Flickr launched its geotagging feauture a few days ago. Today I came across a few raving posts on TechnCrunch, so I decided to give it a go.
I’ve been geotagging my photos using Plazes for a while now (has it been more than a year already? This photo seems to prove as much.) I enjoyed doing that but it was always a bit involved. Also, geotagging becomes really useful and fun once lots of people start doing it. That wasn’t really happening yet so I’m excited about Flickr integrating it.
My first impression of their map-driven interface was positive. It’s tucked away in the organize section though; I wonder whether they’ll include some bits in the individual photo pages soon. For instance: a little map showing the location where the shot was taken and an easy way to add geotags (maybe even allow others to do it for me?) I’d like this mostly because now the map isn’t really social (in the sense that it shows an aggregation of geotagged shots, just my own.)
However: although Flickr proudly sports “gamma” at the top of its logo, the technology still lags behind. It’s beta quality at best. Newly tagged photos don’t appear on the map after a reload; perhaps Flickr doesn’t like me changing the tags outside of the map interface?
Also, I think not being able to “snap” a batch of photos to a city I found through the search interface is a usability issue. Adding photos to locations I haven’t identified in Plazes (and thus don’t show up as hotspots on the map yet) becomes arbitrarily. Call me a metadata nut, but I really want to add my photos of Jurjen’s pretty street Zwartehandspoort in Leiden to the exact street, not drop them somewhere in the vicinity of the city Leiden.
Conclusion: a promising addition to everyones favourite social photo sharing site, poised to make geotagging ready for the big time, but not exactly there yet due to some technical and design issues.