Monday, June 27, 2011

A World of Photography

I've posted before about the ever expanding globe of geotagged photos.  I can see the wealth of images from around the world soon being turned into some sort of photosynth-meets-google-streetview image orgy.  Until then we can sit back, relax and anticipate.  Right?

While I've been a "pro" (meaning I pay money) member of flickr for a couple of years, I've never really used it.  I wanted to make sure I had a "cloud" to store all my photos before we started using the term "cloud".  Flickr certainly fit the bill, but until my recent full-fledged photography obsession, I never understood the flickr world.  A week of looking around has taught me much about how to use it as a tool and clued me into the wealth of knowledge it includes.

The thought of turning one's experiences into an ever-evolving digital profile is something I've thought about a lot.  I'm not talking about facebook, but more of a true fingerprint.  Lots of people have privacy concerns - but whatever.  Right at the top of the list of the cool personal experience widgets would be auto geotagged photos showing where you've been and for how long.   I see it as the more classier version of  this old blog widget. 

Today as I was perusing flickr I stumbled upon this image Courtesy of Eric Fischer

World map of geotagged pictures

This is essentially a history of geotagged images.  The darkest is the oldest, with the lighter shades being tagged more recently.  It begs the question how many shades of grey are included.  That would be a good follow up question but I already asked one question of Eric - where did you get the data? The data was assembled from flickr and the picassa API.  What's cool is that I was pretty sure the data was from those API's.  What's frustrating is I have zero programming experience and for the time being have to live vicariously through the API-harnessing abilities of people like Mr. Fischer.

Does this map remind you of anything else?  This perhaps?

Be sure to check out the original size version on flickr.  It's a heck of a map and an incredible set of data.

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