Geotagging Photos When You Take Them

I wrote about geotagging photographs way back in the fall of 2006. This means attaching longitude and latitude data to a photograph so it can be mapped. Most shutterbugs who geotag their photos do so after the fact, using various mechanisms, in Flickr or with iPhoto plug-ins, for example.
Now, it seems, easy geotagging of photo easy will be added to Apple’s iPhone — at least, according to one report at AppleInsider. If the iPhone does have GPS (or even if it relies on the current mechanism of approximating the iPhone’s location, by triangulating on cell phone towers), every picture taken with an iPhone could have location data attached.
Depending on the resolution of the location, it would be possible to build collections of photos from multiple users over time of a given location.
Of course, the privacy implications are interesting, too — will a photograph taken of someone without the subject’s knowledge, published to Flickr with a geotag, be considered evidence of that person’s whereabouts? This expands the risks to privacy already created by CCTV systems, such as those installed in many cities (Singapore, London, etc.). If everyone has a camera with geotagging capability built in, and publishes their photos to the Internet — how easy will it be to scan them to learn if a person suspected of being at that location at a particular time might be in the background?

2 thoughts on “Geotagging Photos When You Take Them”

  1. Update — the iPhone does indeed have this capability, as rumored. I’m curious to see what services are built around it by my more-clever “web 2.0” colleagues.

  2. Since a couple of weeks you can also use the iPhone app called GeoLogTag for geotagging pictures taken with your digital camera. The iPhone’s GPS is used to log locations and afterwards the app will directly geotag pictures uploaded to your Flickr account.
    No more messing around with GPX or KML files.
    GeoLogTag is an app I developed, so don’t hesitate to buy it 🙂
    Feedback is greatly appreciated.

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