Frangipani flowers, pale pink with a light yellow centre It seems such a no-brainer. Add geographical information to your photos, upload them to Flickr, and Lo!, you can bore the world with a map showing where they were taken. OK, it needs a few gizmos and some software, but all that was an utter doddle compared to the bit that ought to be easy.

I sent some sample images from iView to Flickr Uploadr, which duly uploaded them. Did they appear on my map? Obviously not, or I wouldn’t be wasting your time.

Someone suggests that iView is the culprit, stripping out the vital geographic information as it sends the picture to Flickr Uploadr. So I cut out iView and upload directly with Flickr Uploadr. Did they etc?

Now I’m peeved. I download one of the images from Flickr and open it in Photoshop CS. The geodata have vanished. I open the original in Photoshop, save all the metadata and then try and add that to the version from Flickr. Again, the flippin’ geodata have vanished. Photoshop, like iView, has simply decided, without asking, to dump that information. Now I’m more than peeved. I resize the original, with metadata, to my customary Flickr size (I don’t have the bandwidth here to ignore that step) and use that to replace the original in Flickr. Did that appear on my map?

Well yes, it did. Here; one of those is mine. Problem solved, sort of, except that there are still lots of variables unexamined.

The thing is, this geotagging and sticking photos on a map is all pretty astonishing in the first place. But the fact is that, young though this technology may be, it is badly broken. Enthusiasts find it easy, obviously, and keener than average geeks like myself eventually figure it out. But simple it ain’t, and big players like Adobe and Microsoft need to realize just how badly broken their products are.

Of course I do accept that the fact that I’m moaning about it is all Flickr's fault for making me forget just how magic some of this web stuff really is.

2021-09-26: It is funny how dated this seems, especially when I look back at the hoop-filled workflow it took to add geodata to images. All a thing of the past with the iPhone camera. Ah, but I would still like photo software as good as iView once was.

Two ways to respond: webmentions and comments


Webmentions allow conversations across the web, based on a web standard. They are a powerful building block for the decentralized social web.

“Ordinary” comments

These are not webmentions, but ordinary old-fashioned comments left by using the form below.

Reactions from around the web