I use Flickr to post my photos online, and I’m interested in geotagging my photos, so when Flickr made available some additional geotagged feed options, I paid attention.
- Beta support for GeoRSS feeds for people and tags, with group GeoRSS support promised. (See also Geotagging Flickr.)
- GeoRSS feeds for named locations, such as cities. (See also Geotagging Flickr.)
- Beta support for KML feeds, making Flickr directly compatible with Google Earth. (See also Ogle Earth.)
Why should you care about GeoRSS or KML feeds? Feeds allow data to be exported in a format that other services can read. Those of you who use an RSS newsreader know how this works, but RSS isn’t just for people using newsreaders: for example, I use RSS to aggregate posts from all my blogs onto my home page. Flickr’s GeoRSS and KML support means that Flickr photos can be imported into a Google Maps mashup, or viewed in Google Earth (despite the fact that Flickr is owned by Yahoo) or, for that matter, by anything else that can read GeoRSS or KML formats. Feed support makes data platform- and site-agnostic.
The less feed support you have, the harder this kind of thing is. Stefan Geens had a hell of a time getting his Flickr photos into Google Earth — 1, 2, 3 — eventually resorting to using Yahoo Pipes as a middleman. (Stefan still prefers the Pipes method to the admittedly beta direct method, which only does the last 20 photos.)