I finally got around to posting another web album tonight. Prior to that though, I was enjoying some "virtual travel" in Google Earth, freshly inspired by a conversation today at the office during lunch.
I've long believed that ubiquitous wireless Internet connectivity and GPS data receiving are both "givens" as to what the future will bring, technology-wise. They are both already here, in terms of the technology itself, and have been for quite a while, but I think we're just now on the cusp of the "ubiquitous" part, which is where the sea-changes happen.
It's just a matter of time, I think, before we see GPS location-stamping built into digital cameras fairly pervasively. I'm not the first to post about this, obviously, but it's interesting seeing the convergence of technologies surrounding mapping-meets-photography. Panaramio is built into Google Earth now, which lets you cruise around and find pictures like this, (which looks remarkably similar to this, don't you think? <g>). From the comments on the O'Reilly Radar article above, I also found yourmap.com (boy, they need a new website design, IMO), GeoSpatial Experts (ditto...), and GPS PhotoLinker looks promising at first glance too. There's also Mapping Flickr, which I haven't explored much yet, and, not related to photo-mapping at all, TerraServer-USA, which has a nice set of topographic overlays built in -- another way of mapping three dimensions instead of just two.
I've also been checking out Picasa 2.0 recently, which is a big improvement over version 1 in my opinion (I wish it handled date-based navigation in conventional calendar-based ways, rather than just its eye-candy-laden (encumbered?) "Timeline" view, but I digress....). It has some neat initial forays into integrating w/Google Earth, to allow the user to geo-locate a photo by pointing to the location in GE, which could work well for me. Perhaps (I'm not sure), the Picasa-hosted web albums could integrate this functionality as well? I'm not eager to fork over yet more data and pictures into the Google Machine just yet, so for now I'll just watch.
Overall, it's an interesting space though, mapping images to geographic maps in two and three dimensions. (Here's a bonus link on the three-dimensions front: photo tourism).
One thought that comes to mind is this: How will things look when Google Earth and other image-mapping technologies start adding a fourth dimension: Time? I once watched a History Channel show that walked the viewer though the Battle of Normandy by linking all these technologies together -- 3D image mapping (using the aerial shots taken that day, mapped to a 3D map, much like Google Earth does now), but also time-stamped, so they could walk through the day and show / explore what happened. It was fascinating. Imagine what it would be like to be able to scroll though time as well as space in Google Earth (wait - isn't that what it's called?... space-time?), seeing things such as the expansion of a city over time, or pre- and post-war (or natural-disaster) shifts, etc.
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(BTW... What's the point of this site?.... it shows up as a sponsored link when you search Google for "picasa": https://www.24-photo-software.com/, but doesn't look like it's officially related to Picasa, it doesn't appear to generate ad revenue, and it doesn't go anywhere...)
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Update (04/01/2007): Just stumbled across this, looking for info re: Google Earth's KML files.... looks interesting: RoboGeo and Google Earth.