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June 26, 2007

Picasa Web Becomes Location Aware

Google's photo sharing site lets you see photo albums on a map. For each photo that has latitude and longitude, Picasa Web shows a small map in the sidebar.

You can enter a single location for an entire album or place each photo from an album to a map using drag and drop. The desktop client can also geolocate photos using Google Earth.

The most impressive is the combination between a map and a slideshow. If you select a photo and click on "play", the photos will move on the map according to their locations.


Google has recently acquired Panoramio, a photo sharing site that let you link photos with the place they were taken. Hopefully Picasa Web will add a way to search for public photos by location and include Panoramio's main functionality.

Picasa Web should've launched a mobile version of the site, but, as usually, the feature is not available even after it was publicly announced. "With Picasa Web Albums for mobile devices, your favorite pictures are always with you. So next time you're at a loss for words when describing just how awesome, cute, or beautiful something really was, just grab your phone for visual backup. Of course, the mobile version of Picasa Web Albums lets you keep track of photo updates from friends and family, too. Just click 'My Favorites' from the main screen to see the latest photo albums that your contacts have posted to Picasa Web Albums -- you can even post a quick comment on their photos, using your phone. Thumbnails and photos are automatically re-sized for your device's screen, so pictures look good and download fast." The mobile site should be available at http://www.google.com/mobile/photos/.

Update: You can find the mobile Picasa Web Albums at http://picasaweb.google.com/m.

16 comments:

  1. Super feature from Google. Not fully aware of how ot implement the first part although. Have used the Geocoding in the desktop client and it works very well. Perhaps you might explain! I inserted the Latitude and Longtitude in the "caption", but to no avail.

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  2. Thumbnails and photos are automatically re-sized for your device's screen, so pictures look good and download fast." The mobile site should be available at http://www.google.com/mobile/photos/ .

    It works on location: http://picasaweb.google.com/m
    Enjoy your mobile surfing.
    Best regards.

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  3. One drawback is the fact that the maps that you have under Picasa is not aware of your favorite places as G maps is. I am sure soon googlers'll fill the gap.

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  4. @Sam Lyons:

    I don't think there's a way to manually insert the latitude/longitude for a photo already uploaded to Picasa Web, but you can click on the "map photos" button when you browse an album and then drag and drop the photo to the map.

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  5. Looks like location info in images that were already uploaded isn't extracted :-( For new images, this works fine, though.

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  6. If you go under Album Properties you can add the place where it was taken.
    This also adds a pin point on the album on the front page, and adds the location to the map on the right column.

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  7. When went to check out my Picasa photo albums after hearing this news - most of my years of annotations to my photos were gone and all that remained was the original IMG number of the photo! I can't believe this! I spent untold hours annotating those photos. If this is not fixed, and maybe even if it is - I will use a client based software like iPhoto as my main program.

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  8. All of my Picasaweb photos were geotagged prior to uploading, how come it doesn't map any of them?

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  9. Very cool, but also very annoying that all my existing photos that were uploaded with EXIF lat/long information do not get processed, only newly uploaded ones.

    Please reprocess the existing photos!

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  10. Apparently this is not available everywhere, here in Norway I have no buttons or maps, and the link to the Vegas slideshow in the article just give me an error message ("The requested photo is invalid or unavailable. You will be redirected to the album page.").

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  11. I assume you need to go to Settings / Language Preference and change the language to English (United States). This way, you'll always have the new features when they're launched and not after 3 months or so.

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  12. Note that if someone browses the picasaweb in localized language, he/she will not see the maps.

    Using the server picasaweb.google.com forces the language to be english.

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  13. a friend of mine has the problem that her webalbums are always shown in german, althogh her language settings are "english/us".
    using picasaweb.google.com doesn't help.
    any ideas?

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  14. anonymous: I have no idea. Some browsers have settings to prefer content in some language over others. Is the problem same with different browsers?

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  15. http://www.blogger.com/start?hl=en

    Then she can see the language option at bottom of page

    http://www.blogger.com/language.g

    She sets the language in there and it will open correctly in picasa, tis a weird one, im in thailand and had same problem.

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  16. It's a pretty good feature - the problem is that you can't customise how the map looks. For showing the aerial location of a house, I want a zoomed in satellite image. However, the map defaults to a zoomed out gradient map.

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