You see, I have a lighthouse thing along with some other bizarre fixations that you’ll learn about as you follow the Twelve Mile Circle over time. There’s room for that later. What’s important for today is the map not the cheezy video.

Why didn’t I just embed the video on this page? Because if I did then it would look like this:

Does anyone know how to use a different still image on YouTube other than the three default choices they offer?

I’ve totally off point – must be the coffee. Let’s pull this back to a geography topic.


There’s a whole host of ways to sort photos in iPhoto including criteria such as event, date and person (facial recognition). However, I have to say I’m really loving the ability to sort by location. This goes way beyond the name of a town or a neighborhood and straight down to the specific long/lat coordinate at several decimal places. There’s an option to decrease the precision, say if someone wants to tag all of her photos to a park rather than to every spot visited in the park. I’m much too literal for that. You know I’m marking things down to a gnat’s eyelashes and would take it down to a molecular level if indeed that were possible. Here’s a screenshot that provides a good example:

Example of a geotag in iPhoto

Notice that iPhoto includes an interface directly into Google Maps. The user can drop or move the marker at will. No knowledge of longitude or latitude is required. The software also remembers the location so a user doesn’t have to go through this exercise multiple times if several photographs were taken at the same spot.

By the way, this is the same lighthouse featured in the video. It’s called the Garden Key or Tortuga Harbor Light, and you can visit my permanent page if you want to know more about it. It’s way in the middle of nowhere; seventy miles west of Key West.

I do have a special request for the 17.2% of you who visit the Twelve Mile Circle using a Mac: if you know of other mapping features that come standard with a Mac… could you let me know about them? I’ll find them eventually but I sure don’t mind being clued-in early.

On May 9, 2009 · Comments Off on Mac and Cheese

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