“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It's not about money. It's about the people you have, how you're led, and how much you get it.” - Steve Jobs

Flickr’s new Mapped Photos

Flickr’s Map is a pretty nice idea. I know that Frappr.com mapped people and a photo of themselves, but this by Flickr is much more robust.

Mapping your Photos
To map your photos is pretty easy. Go to the “Organize” drop down and then choose “organize your photos”. On the organize screen, then select on the top menu the “Map” tab. (You can also choose the “Location” menu on the “Batch Organize” tab. Then find the photos you want to map and drag and drop them onto the map.

The drag and drop interaction is quite nice and it is even pretty easy to add photos to the same regional area where you might have already added others.

Exploring on the map
Use the “Explore” dropdown menu and then chose “Photos on a map”. Then they are presented with the photos of everyone on Flickr who did mapping. When you look at the map in the top left corner there is a list of pages and it gives you the total amount of images that are possibly viewable within the Flickr universe. It also animates when you load a zoom level to tell you to wait for a bit while the push-pins are coming up.

What I find so interesting to this is that a map with zooming capabilities is already 3 dimensional, but when you add paging to the mix you are adding yet a 4th dimension to the puzzle.
Flickr Map Paging
Then selecting the push-pins and scrolling through that spots images is yet 5th or possibly 6th dimension.

The later piece of selecting a push-pin and then scrolling the images seems to work for me. The paging a zoomed exposed area of the map feels REALLY odd to me. There are just so many pictures. In this case just mere 10’s of thousands, but at higher zoom points they are in the millions. With the “20+” signifier that you have a lot of pages to go through, it is not clear that the paging is JUST for push-pins at the current exposed area for the current zoom level? Does zoom level actually make a difference? i.e. would the # of images available for me to look through be different for X zoom level on page 3 vs. Y zoom level on page 3? Because there are SOOO many pictures it is very unclear as to the behaviors that I should expect. My last issue is that as you Page forward or backwards the same animation telling you to wait doesn’t kick in and it takes quite a long time to have an effect so you give up before anything happens.

In spirit I love the idea. I think that some of the publishers I’ve been dealing with like Schmaps and NowPublic will have an even easier time to find specific pictures for their systems.

I’m not too certain how I’ll use it yet. It might be nice for a company like Schmaps to integrate with this feature if there is an API for it and then give people access to the viewer for a host of images about their guides or if people are creating itineraries, or if World66.com with its wiki-style guidebook hooked into this, it might really start to become useful.

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