Adding location metadata to photos is perhaps the surprise hit of 2005’s mass mapping revolution, bestowing immediate benefits in terms of context and display options. For many people using Flickr or similar tools, coming across geotagged, mapped photos may well have been their first conscious encounter with GIS.
Two new tools are helping to forge the connection between a photograph and where it was taken. Both integrate with Google Earth.
For Windows users, ITag turns adding location metadata into a matter of dragging and dropping a Google Earth placemark onto the photograph. This data can then be saved in a Flickr-compatible format for uploading to that service, or else one or more photographs can exported in a group as a KMZ file and sent to people for opening in Google Earth. (example (KMZ))
Finally, ITag will also convert GPX tracklogs made by GPS devices into KML. It’s free, so there is no reason not to try it, in case this is what you need.
This open source project is an elaborate Firefox browser extension. The aim is “to build a better map” by tagging (panoramic) photos in Flickr or 23 with more detailed metadata (point of view, type, season, time of day…) and then displaying them on Google Local as an enhanced map. You can also launch Google Earth from the interface with a network link that shows the photographs in that context.
The project is in its incipient phase, in need of (your?) content, but it is even worth playing with just as a proof of concept.