GDPR – and photographers

Data protection is a good thing, however there may be unpleasant surprises in the GDPR. Photos are data, that is personal data. So many photographers are worried – for instance: is street photography illegal from now on?

Here are two voices – a photographer and a business oriented approach to images.

A photographer’s concerns

Below you hear a photographers concerns. For instance can you take a group photo at a party? Actually such a heinous action may be a crime.

Marketing and photos

Below you’ll find a business oriented approach. It’s mostly about marketing and photos. So if you use Mailchimp or similar for marketing it is very relevant for marketers.

Perhaps even this blog post is an evil criminal offence. You see pictures here. Am I allowed to share the links? In some ways the GDPR has good intensions, however parts of the GDPR is lawyer BS.

For multimedia designers there are many concerns here:

  • How about images from APIs such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest?
  • Will street photo be illegal in the EU?
  • What are the consequences for street, event and similar photographers?
  • Surveilance cameras?

At the moment certain countries use the GDPR as an excuse for censorship. Photographs of public spaces, such as monuments may be restricted. So what started as good intensions for data protection created monsters – as is often the case in legislation.

Mapbox Map in a WordPres Post

Add a Mapbox Map in PageBuilder

So you have styled a map on Mapbox, now you want to use it in a WordPress post – but how can we do this in Pagebuilder? The map you see below is a costum Open Street Map style made in Mapbox. The map has a datalayer imported via Open Data Aarhus. On the map you see where you can pay and park in Aarhus, Denmark. Now the present page is made in Pagebuilder. If you don’t know how to use Page builder I’ll add a link to an online tutorial.

Mapbox Sample


The Pagebuilder Workflow

In Pagebuilder you must:

  1. Add a row.
  2. Add a Custom HTML widget

Then you may add the HTML that you need in the edit field. The code used on this page is demonstrated in the widget below or to the left.

Caveats: in the code an external stylesheet is loaded in line 6. That isn’t elegant at all, but for now it will do the trick. The code snippet is also a demonstration of the fact, that you can use JavaScript on a WordPress page or in a post.

 

Code sample

Pagebuilder Tutorial by Siteorigin

Jsconf in Reykjavik

I’m at the JsConf in Reykjavik. The venue is the fantastic Harpa, with wonderful artwork by Olafur Eliasson. We live in the hotel with the Sky Lounge just across the street.


View Larger Map

Today art and code mixed into an amazing creative cocktail. I cannot wait to experiment with the creative libraries from these wizards of code.

Augmented Reality

There were several talks on JavaScriot as a creative tool. Raisa Cuevas introduced to augmented reality, and she introduced several creative tools, such as:

Google ARCore Brings Augmented Reality to Android

https://threejs.org/

https://poly.google.com/

https://github.com/google-ar/three.ar.js/tree/master

https://github.com/jeromeetienne/AR.js/blob/master/README.md

 

Paint Splatter: The making of an interactive artwork

Halldór Eldjárn & Þórður Hans Baldursson introduced the code behind the interactive artwork decorating Harpa this week. On the website http://paint.jsconf.is/ you can choose the colors on the building. They told about the work, and how they wrote the creative code.

 

Creating generative art with Javascript

Then Kate Compton told about her work as an artist / researcher. She used JavaScript for art. Even her dress was made by JavaScript. One of her bon mots was:

“make things that makes things”

You can follow Kate’s work here: http://galaxykate.com/

Among the tools in her toolbox was https://threejs.org/ 

 

The keynote

The first keynote speaker was a nodejs talk, along the lines of this: “version 1.0.4 of XX is not there yet. Please google”. My mind drifted away, but perhaps there were hidden gems for the Nodejs adepts. But at the end of the day JsConf gave many ideas for creative code.

Code is poetry.

Student Projects and WordPress

Twenty Seventeen
Twenty Seventeen – the code in the core themes is poetry. Unfortunately that is not the case in many freemium-premium solutions. Why?
Why is the code in socalled professinal themes so hard to understand? Multimedia students often face problems if they use freemium-premium solutions.

Right now the multimedia students at Business Academy Aarhus work on their exam projects. During the project they’ll create an advanced multimedia solution for a real life client, that must be “powered by WorPress”.

Since they are creative multimedia users, they want to change a given theme either by CSS tweaks, or more advanced code, such as custom pages in PHP via the template hierarchy.

A few students have tried to create themes from scratch or very basic skeleton themes. They get the cocalled “1000 hour” headstart from Underscores.me.

In this way they had free hands for their creative visions.

Other students go for the popular freemium-premium themes with lots of built in drag and drop options. Such themes are very popular in the business, so working with them is a fine preparation for the life and art of the web designer. But if you think that this choice is cheating or a short cut, think again.

Indeed, some of these self-proclaimed “professional” themes play nasty tricks on the web developer. Basic WordPress functionality, such as custom CSS or other standard WordPress functionality is blocked by some themes!

Often the code in “fremium-premium” solutions is quite hard to understand. Not because the code is more “professional”, but because the developers want to protect whatever they think is a “business secret”. The business model is obvious – if you can’t figure out how to use the “free” theme you have to pay … and that’s what I’d call a booby trap!

Perhaps the beginner should avoid such themes. You may think that you buy support, but in the real world you just pay for more problems! And yeah, you could pay in order to solve these problems too …

So the multimedia designers who used the “professional” themes had to work very hard in order to create the solutions with the tweaks they envisioned.

Often what seem to be the “easy way” or “professional solution” isn’t. Like at all. Most web developers would be better off with a standard no fuzzz theme like the core WordPress Theme Twenty Seventeen, or one of the free themes in the WordPress repositories.

If you want to design posts and pages via drag and drop, perhaps it’s the best choice is to use a standard theme with a good clean and easy readable code, and then add something like Siteorigin’s Pagebuilder to the theme.

At the end of the day you could say that it’s a daunting task to create a WordPress theme from scratch. But when I see the efforts the developers face when fighting with the freemium-premium solutions I have to conclude, that these themes is no shortcut at all.