The Flickr team introduced new features today allowing its users to easily associate an uploaded photo with location and event information. The geolocation drag-and-drop interface and search (shown above) is powered by the Yahoo! Maps AJAX API. Event integration is handled through a special event tag generated by sister Yahoo! site Upcoming.org. The Organize interface is heavily influenced by Aqua Dock on Mac OS X. Photos dragged off the map disappear in a poof and the currently selected picture within an info is magnified relative to objects surrounding it.
You can drag-and-drop images onto the map within Flickr’s interface or within a third-party tool. Flickr recognizes location data stored by GPS-enabled cameras and mobile phones or any other program saving location data in IPTC IIM metadata. Shown above is a view of photos I took at the O’Reilly campus during last weekend’s Foo Camp. At full zoom I was able to place each photograph at a pretty precise location.
New rich search data
Stewart gave me a demo of the new features yesterday afternoon and I immediately was excited by the new search correlations available through photo and event data. Imagine you are visiting Seattle and want some good coffee. You can search for pictures taken in Seattle with the tag “coffee” to get a better idea of popular locations, at least among the Flickr crowd. I can restrict my search to a specific group such as the Cafe group or to a specific contact such as Brady Forrest who I know lives in the Capital Hill neighborhood, visits cafes, and is likely to geotag his photos.
I added a special Upcoming tag (upcoming:event=98623) to photos from last week’s SF Tech Sessions event and they appeared on the Upcoming event listing page within minutes. It would be cool to setup event groupings for reoccurring events on Upcoming such as Foo Fighters on tour or the monthly meeting of SF Tech Sessions and auto-tag photos on Flickr based on that event and its location. If a photo is taken on July 14 (or a date-range) and has the tag “Foo Fighters” or lead singer “Dave Grohl” it’s very likely that person was attending the Foo Fighters concert in Berkeley and should either receive an autotag with a confidence rating or a suggested tag for confirmation.
Yahoo! continues to leverage the network effect of its properties and unique user bases. Upcoming.org now supports “undiscovered events” from Yahoo! Local. Flickr ties into Yahoo! Maps and Upcoming. Each property is united by a single sign-on even though the acquired properties are still running a back-end separate from Yahoo! custom-deployed tweaks of Apache and PHP. The integration should only get better as the acquired sites migrate to a common backend and Flickr’s small staff of 18 can hand-off more operations tasks to Yahoo’s operations staff.