Remixing El Presidio

June 4, 2008

Using Flickr to Geospatially Embed Archaeological Interpretation

Presidio iPhone/Memory Map Test

The Presidio Archaeology Lab created an amazing GIS overlay of Sal’s 1792 plan of the original San Francisco Presidio, triangulating the position from excavations performed by the many field schools over the years. Using the GIS overlay as a guide, I recreated the footprint of the 1792 Presidio Quad as a Memory Map in Flickr, accessible by mobile phones and geospatially located.  This is a small part of a larger project of interpretation trails at the San Francisco Presidio, and it factors heavily into my dissertation on emplaced archaeological interpretation.  Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating your own enhanced landscape.

1) Take a screenshot of the area you’d like to annotate.  On Macs you can do this by typing command-shift-3.

2) Edit this image down to the desired size/location.  I usually use photoshop and correct the satellite image for color.

3) Upload this image to Flickr.  You can also use google earth for this same effect, but as of yet, you cannot access google earth from cellphones.

4) Add notes to the photo using Flickr’s toolbar.  When someone moves their mouse over the photo, then the notes appear.  This also works with touch-screen cell phones such as the iphone.  Unfortunately you can only add rectangles, but that should work for Americanist archaeology, at least!  You can also add links to other images inside of the note.

5) Add the photo to Flickr’s map. This gives you a (very) rough lat/long that will allow other people to locate your interpreted data.

6) Embed your photo into your blog/website with Mbedr. Unfortunately I’ve been having problems with this on wordpress–for an example, check out this post on livejournal.  Using Mbedr preserves your flickr notes outside of flickr.


7) You should now be able to access the image on your cellphone, with the notes intact.  This also works on the One Laptop Per Child laptops, which delights me to no end.


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