The Map is the Territory
May 18, 2005 9:39 PM   Subscribe

The natural extension of Google and Flickr so that personalized maps are created of geotagged photos. Add "geo:lat=xx.xxxx", "geo:lon=xx.xxxx" and "geotagged" to your Flickr tags and they go into the system. The possibilities are pretty wide open.
Ain't technology grand?
posted by fenriq (20 comments total)
To me, the interesting thing here is that Flickr is now a Yahoo!-owned company. Will one of the two companies intentionally break compatibility (and risk the PR fallout), or will they quietly accept the intermingling of their services and hope that, if the intermingled service grows popular, they get more brand recognition associated with it than their competitor does?
posted by davejay at 9:42 PM on May 18, 2005

Good point, davejay. I bet Yahoo's working quite hard to get their maps up to Google's level and then they can switch over or even offer either.
posted by fenriq at 9:45 PM on May 18, 2005

Oh, man! Al Gore has really let himself go... poor guy.
posted by Kattullus at 10:07 PM on May 18, 2005

I wish that it would have a big map with all the geobloggers... y'know, something like the Googlemaps+Craigslist thing.
posted by Kattullus at 10:09 PM on May 18, 2005

Nifty! I can make a map of concerts my cameraphone ends up snagging images from.

The Google vs Yahoo! angle is interesting as well. I wonder how that will play out.
posted by DyRE at 1:31 AM on May 19, 2005

I've been doing a bit of this through Flickr but I am not all that sold that the routine they're using to scrape the geodata off the Flickr photos is working correctly.

[apologies for self links, but they're relevant here]

If you look at my photos which are "geotagged" on Flickr, there are 7.

However, if you look me up on the Geobloggers site, only 3 show up.

These have been geotagged for a few days now, so the site should have assimilated them by now.

Still and all, a very very cool idea and kudos to those who have put in the hard work to make it happen.
posted by LondonYank at 1:36 AM on May 19, 2005

ummmmm...... I will probably get yelled at for asking this. But how do you geotag a photo? Do you have to do it manually? Or do some cameras automatically add that info to the image?
posted by Mr_Zero at 1:40 AM on May 19, 2005

Mr_Zero: Try this
posted by LondonYank at 1:51 AM on May 19, 2005

Oops, I meant to say that, yes, a few cameras do have built-in GPS, and I would be surprised if it doesn't start to become a standard feature on higher-end models in the next few years.

If you included information about which direction the camera was facing, and the angle of elevation (in other words, where the camera was pointing at the time) and included this in each shot's EXIF data, then you are talking some serious coolness - possibly even being able to reverse-extrapolate what a given location / building looked like at a given time. The possibilities are limitless.
posted by LondonYank at 1:55 AM on May 19, 2005

Ain't technology grand?

Sure, when it's used properly, and not proprietarily. Tag your Lat/Long in the EXIF data. No slag on Flickr, mind you. I guess I'm going to have to write my own PHP scraper to integrate this with all JPG images, not just the *blech* Flash images in Flickr.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:54 AM on May 19, 2005

Civil_D - I think Flickr just moved away from using Flash - except for some special cases (rotating images, sldeshows, etc.).
posted by kokogiak at 4:38 AM on May 19, 2005

This will be much cooler when gets data for the rest of the world. Still, pretty nifty. [And I second what Civil_Disobient said.]
posted by louie at 6:58 AM on May 19, 2005

kokoglak is right. Here's the link.
posted by danb at 7:08 AM on May 19, 2005

It's a shame you can't click on the little photos that pop up on the maps to launch the relevant page on Flickr - renders the whole thing ever so slightly pointless, doesn't it?

(Apologies if this is something to do with my elderly computer, and you can indeed click through.)
posted by jack_mo at 10:50 AM on May 19, 2005

Shouldn't there be a "time of photo" parameter?
posted by rhruska at 11:03 AM on May 19, 2005

Maybe this should go to "Ask MetaFilter", but it there isn't a lot to discuss. How do you point google maps to a latitude/longitude location? It's obviously possible, as these guys are doing it, but google doesn't say.
posted by team lowkey at 11:38 AM on May 19, 2005

Hackaday discusses that here.

google maps has a single query parameter in which you specify both latitude and longitude. the parameter name is ‘sll’ and has the format [latitude]%2C[longitude].
posted by OpinioNate at 2:27 PM on May 19, 2005

Thanks, OpinioNate! I can't imagine why they don't have an interface for this.
posted by team lowkey at 2:56 PM on May 20, 2005

Wow, turns out the PHP is really easy, too. Now I just have to add coords to pics. For those interested (and still reading), here is how you can translate an image's EXIF information into a Google map with PHP:

$exif = read_exif_data ('FILENAME.jpg');
$long = $exif['GPSLongitude'];
$lat = $exif['GPSLatitude'];
$imgmap = "" . $lat . "%2C" . $long;

echo $imgmap;

Easy-breazy-beautiful Google Maps.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:51 PM on May 20, 2005

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