August 20, 2007

Geotagging / Geolocating your flickr photos with Yahoo! zonetag and locr - a short tutorial

ok... more on the geotagging photos sent to flickr via shozu and my Nokia N95 GPS-enabled smartphone. I've recently been doing some research to figure out exactly how to geotag my photos, and get them up on flickr then view on a map. From the outside looking it one would think, "no problemmo", however, things are not often as simple as they would seem. Luckily there's a couple of good third party apps that work very well. Those of you that depend on out of the box functionality that wil accomplish this will have to try again!

My research has led me to believe the following:
- there's much confusion out there about this.
- it's a total pain in the arse to accomplish using the Nokia N95 out of the box
- it's not as simple as blogs and other write ups lead you to believe
- many people seem to be having trouble with many different aspects of this.
- some people seem to be experiencing difficulties uploading via shozu from the Nokia N95 - I have yet to see any issues with this.
- apparently you can tag photos from N95 directly with GPS coords if you run sprt tracker or load the maps application - I've yet to be able to accomplish this seemingly simple task.

Enter Yahoo! Research labs zonetag and locr. Zonetag from Yahoo! has just recently come out with a version that supports Symbian S60 3rd edition devices (Nokia N80, N95, 6110 etc...). The application is very simple to use and it works. Simply install zonetag, setup your preferences (I'm still tweaking these) load the app, connect the GPS to grab your fix, take a photo, upload to flickr... it's as simple as that! Once on flickr your photos will have a hyperlink to map the photo and the coordinates will display when you view the photo on a map. So far I've had excellent results with this application.

Locr ( operates in a similar manner. Install the app, setup an account, connect to GPS to get a fix, snap a photo, upload to flickr and to locr if you wish. Your photos are maintained in a locr account and from the mobile device you can also view your photos or photos that are near you. Once feature I'm not big on is that the application takes over the camera and you don't seem to get the full functionality from your device. This contrasts with Zonetag where you use the camera in the same mode that you normally would with your device.

Please note, you should have an all you can eat data plan to use these applications otherwise the results (and your next phone bill) could be scary! I use shozu for uploads normall, however, it seems that when using zonetag or locr you are actually bypassing the shozu functionality... I'm not worried as I can use al teh data I want. Stay tuned for more on these apps. Overall, I give locr a 3.5 out of 5, zonetag gets 4.5 out of 5!

Related weblinks:

Flickr account holders can easily sign up for a zonetag key and start using it

Photos uploaded to flickr using zonetag - the title is automatically loaded with your location - notice the "map" link

The photo appears exactly where I took it on the map!

Zonetag GPS connect function on N95 (left) and locr application as seen on the device (right)


Mor said...

Thanks for the nice review, Glenn - hope you enjoy ZoneTag. Don't forget to check out Zurfer: photos nearby, local highlights, photos from friends, and your entire Flickr stream, right from your mobile...

Glenn said...

no worries.. its a great app.. FYI, I've had Zurfer on my deck for some time.. one of the first apps loaded on the N95!! IT's awesome! I love looking at the nearby photos when I'm on the road... very slick!