Friday, June 17, 2005

The GeoSpatial Web - RightClick a Photo GoThere!!!

Just imagine if every browser had the following feature :
"Right click on any image(geotagged) in any website and say go there!!!".

On clicking "Go There", the browser would open a new Window and take you to the particular spot on the Map, on GoogleMaps or Geo Bloggers or Some other new service available at that point of time. There you will be able to explore around the map looking for other nearby photos or people or events or shops or statistics or whatever at that location using the co-ordinate information. You can do this because every photograph was taken Somewhere. It has the exact longitude,latitude co-ordinates embedded inside. Wondering what I am speaking about? Read my earlier posts if you are new to geoblogging geo tagging etc...

Once enough geotagged images are available, I guess an xpi on FireFox & a toolbar for IE are enough to achieve the expected results... Maybe even some kludge in Javascript would suffice... But eventually I see it becoming part of standard browzer functionality.

You may look at a National Geographic Photo and decide to go there for your vacation... Before doing that you want to get a feel of the place. So you just right click the photo, say "go there" and poke around to see if the place really suits you. May be you will see a thumbnail of a photo from CNN on the Map about the spread of dengue or Yellow fever in that particular area and postpone your trip.

You might be seeing a photo of the WTC on BBC on the morning of Sept the 11th, and realize that one of your friends could be there. You right click the Image and say go there. You know that this place ought to have too many photos. So to limit your list you choose a time filter which shows you snaps taken between 6.AM and 2PM on the 11th of Sept. You can do this because you not only have the co-ordinates in the photo but also a timestamp. Now you can see pushpins all over the map in that area which would be of photos taken by CNN, BBC, Fox News,Bloggers and a zillion other sources. Maybe you might just spot your friend in one of those photos... You could use that clue to probably get some idea about what happened to him.

I am sure you can imagine billions of such ad-hoc uses... In fact I would say people would use these resources just like you use Google today. Just use your instincts on the spot rather than enlisting/learning all possible uses beforehand.

Remember that the Geo Tagged Photos are "two way transit points to your site".
1.People can come into your site from a map by clicking some thumbnail of your geotagged photo.
2.They can go into the map by right clicking any geotagged image and saying "Go There".

CNN,BBC,Nat Geo, Oprah etc could make it available to
1.Give a richer user experience to visitors in terms of enabling them to explore the backgrounds of photos on their sites.
2.To PULL users exploring the surrounding areas on the Maps into their site.
Bloggers, Wikipedia, Personal Website Owners etc. will make this available out of sheer fascination and the thrill of having done something worthwhile.

Now let us consider videos and movies, each frame has its own longitude, latitude co-ordinates... On any Frame, say right click and go there... Maybe you are watching a blockbuster movie and u get an urge to holiday on a particular island where the action is going on... Just Pause the move and click "Go There". A map opens up showing you hotels in that area, You can ask Google Maps to give you driving instructions to reach there... You can Check out hotels nearby... on and on and on..

Maybe you are watching a documentary about the Eiffel Tower and are curious about how the surrounding places have evolved in the recent years. Just right click and choose go there and have a look at all photos nearby taken at various points in time.

If you are wondering what happens if Photographs are tagged with wrong Co-ordinates, check out my previous post titled "Preventing GeoSpatial Spam - A Solution".

Let me know what you feel about this through your comments...