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 Post subject: Jay Here
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 1:00 am 
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Sesame street
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Hey everybody. My name's Jay and I love to both ski and code. Even though I grew up in non-snowy Arkansas, my dad (who learned to ski at a tiny hill at Westpoint when he was teaching there) would take me skiing for a week every year. Those were my fondest childhood memories with my dad and, starting at age 5, I fell in love with skiing. I also, since around the same age, have been very good with computers. I started programming when I was 7 (on a Commodore 64) and now have a degree in Computer Science from Vassar and am a software engineer consultant for Fortune 500 companies.

I've been working on combining my two passions, to try and get to that point in life that you hear people talk about where they really enjoy going to work, and the result is http://www.snowmeo.com. I'm really scratching my own itch with it: I wanted to see pictures from parts of the mountain besides the 3 or 4 locations where there were web cams and figured people would be posting geo-tagged pictures on social media. The reality has been a bit overwhelming. There's tons of great pictures.

I created a system that filters out all the pictures that aren't relevant and shows a near-real-time view of what it looks like on the mountain. The data stream is really incredible.

I added Mammoth about a month ago and have been blown away by the quality and quantity of pictures. It's been fun enjoying your mountain from afar. A few weeks ago Tony Hawk was there posting pictures on Instagram and those made it up, which was a fun surprise.

Do you think it would be appropriate for me to post a Snowmeo-related thread in another board? I really would love to find people that are into it.

The site doesn't work great with mobile devices now. That's in the works.


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 Post subject: Re: Jay Here
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:42 am 
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Center Bowl
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I don't know much about intagram, and maybe I am missing something, but to me it just looks like you are trying to make money using other people's pictures, which would be super super lame if you ask me.

The snowman already covers us on how the mountain looks after every storm, with much better quality pics, so don't think this is going to be something people here would use.

TGR loves spam like this, maybe you will have better luck there..Good Luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Jay Here
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:20 am 
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Sesame street
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highanxiety wrote:
I don't know much about intagram, and maybe I am missing something, but to me it just looks like you are trying to make money using other people's pictures, which would be super super lame if you ask me.


That would be lame, except that's not how Instagram works. Instagram is a platform that lets people share pictures. The whole premise is that if you post a picture on it, and your profile is public, you intend for it to be seen by people. Snowmeo provides context, consolidating all skiing/snowboarding pictures from specific mountains into a single view, which in turn helps those people share their pictures, get more likes for their pictures, and gain followers.

I'm using Instagram exactly how it's supposed to be used. Instagram provides an API that allows developers access to data for exactly this purpose.

In their FAQ (http://instagram.com/about/faq/) they state:

Quote:
We have adopted a follower model that means if you're "public" on Instagram, anyone can subscribe to follow your photos. We do, however, have a special private option. In this mode, a user can make sure he/she must approve all follow requests before they go through.
...
All photos are public by default which means they are visible to anyone using Instagram or on the instagram.com website. If you choose to make your account private, then only people who follow you on Instagram will be able to see your photos.


And on their privacy page (http://instagram.com/about/legal/privacy/), they state:

Quote:
Users can add or may have Metadata added to their User Content including a hashtag (e.g., to mark keywords when you post a photo), geotag (e.g., to mark your location to a photo), comments or other data. This makes your User Content more searchable by others and more interactive. If you geotag your photo or tag your photo using other's APIs then, your latitude and longitude will be stored with the photo and searchable (e.g., through a location or map feature) if your photo is made public by you in accordance with your privacy settings.


Snowmeo takes advantage of the geotagging feature to find the pictures. So, not only has each person who posted a picture on Instagram made it publicly available, but they've added location information to allow others to find it.

Snowmeo honors the privacy settings and will never even see private photos and will immediately remove photos that become private in the future.

So, what Snowmeo is doing is providing a platform for the sharing of on-mountain pictures. You have people taking pictures and wanting to share them and then you have people wanting to see pictures like that and Snowmeo brings those people together.

As far as making money -- I wish! I would love if it could some day become financially self-sustaining, but for now I pay for everything out of pocket with money that I make consulting. Not to mention the hundreds and hundreds of hours I've spent working on it. The ads on the site are offsetting a small portion of the server costs.

highanxiety wrote:
The snowman already covers us on how the mountain looks after every storm, with much better quality pics, so don't think this is going to be something people here would use.


I was just reading his blog last night. What an incredible resource! I wish we had someone like that around Copper Mountain. I don't think one precludes the existence of the other.

highanxiety wrote:
Good Luck!


Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Jay Here
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 1:55 pm 
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Cornice Bowl
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Best of luck to you buddy, good on ya for goin after your passions...

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Hmmmmmm, need something clever…. oh well, screw it.


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 Post subject: Re: Jay Here
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 2:11 pm 
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Interesting concept Jay. Seems like a great way to really see what conditions are like on the hill at the moment.

If you don't mind me asking, are you adding images solely based on hash tags or geotagging or both or something else?


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 Post subject: Re: Jay Here
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:05 pm 
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Sesame street
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SurfnSnowboard wrote:
If you don't mind me asking, are you adding images solely based on hash tags or geotagging or both or something else?


Not at all -- ask away. The incoming images are all based on geolocation and then the non-relevant images (pictures of dogs and food, for example) are filtered out. I considered using hashtags to expand the data set, but it turned out that wasn't necessary, since there's so much great geotagged data. Also, it helps the quality of the data, I think, to restrict it to that location.


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 Post subject: Re: Jay Here
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:01 pm 
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Food is relevant :)

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http://www.waynesmithimages.com


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 Post subject: Re: Jay Here
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 6:34 pm 
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Sesame street
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Photoho wrote:
Food is relevant :)


Heh. Well, as long as you can see a nice view of a run in the background, I'll allow it. ;) Same goes for dogs.


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