I LET MY PICTURES do the talking to Flickr but not just because they capture an image of a place. When my mobile phone pictures upstream from my mobile phone, metadata embeds itself in the photostream as well. So if I'm in a pub, snap a shot and then file it in my Nokia N70, when it upstreams to my photo collection, it knows it's from a pub and automagically tags itself that way. Funnily enough, only seven of the 2500 images I have on Flickr come from pubs. I don't snap when drinking. Other photographers give their photostreams this kind of easy intelligence too when using ZoneTag, a free mobile phone application created in Yahoo! Labs.
When I use ZoneTag, I can snap a camera phone shot and upload it to Flickr in two clicks. If I have a Bluetooth connection to a GPS, that upstreams geodetic information too. So far, 13,000 public ZoneTag photos have been taken and by browsing the collection you get to see a specific place through “the eyes of the world.” I feel like I'm inside a tourist's camera bag when I browse Flickr for images tagged as "Cashel", the town where I live.
If this kind of virtual sightseeing interests you, check out PhotoSphere, Yahoo! Research Berkeley’s photo browser page, where you can find photos by time, location, country, photographer, and of course by tag. The only thing making this a limited mashup is that most of the images originate in northern California because that's where the Yahoo! Labs are located. But if you're thinking about visiting San Francisco, the collection is very revealing.
I think it's smart to prepare for your holidays by subscribing to photostreams like these. Within a few months, you'll be able to subscribe to GeoRSS. In Ireland, we need to populate these data by the smart use of tags. If we did, we could contribute to the animation of a day of photography around the world or focus on lovely photogenic events like the Kilkenny Arts Festival. As Andrea Moed says, "When you put time and location tagging together, there’s no end to the stories your pictures can tell.