I had the same idea some days ago: "wouldn't it be nice to have a GPS integrated in my camera, so that every time I take a picture and upload it on picasa or flicker, I can get an exact location of where it was taken from? and viceversa, looking for pictures taken at a certain longitude/latitude spot?"
Wouldn't that be cool? well, of course it would be, and it indeed is. It turns out that some cameras do already include the thing: the Nikon D2X is a 5000 $ camera, so it's a little bit off-the market for me. But the Ricoh 500SE, at 1000$, isn't too far off. I'm sure next year this will be the craze - after all, many new ones already have wireless download to the PC/Printer, so it will be standard feature next year. And the megapixel run is over (thank God).
In brief, what are the good thing of this? For a start, other people will be able to look up your picture in the case they want to get there. conversely, they will know where exactly (with an approximation of some meters) that spot is. And once the mass of pictures in it reach a critical mass, other things may become possible, just think of a police officer looking for data on a person, or an event: knowing the location and time you (may) find the right picture and Bam!!! Case solved.
Organising such a vaste amount of data will be challenging, I bet. But once we pull it off we'll have an incredibly powerful tool at everybody's disposal.
Want to get back to an hotel who promised marvels and turned out to be dreadful? there you go, snap a picture of the bedroom, tag it with the hotel's name, geo-localised with GPS data and they're doomed.
As it happens, I'm way behind... Panoramio already offers this with Google maps, and Google has announced the intention to buy it.
Panoramio Announces Planned Acquisition by Google
Today, we are pleased to announce the planned acquisition of Panoramio by Google. This acquisition is a great opportunity for Panoramio uploaders to leverage Google's reach, increasing the exposure of their photographs to photophiles around the world and for viewers to choose from a larger universe of photographs as Panoramio becomes more widely known. We hope to close the acquisition in mid to late June of 2007. Got questions? Go to Q&A to learn more.
Welcome to the transparent society.