Every photo has a location – it was taken somewhere. Unfortunately, there haven't been very many great tools to allow browsing of photos by location. At Flickr, we take this challenge pretty seriously and have been working hard to figure out the best way to allow our visitors to see the world through the prism of the incredible, incredible photography on Flickr.
To that end, we're completely making over Flickr's map explorer and preparing to introduce a new Places Pages feature. Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield, is giving a preview of these great new additions at the Web 2.0 Summit, so check it out if you can.
The new Flickr map will display tags that will hover over specific locations, representing interesting and newsworthy things going on there. Clicking on any tag will take you to a photo stream of the popular and current photos related to that topic in that location. This is a great way to browse through news and events on a global basis – a forest fire here, a folk festival there, and fireworks in that other place. It's like getting a pulse on the world by listening to a million camera shutters snapping pictures in unison.
Helping visitors discover photos by location is key to Flickr's vision of being "the eyes of the world." Our new Places Pages will provide a zoomed-in way to explore virtually any place in the world through iconic photos, popular tags, relevant Flickr groups, featured photographers of that region, along with local information such as a detailed map, current time, and temperature. What's really cool about these pages though is that they are literally built by our members. Each photo, photographer, or group featured on any Places Page will be included because our members found them interesting as an aggregate group. There's a lot of math to keep the content fresh, relevant, and awe-inspiring, but the end result is just stunning.
The new map and Places Pages are not yet available. We're putting some finishing touches on them in the coming weeks. Keep an eye on the Flickr blog for the official launch.
We want to thank our 15 million members for making Flickr so fabulous and for sharing their amazing images with the world. With these new features, we invite you all to explore the world through the eyes of Flickr members – it's truly a humbling experience.
UPDATE: Both new features are now live!
Director of Product Management, Flickr