A monolithic or flexible geo-tool?

What I really need and want is a really flexible and useful "geo-tool" software application.

I have been gathering a lot of waypoints, tracks, location histories, notes, geo-photographs, etc. Yet when I want to put my location in a blog post, an email, a website, an article, or add metadata to a file, I have to dig through many programs, files, and then copy and paste. Perhaps even convert between DMS and DDMMSS.

This application should be enable me to store my waypoints and tracks. These would either be loaded from GPX files, hand entered, CSV files, drawn on a map, or geolocated by an street address. In addition, these tracks and waypoints could have time component.

I can then add notes or photographs to these locations and tracks, share these with friends, or easily search for things like "what photos have I taken in Southern Germany before 2004?", or "what's a good 3-5 mile hike I've done?"

Lastly, this tool would easily allow me to do local searches, enter the location latitude/longitude, address, or track information into text fields, as GeoRSS, XML, Microformat, or anything else. Place it directly on my clipboard for pasting, or pop-up a window with the information for me to edit, fill-in, then copy and paste. Or provide a Mac OS X service/hotkey that I would quickly enter this information into the current field in a program, or website.

Any other ideas on what this type of application should do or look-like? Is it a web-application? A desktop application would let me use it "in the field" where I may not have net access. So it could run a local-webserver if that were the case. But my data would have to be able to be private, though shareable is nice too. I could bundle up a track and photos/notes and send them to a friend or post them to a webpage.

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About the Author

Andrew Turner is an advocate of open standards and open data. He is actively involved in many organizations developing and supporting open standards, including OpenStreetMap, Open Geospatial Consortium, Open Web Foundation, OSGeo, and the World Wide Web Consortium. He co-founded CrisisCommons, a community of volunteers that, in coordination with government agencies and disaster response groups, build technology tools to help people in need during and after a crisis such as an earthquake, tsunami, tornado, hurricane, flood, or wildfire.