Summer Mapping Project


Turn your summer memories into a visual journey! Use Python script to automate GPS-tagged image mapping on CartoDB.

This post may describe functionality for an old version of CARTO. Find out about the latest and cloud-native version here.
Summer Mapping Project


With summer starting to wrap up in the Northern Hemisphere  so are trips to the beach  the mountains  or anywhere in between. What better time than now to highlight all the memories made with your GPS mobile device?

I recently took the train from Beijing  China to St. Petersburg  Russia on my honeymoon. Being a map scientist  I was obviously thinking about maps the whole way  and was able to find some nice ways to track my journey.

Data Collection Toolkit



Great Wall


Automation and Parsing

What felt left out was how to incorporate the geo-tagged images I took on my phone. To be able to do this  I needed:

Naturally  I decided to write a script to automate the whole process. My script is available in my GitHub repo img-mapping.

This Python script extracts the GPS data from each image  pushes each image to an Amazon Web Services S3 bucket  inserts the latitude  longitude  and image URL into a CSV table  and then uses CartoDB's Import API to get the data in my account.



Olkhon Island and Lake Baikal



Next I logged into my CartoDB account to create the map. I made a multilayer map with the bottom layer from the GeoJSON of the train line mentioned above  the second layer the CSV I got from my MovesApp  and the third layer markers representing the position where the pictures were taken. I also threw on a Torque layer for good measure to visualize our position in the time dimension.

The last step was configuring the hovers on the image layer so that the images show when their markers are inspected. Using mustache template notation  you can grab data associated with the marker and have it rendered in HTML. For instance  my templates were styled like this to show images:

{% highlight html %}
{% raw %}




{% endraw %}

What kinds of maps can you make for your summer project? Feel free to fork my script and improve on it!

Want more to do? Check out our tutorial on Fulcrum with CartoDB for mapping mobile data. The fitness app Strava allow you to export your data as GPX  which can visualized with CartoDB. If you want some courses to work through  check out our Map Academy.

Happy Mapping!