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.”
“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.
The good bits are in woven into the fabric of his piece. Essentially Kyle hopes that geocoding continues to improve and, most importantly, becomes much easier to use. I’ve already said that 2010 is the year of location. Location based services are going to explode this year and any content-publishing service that does not somehow include location in 2010 will probably be left to wallow in the dead pool come next year.
That much time, attention, and resources being thrown at a problem will hopefully mean real progress. We’re going to see a lot of change for good and bad over the next 12 months in this area but at the end of it all, as Kyle mentions, it has to get easier and more accurate.
Turn up your speakers for this one folks. My friend Eric Brophy and I (more him than me) have a chat about geocoding, mashups, Twitter, and the potential for other geocoded things to pop up in the future.
You can pretty much expect First initial, last name to be 85% geo in 2010.
No question this time around… simply sound off in the comments.
“Second, does this herald Twitter’s moves into being a location provider? At Sarver’s previous company they had a location-brokering service called MyLoki that never gained ubiquity. Twitter has the opportunity to become a major location broker. Twitter currently has a very simple on/off switch for location. To become a full-fledged consumer location service (like Latitude or Fire Eagle) they will need to build in more controls.”
Forrest’s use of the term “location broker”, I believe, means that Twitter could become a standard for just about anyone to location-enable their own applications rather than simply geocoding tweets. I think Twitter should do this by keeping GeoAPI “open for business” allowing developers to continue to build products using the API, commit data to it, and improve the API over time.
Forrest asks if Twitter will charge for the use of the GeoAPI like it charges for access to Twitter’s public timeline (or firehouse as they call it) to developers. I think they should charge for the use of this API and they should use the same reasonable pricing model that GeoAPI already had in place. No one should have to pay for the data, but they should have to pay for requesting that data hundreds of thousands of times.
In essence, I believe GeoAPI should stick around. It looks like a fantastic API and I’m looking forward to it being implemented into Twitter’s own API but I think it’d be a good idea to have the service stick around separate from Twitter itself.
Update: After reading the post on the GeoAPI blog about the acquisition by Twitter I realized that they are planning, for now at least, to keep GeoAPI up and running. They said: “We will continue to give new API keys for GeoAPI.com – however there may be some delays in getting keys over the holidays.” Good.
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?