xkcd explores what type of person you might be based on the type of map you prefer. Me? Globe or Gall-Peters all the way.
Happily, Flickr is back at doing a little innovating in the photo space.
“Geofences are special locations that deserve their own geo privacy settings. Simply draw a circle on a map, choose a geo privacy setting for that area, and you’re done. Existing photos in that location are updated with your new setting, and any time you geotag a photo in that area, it gets that setting too.”
Merlin Mann quipped on Twitter:
“Flickr’s Geofences sound clever—but a little like writing “Definitely Not Where Money Is Hidden” on the one drawer you’ve locked.”
He’s right. Flickr will likely not make a dime with this feature alone. But getting back to its innovative roots is exactly what Flickr needs to do. And if it takes them being uprooted from their offices and working at a co-worker’s dinner table in order for that to happen, I say that Flickr Management should set fire to their offices immediately. They need to be doing stuff like this more regularly and letting people know about it exactly as they’ve done with this feature.
Foursquare is currently winning in the check-in services space but I believe it is still anybody’s game because there is still a lot of work to do.
Even though I “know” people that work at Gowalla and their sense of design is practically unparalleled in the check-in service space – Foursquare simply works better and that is why I use Foursquare instead of Gowalla.
“I’ll be honest, it’s been a while since I’ve used Gowalla (a location-based checkin service you use on your phone). I’ve found that in most of the cities I visit Foursquare has more users, more tips, is faster, easier to check in, etc.” – Robert Scoble
This has been my experience as well. Check-in services need to be very, very fast and valuable in order for the mass market to use them. Typically check-in services aren’t social streams (that you check many times per day) they are utility apps to help you track locations that you visit, the current location of your friends, and – most of all – information about where you are from other people that have been there. When this entire process isn’t very easy and very fast it becomes a hassle to use the services and so I quickly give up on using them.
Foursquare, while far from perfect, is simply lightyears faster than Gowalla currently is. Checking into a location is quick and easy. For the most part, everywhere that I’d like to check-in is already in Foursquare. On Gowalla I had to add nearly every location I visited. This task is tedious on Gowalla. Here is one gripe, as an example: When you search for a location using Gowalla’s iPhone application and it isn’t in their database (which happened for 85% of my check-ins even in places like Atlantic City, NJ) – you can’t tap an “Add location” button. You have to back out of the location search screen and go back into another screen to find the “Add location” button. This became so annoying that I downloaded the Foursquare application and haven’t looked back since.
I have had high hopes for check-in services ever since my days using Brightkite (man I miss those days). Foursquare has legs (and $50M in the bank). I hope these services continue to improve but they’ll need to innovate very, very quick in order for the mass market to adopt them longterm.
The iPhone’s geo-enabled camera, whether you’ve upgraded to an iPhone 3G with built-in GPS or not, now records the location ((A rough latitude and longitude.)) that the photo was taken.
I have a few problems with the way this has been implemented on the iPhone and also how it works on my Macintosh. Â But before I begin bashing Apple – I do want to say that I’m fairly optimistic that other applications will use this feature much better than Apple has.
A few quick notes and then you can watch the video below. Â First, the iPhone asks (though I didn’t manage to capture this on “film”) if you’d like to record the location the photo was taken. Â It doesn’t say why, how, or where to view this information. Â It just asks, you hit ok, and you’re never told about anything ever again. Â Second, the iPhone stores the latitude and longitude inside of the file’s meta-data. There is no way to visualize this information on your iPhone. Â In fact, photos that are geo-encoded look exactly the same on your iPhone as the photos that are not. Â Third, when you import them onto your computer – there is no real way to tell the difference on there either. Â I use Image Capture to import, but I also tested iPhoto, and neither application lets me know that the location was recorded (without a little digging).
Here is a quick video demonstration, and I threw in my opinions for those that don’t like to read, of how the iPhone handles things with the camera now.
So there you have it. Â Yes the iPhone records this information properly. Â But I think the iPhone needs to take advantage of this information in some way to make it valuable to the lay-person, and I also think that iPhoto needs to be updated to support geo-location so that these photos are fun to play with on your computer too.
Anyone know of any iPhone / Macintosh applications that would be fun to play with these photos now?