Flickr geotagging: the best new time suck

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

I haven’t spent this much time on non-productive work since I discovered RSS readers: Flickr’s new geotagging/mapping feature was released this week, and since a lot of my pictures are from my travels, I felt compelled to map them all. Since I tagged most of my photos with the place name, it was pretty easy: just search for all the photos for a location using the tags, then drag and drop them onto the map at that location.

The satellite views can be particularly compelling: try going to this photo of mine, taken at Uluru (Ayer’s Rock) in Australia. Then, under “Additional Information” at the bottom of the right sidebar, note that it says “Taken in Northern Territory, AU” with a (map) link. Click on that link, and you see a popup of the satellite view of this location, which clearly shows the rock in all its enormous glory.

You can also just go to my map, scroll around and click on locations to pop up the photos, but I’m not really keen about how they’ve implemented that since there are a maximum of about 250 photo references on any given map, and my map runs to 6 pages already.

In rereading the Flickr blog post about geotagging, I also noticed a reference to some new Upcoming.org integration: use the tag shown on the Upcoming event page to tag the photos in Flickr, and the photos will show up on the Upcoming page as well as having a direct link back to the event from Flickr. I’m going to head over to the farmer’s market at Nathan Phillips Square at lunch today (an event that I put on Upcoming) and shoot a few pictures to try this out.

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