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YouTube layer in GoogleEarth

February 16, 2008 Leave a comment

Hills in Sullivan City AreaGoogle Earth has a layer that consists of YouTube videos, I realize this is old news but I have not had an opportunity to play with this layer until recently. I was really excited when I first started using this layer, as it has the potential to allow somebody to get a feel for an area. I realize that services such as Flickr and Panoramio already this sense of immersion but video would allow it to go one step further. Not only could someone see a particular hill, they could watch how fast someone could transverse the terrain. Not only could someone see how people look like in their local environment, they could see how they act, their manner of speech, their accent, lingo particular to an area, as well as other local characteristics. What a good example of human geography.

North of Rio Grande City

I tested a few geographical areas that I am somewhat familiar with and unfortunately most of the YouTube videos are incorrectly located. The following picture depicts a raceway, Six Flags, some concerts, people interacting in different settings and a few others. However the geography of the place is ranch-land with an arroyo (ravine) running nearby. There are no structures and there are no people.

I looked at the YouTube site for information on how they geotag their videos and the only thing I could find was that users supply the coordinates. This seems rather odd for those places that have multiple geotagged videos that are obviously in the wrong location. Perhaps they use a combination of user geotagged videos and some other automated geotagging algorithm for those videos that are are left blank. That is pure conjecture based on the results I saw in a few select areas.

I looked at other areas and these areas seems to have videos consistent with what I would expect for a given area and video that is inconsistent for certain types of environment. My limited experience with the incorrectly geotagged videos gives me some reservations about accepting all results at face value.

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