Visual Geographies

Two of my loves: images and geography.  Together:  Mappr.  This is so simple it’s beautiful.  Using flickr’s rss feed it maps images onto a map of the US [using place name used in tags].  The means through which the application maps the images is ‘fuzzy’.   When you click on the image on the map it says "Mappr has great confidence that this image was taken in [place]".  But I think this ‘fuzziness’  creates apositive user experience – It lets you see how ‘right’ it was from the tags available and it retains that sense of serendipity that is so great about flickr.   Mappr is going to be fuzzy because people are not the greatest at producing a usable taxonomy [I rarely put in a geo-reference] but also because there are some places with mad names.  So ‘Happy’ is a place in Texas  but it is also an emotion.

I guess this is only available in the US because geo-location data is free there.  Which makes me wonder why geo-referencing data is not free in the UK….  someone did tell me.  Must check.

Also, be great if you could somehow use Keyhole mapping [real topographical data] with images people had taken of particular places or in particular places.   There’s definitely something in this mapping malarky if Google are willing to splash out on aquiring Keyhole and picasa [the photo software]. No doubt they’ll work out how to ‘monetize’ it later.   

update: see also the postcard project using mappr.  as the people at flickr state – that’s the benefit of releasing your data and your api.