Geo-locating|Pay attention to every detail like Sherlock Holmes!

This was the first time that I learned how to geo-locate something in a image or video that completely unfamiliar to me. I have to say it is quite challenging and sometimes even freaked me out. But I really enjoy the process, which made me feel like a deteclive like Sherlock Holmes! The geo-locating skill is extremely useful for journalists to look for clues and evidence for their stories. It helps improve our patience and observation ability.I greatly appreciate this chance to get familiar wit it.

Here is my exercise report.

A. Image


I was really excited when I first saw this image because I felt I had been to somewhere near this location. These skyscrapers and the white bridge in the middle looked very familiar. I guessed it was near Central or Admiralty. Then I noticed the tags posted in comments. Bingo! It’s Admiralty! These words show that there was a student strike at Admiralty in Hong Kong.

Now I need google map to confirm its position accurately. There were 4 clues that I could find out from the image. I highlighted them in order as shown below:


  1. Students sit on steps circled by a green belt. I guess it might be a small square or garden.
  2. The white overpass is very conspicuous. It’s probably close to the admiralty station according to my memory.
  3. The shape of this building is kind of special, and it has a long aerial standing at the top. These features can help us recognize it better.
  4. This mountain opposite to the shooting location could help us find direction in the street view of google map as well.

I followed these clues and searched “Admiralty MTR Station” firstly. Overlooking angle of the whole street was very confusing. I had no idea but only to move my mouse and zoom in. Then I started to use street view and move around to see if there are any clues. After half a minute, I got it! I found the conspicuous overpass in the map.


So the shooting position should be the direction of the arrow below:


Then I turned around the compass in google map, and found a very similar round square in front of the government building:


I zoomed in it to check if it was.


Right! All the features were matched! The shooting location was exactly the round square in front of the Central Government Building at Admiralty of Hong Kong.


For me this was the most tough one. I firstly noticed the tags[#Tsunami #Antofagasta #alert #earthquake]because they are in English that I can recognize. I was not familiar with “Antofagasta” so I googled it and found it’s a port city in northern Chile. Then I used google translate to see what the only but long comment means below the video. The result let me down because it was a reporter of Storyful asking for forwarding this video, useless for locating the shooting point…So I went back to these tags which should indicate that there was an earthquake happened in northern Chile, then inputting “antofagasta tsunami earthquake alert” in google and saw what was going on. The first result came from BBC News which shows a quake of 8.2 magnitude struck off northern Chile in April 2014. But the pictures and videos in the story have no similarities to the objects in the video above. I noticed the in the comment. Maybe add “storyful” to search? I tried but fruitless. After half an hour I almost looked through all the related stories and webpages, I still had no idea where was the shooting location.

I realized I had to change my mind. Only relying on news, blogs or websites reporting quake statistics doesn’t make sense any to locating. Suddenly I realized perhaps there were some follow-up posts about the earthquake in this account. Then I quickly opened the blogger’s album and located to the place around the video. The result was amazing! I found another picture(as following)shooting a church-style building which is very similar to that in the video!


After I zoomed in the webpage, a miracle happened!


It clearly shows this building is a hospital and its name is Hospital del Salvador! I was really excited and googled its address immediately. It is No.364 Salvador Avenue, Providencia, Santiago, Chile. GOT IT!  So the shooting location must be a building diagonally opposite to Hospital del Salvador on Salvador Avenue of Providencia in Santiago Province of Chile.

C. Video 2

This is much easier than the previous one.  I googled the tag #Ferguson, which shows it is a city in St. Louis County, Missouri, United States. It might be the city where the video taken but not sure. So I double-checked the poster’s Facebook page. It shows he is located at St. Louis MO. Then I noticed there was a key word in comments: curfew. In this case, I tried to google “ ferguson curfew”, and a story from The New York Times came out –Midnight Curfew in Effect for Ferguson.

I looked through the article and found an important clue:


So this protest was shot on West Florissant Avenue of Ferguson.

Another clue in the video is the big and conspicuous road sign of Mcdonald’s.


So, I searched “ Mcdonald’s West Florissant Avenue” on Google Map.


The street view below told me this was exactly the shooting location.


So the shooting location was in front of the Mcdonald’s on 9131 W Florissant Ave, St. Louis, MO, US.

D. UGC video Little Girl Learns to Irish Tap Dance on Galway Street

I think Storyful is a very good platform to look for UGC videos from social media so I went to its facebook page to see if there is any appropriate video that I need. After looking through their recent posts, I found a really interesting one – a little girl learning Irish tap dancing on street. The description below suddenly draw me in and the little girl is super adorable.


From the video description it is obvious that the street is in Ireland. Then I clicked the source – Galway now Magazine (as shown below). It was based in Galway City of Ireland.

%e5%b1%8f%e5%b9%95%e5%bf%ab%e7%85%a7-2016-10-10-%e4%b8%8b%e5%8d%885-37-15So this video was most likely took in Galway. Then I need to check which street they were on. The most conspicuous clue is the shop with yellow signs besides the dancers. But the title is blurred. So I clicked the original Youtube link subconsciously to figure it out.


This more detailed headline amazed me! It directly shows the name of the street. Things were not so easy, however, when I was curious about this magazine and clicked their original video on Facebook, the longer description confused me.


It says the video was shot on Shop Street. So “Galway Street” means Street of Galway? I did not sure. Luckily I got another clue at that moment. After zooming in the original video I found the name of the shop near them was EVERGREEN. So I just tried to search “ evergreen shop street Ireland” on Google Map. It came out!

%e5%b1%8f%e5%b9%95%e5%bf%ab%e7%85%a7-2016-10-10-%e4%b8%8b%e5%8d%886-14-03The shop in the picture is the same as that in the video. So the shooting location turns out. But another interesting thing is the address of this shop on Google map is 1 Mainguard Street. So what is Mainguard Street? Is there any relationship between Shop Street and Maingurd Street? With curiosity, I input “shop street Ireland” only in map to saw if Mainguard Street was nearby.

%e5%b1%8f%e5%b9%95%e5%bf%ab%e7%85%a7-2016-10-10-%e4%b8%8b%e5%8d%886-20-26%e5%89%af%e6%9c%acFantastic! As I highlighted above, it turned out that the Evergreen shop was exactly in the intersection of these two streets. So the dancer and little girl were dancing in the intersection of Shop Street and Mainguard Street in Galway City of Ireland.


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