Great shot – where’d you take that?

Flickr’s great for exploring photos by photographer, tag, time, text and group, and now it’s also great for exploring photos by place. There are a couple of short video tutorials (or "screencasts") which give the 90 second overview on how to geotag your own photos and how to use all the controls for searching and exploring geotagged photos. Watching them first will give you all of the information you need to get up and running.

Surfview

But if you just want to jump in and start geotagging, open the new ‘map’ tab in the organizr and go for it. It’s all drag and drop and easy to figure out. Since location information has its own privacy setting — so you can keep the location the photo was taken private, even when the photo is public — you’ll be asked to set a default privacy setting before beginning.

If you want just jump in on the exploration side, here’s the place to go: flickr.com/map

If you already have geotagged photos on Flickr (from using a 3rd party tool), you can import them into the new system from a new page under "Your Account". We’ll also be releasing new API methods for developers soon so they can continue to innovate on tools for location-based photo fun.

(As a bonus there will be no more need for the unsightly "geotagged/geo:lat/geo:long" tags cluttering up your photos – we’ll offer an automated way to remove them all once the development community has had a chance to make the necessary changes to their code.)

Some additional notes on how it all works:

  • You can drag anywhere onto the map – a degree of "accuracy" is inferred by your current zoom level, so if you just want to show the city or general area a photo was taken, you can drag them on at a medium zoom level and those photos won’t show up in odd places for people zoomed right down to street level.

  • In the upper right corner you can search for locations – city names, airport codes, US zipcodes and postal codes in several other countries, street addresses (US/Canada only for now, but more soon), many landmarks and points of interest worldwide, even names of neighborhoods in larger cities around the world.

  • You drag multiple photos at once for quick mass-geotagging. The drag-and-drop map tab in the Organizr looks like this:

Dragging a photo on to a map

  • Drag photos (or whole clusters) off the map to remove geo information.

  • Double-click a photo and click "location" in the editing dialog to set individual photo privacy.

  • You can view photos from a group, a single user, a specific set or a search term on a map. (Not all links will be enabled when we first launch, but you can append "/map" to many URLs to view the photos on a map.)

  • You can get a link to particular map search by clicking on "Link to this" in the bottom right corner of the map – cut and paste from the address bar if you want to put it in an email or blog it.

  • You can search by text/tag in a given area (e.g., architecture in Europ or chose from your groups or contacts to filter what appears on the map.

  • Photos load in "pages" of about 250 photo records per page. The results are clustered right in your browser and show up as pink dots of various sizes with a number that indicates how many photos there are in that location. Click on the dots to cruise through small versions of the photos. Expand or click on the center photo to see the larger version. Zoom in and the clusters will break up. They look like this:

    Photo clusters on a Flickr map

  • There are still a few small bugs were working on, including Safari support which broke just as we were preparing to launch: this will be back up later today.  (And, of couse, more comprehensive maps and better location search are coming as soon as possible!)

P.S. a few bonus features made it into this release as well: first, you can now get a "detailed" view for sets which shows larger images and titles, in the style of your photostream or archives (example, compare to the "traditional" view). And you can now add a special tag for photos taken at Upcoming.org events and the photos will show up on the event page and a link to the event will also show on the photo on Flickr – this is part of a much bigger launch for Upcoming. You can read more on their blog.

P.P.S. We’ve created official help and bugs topics in case you have any problems.