Flickr Adds Map Interface

You can now locate your Flickr photos on a map, and browse others’ images. Go to your account, then organize, then map, to map your photos. To see others’, go to http://flickr.com/map/.

I love being able to locate my photos on the map — I just went through and geo-located most of my images from Japan, Viet Nam, Colorado, and New Mexico. Generally it’s possible to be quite accurate, once you get down to the needed level of detail. It would be nice to be able to search on place name. For example, I know Kamakura (where I took lots of pictures) is south and west of Tokyo, but I couldn’t find it until I got to a high resolution, so had to do a lot of wandering around the map to find it, exactly. You have to know where a place is, at least a ballpark idea, to find it.

A couple of place names weren’t on the map, and I had a general idea of where they are but not specifically. For example, Sapa, Viet Nam, doesn’t show up on the map but it’s a common tourist destination, so I predict that there will be lots of pictures scattered around that general area.

Looking at other people’s images — I think that common places are going to be overwhelming. (There are already more than 2 million images geo-located; 90 for San Francisco.) For rare places, however, this could be very useful — I was looking into a trip in Western China and wanted to see pictures of the places I might go, and most tagging wasn’t specific enough. It’s possible that with this interface I would have been able to find useful images via geo-location, since I was looking at places for which there probably aren’t that many Flickr images, and to geo-locate them the owner has to pick a spot — so even if the spot isn’t very close to reality, it’ll be better than a tag like “China.”

I think it doesn’t show your own images when you look at “everyone’s” — I geo-located several in Yosemite, southern Colorado, and New Mexico, and none of them showed up when I looked at “everyone’s.”

Needed: an easy way to batch edit the images sharing a location. I accidentally labeled a bunch of photos for the wrong place (not realizing that my previous set was still selected) and I had to go find them in my larger collection to re-locate them and thereby remove them from the wrong location. In the edit function in the location interface, images are edited one at a time, and one choice is “delete” — but I didn’t know whether that would merely delete it from the geo-located set, or completely delete it from Flickr .

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