Friday, March 28, 2008

Tracking My Photos

Originally uploaded by bitslice

Before, when uploading photos to Flickr, I had to manually edit each picture's description to match with where it was taken, which would be a pain if I had to edit the whole set.

For as long as I can remember, Flickr has this feature that allows you to add specific position information (latitude/longitude pair) to each photo. It also integrates maps and satellite images onto it so you can browse pictures by the place they were taken. I wasn't so interested in it because I didn't have a GPS unit and thought it's too expensive, too large, and too heavy to carry along.

Only until recently I came across those special GPS units designed for tracking photographers (and their photographs, of course). They are compact, light, and in my opinion not expensive (under USD100). They don't have displays, just some status LEDs, and all they do are just recording GPS position on a time interval or a distance basis.

All you need to do is connect the unit to your PC and download the log files. Usually a program is provided to assist you in geocoding (or geotagging) each photo's GPS position. That's all. When you upload your geocoded pictures, if the web supports it, the position will be shown right next to your photo. Check out my picture above to see how it works.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Welcome to Airbus World

During the past few months I'd been training for new aircraft type-rating, an Airbus A330-300. It's much larger than Boeing 737--with a capacity of 305 passengers, comparing to 737's 149.

An aircraft type determines its route. Larger aircrafts fly to further destinations. (But not always the case, I must say.) A330's destinations are located around Asia and the Middle East regions. I was so excited to explore the new places, and of course the new plane. Before each flight I tried to plan my trip during my stay at that place. (Normally after a long flight, crews get a rest period of say 24 hours before flying back.) Sounds like fun, huh?

However, that's only one side of the coin. Further destination means longer flight time, much longer than domestic routes. Sometimes it even takes the whole night. And I believe you can imagine how it's like to stay up late to like 5 or 6 am. It's exhausting! I always went straight to bed after arrival from such flight. Sightseeing? Nope, maybe next time. So far only few places were visited. And my list still grows. Anyway, that's something I've to get used to. Sigh.

I wish I have enough energy to explore more soon!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thai Airways A300-600

Thai Airways A300-600
Originally uploaded by bitslice

A Thai Airways' Airbus 300-600 en route from Beijing to Bangkok on Feb 27th, 2008.

This was shot mid-air over China airspace around Nanning. I was at 11,600 meters (38,100 feet) and they were at 11,000 meters (36,100 feet). We were both heading for Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport (I was back from Shanghai). The newly implemented China RVSM airspace made it possible to spot closer at aircrafts on cruise in the same direction.