Posts tagged “geotagging”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • A "Geography of Buzz" – Research presented at the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers locates "cultural hot spots" by looking at frequency and spatial mapping of geo-tagged photographs. The exclusive use of for-sale Getty images to make up the research sample (as opposed to a diverse sample including photo Tweets, etc. that might have been more underground-inclusive) raises interesting questions about the definition of "buzz." What's buzz to one person–a Broadway opening, for example–may well be noise to another.
  • My photos from Los Angeles, Feb 2009 – I spent a week in L.A. doing some work, some cupcake shopping, and some vacationing. Here's the photos from that trip.

I guess I must be dumb.

flickr now lets you add location information (“geotagging”) to your pictures. This raged through the blogosphere over the past few days (e.g. here ) with all the usual fawing over how great it is and how easy to use it is.

It’s not easy to use. People need to refine their definition pretty dramatically or we need to stop paying attention to sophisticated blogger/RIA/Web 2.0 types telling us what is easy or what isn’t. The feature started me with a map of the world. I wanted to find a location in Washington, D.C. Every time you zoom in, it recenters somewhere, and it’s pretty hard to get it to center on the part of the world you want. Not to mention the map itself is a horizontally scrolling box that seems to repeat itself, as if you could put some pictures in one part of the planet and then on another copy of the planet you could repeat the same process with other pictures. What the hell is going on?

People like to say “drag and drop” as if that is obviously going to be a trivial task – so I’ll hand you an icon that is about 1.5″ x 1.5″ and give you an entire planet that is about 6″ x 6″. You try to precisely drop that icon on that planet.

I eventually got it, but was pretty fed up after a few pictures and (let’s not even talk about why this is something we’d want to do – I haven’t got there yet, I just wanted to try it!) didn’t bother to continue. If my picture is tagged “washington d.c.” maybe the interface could try starting me off with a map of Washington?

I’m mostly posting this for contrariness; my experience was counter to what I’m seeing gushing forth elsewhere.

I heart flickr, I don’t think that everything they do is automatically perfect and “easy to use” however.


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