So, you have all these killer photos of different cities around the world just sitting on some hard drive or server and the best you can do with them is send them to friends as is, right? Isn’t it funny that the photos you tend to zip through are the ones with no people in them, but when you were there man it was a cool shot that you just HAD to capture? Well, we’re giving those photos some love (and context) with our latest mash-in to the Bing Maps Application Gallery. We’ve just rolled out a new application that is currently in a tech preview phase that pulls photos from Flickr®, associates them with Bing Maps Streetside photos and then overlays them by stretching the photo to form fit where in the world it belongs. The new application called Streetside Photos is currently available in Seattle, San Francisco and Vancouver (Canada) – (hello, Olympics!!) to view your Flickr photos in a whole new way. Check out the Bing Search post, Spatial Search: The New Frontier for a full read on how we’re changing how we think of search.
Check this out. Here’s Pike’s Market Place in Seattle with just our Streetside images.
Now, check it out with a Flickr photo lain atop it.
Now this makes for a nice sunset backdrop versus a typical gray Seattle skyline. To explore the Streetside Photos, click the “Map Apps” button and select “Streetside Photos.” You’ll see thumbnails for Seattle, San Francisco and Vancouver (Canada). Click on an interesting thumbnail and it will switch the map mode to Streetside and load the photo over the image. The navigation panel will now change to a list of photos available in the area with the one you selected on top. Click on another photo to see where it belongs in the world. If you want to see the original Streetside photo, you just click the check mark that’s on the selected photo and it will turn it off. Re-click it to see it again. Notice that with each photo we provide the name of the photo, when it was uploaded and the username. We also have links for viewing the photo on Flickr and a report button for photos that shouldn’t (or that you wouldn’t like to) be displayed on the application. Once you’re immersed into the photos it will be hard to get out because you can just surf people’s photos all afternoon long; however, if you want to jump over to another city simply click the “back to featured photos” link at the top of the navigation bar. Alternatively, if you just want to further explore the city you’re already in click the “explore a new place in Seattle/San Francisco” link at the bottom of the navigation bar.
The possibilities are really mind blowing here as you can imagine all different types of image overlays. How about some historic photo overlays?. You’ll find historic photos mixed in which provide an awe-inspriring look at what a city was contrasted with what it is today.
And, now you want to know how you can get your photos up there. In order for your photos to potentially appear in the Streetside Photos Technical Preview, you’ll first need to setup an account on Flickr. Once you get your Flickr account set up, create a folder of images and upload them. Now, you’ll need to set your images to a specific set of Creative Common settings that allow us to consume these images with your permission. So, under the photo you’ll see “Additional Information.” By default all images are set to “All rights reserved” which means it’s your photo and we can’t use it. To change this, you need to click the edit link and change the settings to either (1) Attribution Creative Commons, (2), Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons or (3) Attribution-NoDerivs Creative Commons. Finally, ensure your images are geotagged. This will help us identify where to begin associating your image with our Streetside photos.
If you have issues with photos or want to report something on the you should send us mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need help with this, check out the Bing Maps Streetside Photos help page.
CP – Follow me on Twitter @ChrisPendleton