I've made another mini-webapp for tourists: FlickrNear. Like my previous WikiHere hack it uses the Geolocation API and other web services to show you something about where you are standing right now. FlickrNear shows interesting photos that were taken near your current location. Some examples: San Francisco, rural Texas, Chinon, Lagos, Easter Island, Ely, Nevada.

The app should work on any geo-location web browser. I've customized it for the iPhone (bookmark it to home screen!), including using small image sizes to cope with AT&T's offensive $1/megabyte data charges. If you want to explore from your desk try the map mode; click on the map to open a view at that spot. (Should work in Firefox and Chrome, dunno about IE, etc.)

FlickrNear is more subtle than WikiHere because of the need to rank photos. My ideal result page has three photos of different things of tourist interest: for San Francisco that'd be the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and Fisherman's Wharf. Not very interesting for SF, but should be handy when you're in the middle of nowhere.

Unfortunately I haven't gotten to the result quality I want yet. Flickr's geosearch is very powerful, but coming from the outside I don't get much control. I need to make the range of the search dynamic and get more diversity by using photo owners and tags. It'd also be nice to filter out the trendy garbage that can be Interesting to Flickr (like garish HDR). Still, release early and often, and since I'm about to take a long trip I wanted to put this online. Tell me what you think!

  2009-09-23 01:30 Z