Tag Archives: GPS

What journalists need to know to fly a drone

Some of the drones that BBC team brought to the session (Photo: Barbara Maseda)

Some of the drones that BBC team brought to the session (Photo: Barbara Maseda)

Drones – also called unmanned aerial systems (UASs) – can provide spectacular views for TV or online video production which would otherwise be unobtainable. When members of a BBC team specially trained to use drones explained in a special BBC Academy Fusion session what factors journalists should take into account when using drones, Online Journalism masters students Carla Pedret and Barbara Maseda (photos) went along. Here are their tips: Continue reading

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Google Latitude’s Location History provides more opportunities for mobile journalism

This was originally published in Poynter’s E-Media Tidbits last week

Google Latitude – a service that allows people to see where you are – has launched 2 new services – Location History and Location Alerts – that provide some interesting potential for mobile journalism.

location history

Location History (shown above) allows you to “store, view, and manage your past Latitude locations. You can visualize your history on Google Maps and Earth or play back a recent trip in order.”

There are obvious possibilities here for then editing a map with editorial information – if you’re covering a parade, a marathon, or a demonstration you could edit placemarks to add relevant reports as you were posting them (or someone else with access to the account could from the newsroom).

Location Alerts is less obviously useful: this sends you a notification (by email and/or text) when you are near a friend’s location, although as Google explains, it’s a little more clever than that:

“Using your past location history, Location Alerts can recognize your regular, routine locations and not create alerts when you’re at places like home or work. Alerts will only be sent to you and any nearby friends when you’re either at an unusual place or at a routine place at an unusual time. Keep in mind that it may take up to a week to learn your “unusual” locations and start sending alerts.”

There is potential here for making serendipitous contact with readers or contacts, but until Latitude has widespread adoption (its biggest issue for me, and one that may never be resolved), it’s not likely to be useful in the immediate future.

The good thing about Latitude is you can enable it and disable it to suit you, and my own experience is that I only enable it when I want to meet someone using GPS on my phone. To sign up to Google Latitude user, go here. To enable the new features, go to google.com/latitude/apps.

Those are 2 uses I can think of, and I’ve yet to have a serious play – can you think of any others?

Geotagging and news – the mobile future is here

I’ve written before on just how important geotagging will be in preparing for a mobile future – well, now that mobile future is here:

“Apple’s newly unveiled second-generation iPhone includes a news service from the Associated Press which provides stories tailored to an individual user’s location.

“The application uses the phone’s in-built GPS (global positioning system) and serves stories based on the user’s immediate area.”

Now, what’s your excuse?

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