Geotagging Public Broadcasting

In addition to KQED’s Quest Explorations is there anyone else out there Geotagging their stories within public broadcasting? More importantly, is there any kind of a national initiative to get stations / webcasters to start doing this?

I’ve have testing the ability to map KJZZ’s news stories here:

using, for example, the following rss feed:

I’ve also started testing this with Yahoo Pipes.

It would be interesting to see what a world map would look like if NPR was geotagging their stories, or what a national map would look like if we aggregated stories from public broadcasting stations across the country.

Are there other stations doing this, or considering doing this, with their stories? If so, should there a dialog between stations about aggregating stories and about the possibilties and best practices for mapping stories?

Is there some kind of national initiative for at stations across the system to start serving their content in this way. Is there support for Andy Carvin’s Election 2.0 Task Force where he says:

we must promote open standards for aggregating content – consistent tagging protocols at the station level, heavy use of RSS to pull content together, distributed content modules that can exist simultaneously on local and national websites, etc – to allow all us to mix and mashup these resources so they can surface at the local and national level.

What are your thoughts and experiences?

Tags: , , , ,

  1. Craig Rosa’s avatar

    Hi John:

    Craig from QUEST here. I appreciate you bringing up the topic of geotagging public media stories. I think it has huge potential.

    We too have begun adding geotags to our QUEST RSS video feed for iTunes and other RSS readers. Similar to what you’ve done with your feed above.

    We’ve adopted the georss standard, which makes it really simple:

    Another intriguing possibility is to just mark up existing/ongoing content with geo info via microformats:

    If the big question of the last couple years on the web was about personalization (the “who?”) then the next big question is about localization (the “where?”), And who better to provide news and stories about local issues than public media? Community is about place, and we can only serve our community better by making place a factor in our web services.

    Has there been any discussion of geo information regarding PBCore? I didn’t immediately see it in the spec.

    p.s. Also, just a quick point of clarification, all of the TV and Radio stories for QUEST are geotagged and presented on a Google map on the QUEST home page as well:

  2. John Tynan’s avatar

    Hi Craig!

    Thanks for the comment! I appreciate your mentioning microformats, lending your support to this idea and clarifying its relevancy to our mission as broadcasters.

    I have not heard about geotagging as part of PubCore, I’ll post the question to the pubcore listserv and let you know.

    Let’s keep in touch about this over time.

    Best regards,

    John T.

  3. John Tynan’s avatar

    Here’s a reply from Paul Burrows at WGBH:

    The quick answer would be to use the *coverage* and *coverageType* metadata fields, specifically using *spatial coverage*. Geophysical enumerations, rather than place names, could be folded into this field, like they are with Dublin Core.

    On Dublin Core’s web page…

    They state under the “Term Name coverage”…
    “Spatial topic may be a named place or a location specified by its geographic coordinates.”

    This method can be considered a legitimate use of *spatial coverage* within PBCore.

    Paul Burrows

  4. Tim Olson’s avatar

    As recording devices increasingly record GPS location at point of capture, it will be interesting to see the applications and uses that develop as we make the data available.

    Tim Olson

  5. andy carvin’s avatar

    I still haven’t had a chance to fully explore yahoo pipes, but I’m wondering if its “content analysis” tool could be used to determine the location of a story, then place it on a map. I know this wouldn’t always work well – like a story about a soldier’s homecoming from Iraq to Iowa could be displayed as taking place in Iraq even though it’s in Iowa – but it might be an interesting way to experiment and see how content would get displayed.

  6. andy carvin’s avatar

    Here’s a crude attempt at mapping NPR world news stories using Pipes. As you’ll see, it puts some stories in the right location, but not others.

  7. John Tynan’s avatar

    Andy, do you think NPR will start to include Latitude / Longitude as part of the metadata associated with each story?

    Any stop-gap measures that you all can put in place for the immediate present?

    Do you see how something like this would be useful for things like national elections, etc.?

    Now, if we could get buy in from all reporters at the station level, and from stations throughout the network to include location information as part of their rss feed…


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *