It started when my wife and I were following my brother to his place from a wedding. After looking through some photos I got bored and snapped some shots of his car. As you can see, not the most exciting picture in the world.
But what if I could make it into the most exciting picture in the world? With the power of Photoshop, anything is possible.
Earlier I mentioned that I have some photos uploaded to Panoramio. I’ve also played with Flickr off and on, and have recently started uploading some photos there as well. To add to the confusion, I use Picasa to manage photos on my hard drive, and my wife uses iPhoto on her Mac. Picasa has a web albums feature, and I’m sure iPhoto has something similar with a .Mac account.
Why use four different services that overlap each other to such a degree? Picasa and iPhoto both do the important job of managing photos locally, Flickr seems to have the largest community and the most widgets written for it, and Panoramio integrates with Google Earth. Since I want to do all those things, I have to use them all.
There are ways to make them play nice together. You can use a Gmail account to email photos from Picasa to Flickr, and so far it seems to work fairly well. There are a few iPhoto plugins to upload to Flickr and you can use iPhoto to subscribe to Flickr photostreams. Google just bought Panoramio, so I’m sure there will be more integration there soon as well.
Even with all these options, there are some annoyances. Picasa’s keyword tagging is not very useful, it only allows one-word tags. I tried creating multi-word tags with dashes or by enclosing them in quotes, but Picasa ate the special characters. There’s also the complication of managing public photos vs private photos.
Still, it is amazing how well these different websites and programs work together, through the magic of RSS, web API, and plain old email.
If you’d like, you can see my Flickr photos here. You can also see my photos in Panoramio, or just look close enough in Google Earth, since a few of my photos now how up there.
Panoramio is yet another photo sharing site like Flickr. What sets them apart is their integration with Google Earth. As you pan around the globe, photos from Panoramio users will appear in as icons. The also support tagging and some social networking features as any Web2.0 site should.
I’ve uploaded some photos, you can see my page here. I’m a little disappointed that I don’t see an easy way to embed my photostream directly into a blog post.
Even more interestingly, you can see my photos in Google Maps or (if you have it installed) on Google Earth.