Fun with Flickr

So I was thinking, wouldn’t it be nice to tag one’s photos with the geographical coordinates of where you took them?

Would give you the altruistic, nay vain, idea that your images might be available to other people based upon their interest of the area rather than some arbitrarily assigned metadata such as keywords or a filename. It would also enable a rather funky pin-the-pin-on-the-map showing where in the world you’d been and what you thought were the publishable or memorable images when you got there. Competitive? What, me? 🙂

So I wandered over to my Flickr collection and starting making with their map and by and large it was a fairly easy process, once you’d found it.

Doing Stuff With Maps And Computers is a significant part of my day job, so I was kind of hoping I’d just be able to enter numeric coordinates for each picture. Sadly you had to throw yourself on the mercy of the Yahoo! Map! Gazetteer! to find where you took them and drag and drop the image onto the map. It was a very slick interface, I’m not sure I want to imagine how much effort it took to build. One of my favourite features was a level-of-detail warning message, something along the lines of “You haven’t zoomed in far enough so your coordinates are about as accurate as a sneeze in a hurricane. You can use them if you want, but we probably won’t.”

It’s an incentive to go back through my photo collection and see about finding some presentable images from other places I’ve visited in the past so I can put more dots on my map. I wonder how long it will take somebody to come up with a fun use for this wealth of data, zooming through a huge collection of  images in time and space.

*whistles* Google! Here boy! Off you go! Fetch!

I also discovered another cool yet depressing way of browsing Flickr’s images: by the camera used to take the photo. I had a look at the entries for my main camera and my new pocket camera and rather unsurprisingly found some very impressive images. Quite how anybody copes with the Fuji S5000’s autofocus when using a small depth of field is beyond me but it was nice to note that it’s the 3rd most popular Fuji camera with Flickr users.

Fun stuff