I just posted a fairly positive review at MacUpdate, and wanted to address some of my wishes here. The comments in ALL CAPS are really important issues that have to be addressed.

1) The camera time zone and delta should be saved on a per-image basis. Then one can put images from multiple cameras, or the same camera in different time zones, in the same Houdahgeo document.

2) There should be some indication of whether the geoinformation has been exported. My workstyle is to use gps tracks to georef everything I can, and then go back and georef in Google Earth later. It is very difficult to know which images have the same data in Houdahgeo and on disk.

3) Houdahgeo keeps trying to automatically georeference images (like when you change the camera delta). THIS IS VERY BAD FORM, AND MUST BE STOPPED. I worked hard to get my images correctly georef'd, and suddenly they are being changed out from under me with no warning?

4) "Automatically jump to selection in Google Earth" should not activate Google Earth application. How can you browse your images when another app is constantly jumping to the foreground?

5) Updating the lat/lon in a jpg or a sidecar should change the modification date of a file. Not changing the modification date not only confuses the user, but also ensures that backup software does not work (the file is changed, but there is no indication of the change). THIS HAS TO BE CHANGED! If you want to give the user the option to not update the modification date (and so make sure that his backups do not work!), I guess you can, but even this seems like a bad idea.

6) You really should sit down with someone and rethink the user interface. The icons at the top are very confusing. I haven't thought much about it, but I know I can come up with something better, and I am not very good at designing user interfaces.

7) Please use relative paths to save file locations. It is very confusing to move your photos + documents to a different folder or disk, and then see a file that appears to work, but to find out that it doesn't. If you can't do this, at least indicate that a file is missing some other way than by showing a blank preview.

8) I wish that Houdahgeo could add an item to the Services menu "show this image in Google Earth"--then you could just browse your disk and see where an image was taken. Maybe there is such a facility for Macintosh, but I haven't found it, and this would make image management much easier.

Thanks, and sorry for the RANTS, but I feel strongly about some issues.


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And one more request (less important that the above):

9) Is there any way to indicate geoferencing error? Sometimes I can only georeference ± 1 km, other times ± 10 m, and it would be good to indicate this in an image.

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Thank you for the feedback.

1. Currently the document stores only one time zone for the whole project. I have considered changing this, but came to the conclusion that this will be confusing to most users. I will give it some more thought.

2. That's an interesting suggestion.

3. This is the core feature of HoudahGeo: automatic geocoding without user interaction. This should however not override manually entered coordinates. How did you adjust the positions that were later overridden.

4. The idea is to navigate the images using the arrow buttons in the floating window.

5. That's an interesting request. Not changing the timestamp was in fact an often requested feature.

6. I am in the process of re-thibking the interface. I must however say that I am pretty proud of the current incarnation. The 3-step process makes a very complex process appear reasonably simple.

7. That is unfortunately not possible. As long as a project is not saved, it has not reference point to which paths could be relative.

8. That's an interesting idea. I am currently not sure if it is feasible.

9. There are many sources for georeferencing error: GPS precision, timespan between track points, clock accuracy,… Not all of these can be quantified.

Pierre Bernard
Houdah Software s.à r.l.

Houdah Software s. à r. l.

HoudahGeo: One-stop photo geocoding
HoudahSpot: Advanced file search utility
Tembo: Easy and effective file search
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I love the instant feedback on this forum!

Re (2)--if it were my application, I would have columns for "calculated lat-lon" and "image lat-lon" and then the ability to copy one to the other (ie, taking the location in the image and importing to the document, or exporting from the document to the image). You could use your color cues to indicate when they are out of sync.

Re (3)--I changed the camera time (actually I inspected the camera time and hit Cancel), and suddenly the program started to re-geocode all my photos. I hit cancel and closed the document without saving, not knowing what it had done.

Re (4)--I'll give the arrows in the window try, but I still think it shouldn't activate Google Earth. I often want to wander around in time--if I was here at 10AM, and here at 2PM, then my best guess for 12PM is... My problem is that when my GPS can't see the sky (like I place my backpack under a rock), I need to estimate the location using Google Earth and adjacent photos.

Re (5)--I understand why people don't want the "modify time" changed--but I think that they are wrong. Ask them if they want to be sure that changes to their georeferenced images are not backed up.

Also re (5), since there is no indication in the program whether the location in the image is the same as the location in the Houdahgeo document, I tried to use the modify time for this. Currently, it is nearly impossible to tell if the the location shown in the Houdahgeo window is also in the document or not.

Re (7), when you save a document, convert all the absolute references to relative ones, and when you load it convert back to absolute references. Then people can move things around on their disks and usually it will work (as long as the document is closed, and they move everything to the same parent folder), which is better than never working.

Re (9)--any "real" georeferencing effort (like, georeferencing biological specimens) will have an error field. Of course, there is an error to the error, but it is very useful to know if an image location is accurate to ±1 m, or ±1 km. (Imagine trying to do repeat photography of images). I am not asking that Houdahgeo estimate this, but that you give us a place to record it. If there is a standard for this field, then of course you should use that standard.

Cheers, and best wishes


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