att: The Google maps development team


I'm writing this blog post in English, on the off-chance that someone at Google might "google" this post, and communicate its contents to the team at Google developing google maps. (or google photos, or both)

This post is about (what I view as) a missing link between my geo-tagged photos and google maps.

Every now and then, when I take a picture in my phone, google maps pops up and asks me if I'd be interested in adding this photo to google maps. I assume this happens mostly in places that lack photographic coverage in the image base that google maps is building over time, for as many locations as possible, perhaps hoping to get coverage of the whole globe eventually. A worthy goal, no doubt.

Google could do it simpler and better. Because all the while I, as well as billions of others, have a huge stock of geotagged photos just sitting there, that could be harvested for that same purpose. On the other hand, google maps could add a lot of functionality to the management of people's photos, and travels. Here is how I view this:

For photos stored locally: Provide a way to display the locations of   geotagged photos on google maps. Picasa, now defunct, used to be able to do that on a map insert, but its link to maps seems to be broken. And it needs to be implemented on a full-scale map, not an inset.

For photos in Google photos: Provide a way to add locations or edit the estimated locations google photos found, using a map interface
Also, google photos currently clusters photos based on geotagged location, but does so in a very clumsy way, so that sometimes "concentric" clusters are formed with the same photos. Doing it with a map interface would solve these issues easily.

Search photos by map:  Google maps allows for searching places such a hotels around a specific location. Why not allow for searching by location my own photos, stored locally or in the cloud? Useful when I want to find those photos I took in that village in Ethiopia, but I can't remember when I took it or where I put it.
Feature should allow for specifying the search radius.

Auto geo-tag: Find photos that are not geo-tagged but photographed at the same time, and thus, presumably the same place, as photographs that are geo-tagged, and allow for automatically geo-tagging them. Typically the later would be photos taken by a phone while the former would be higher quality photos takes by a camera. One gets a much richer and better stock of photos that way. Perhaps "photos" already does that to some degree, but it's unclear how these "estimated locations" are generated.

Editable location history: I maintain my own "loaction history" in a document, but others may have other ways of knowing where and when they went. If I could edit the location history google maintains for me, add, remove and correct locations, it would also help geo-tag photos, especially from earlier years, where there is not machine generated location history.

Adding the above rather simple features, "maps" gets a huge stock of photos that it could ask users to add. Users get a significant usability boost from these features/ Perhaps all it takes is just a  better synergy between "maps" and "photos".

And while I'm at it: wish I had an easy way to plot my travels on google maps. To create private maps  I could share, with dates, photos and some text associated with geographic locations. How about it?

Perhaps also auto-include travel data harvested from Gmail, but added optionally and modifiable, not like those calendar entries that show up in my calendar automatically, entries I have no way of modifying, even when they miss.

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