Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thing 10: What Do I See There?

There's a certain satisfaction in sharing your photos with friends and family, but how about millions of people seeing your favorite pictures while looking for other information? In the past year or so, sites have been encouraging users to upload their photos to add richness and interest to search results of all kinds.

For instance, if you use Google Maps to look for San Francisco (CA), you'll not only find a street map of the city, but photos, videos, user-created maps, comments and more. What was once a very flat (and...perhaps even boring) answer of "You Are Here" has expanded to "You're Here, and Here's What You Can See, Do, Find, Eat, Explore...."

At reviewing sites like Yelp, user photos can help make those ratings jump off the page. Don't just read what folks liked or disliked about the Boston Common, click on the photos at the upper right and see for yourself.

Over at Amazon, customer images are used less frequently, but sometimes with interesting results. Check out the mind map illustrating Thomas Friedman's The World is Flat.

Discovery Activity
Using Google Maps, Yelp, or another site you've discovered, locate some examples of user-added photos. Write up a blog post on how these photos might have changed your opinion of the place or thing that you searched for. Add a photo or two to your post to make your point.

Your Extra Mile is to upload your own photo to one of those sites and share the link with us.

As this is a short week, we'll end here, but don't touch that dial! Next week we'll take these images and get them moving...then add sound...beginning with Thing 11: You(Tube) Oughta Be in Pictures. And now, for a preview....

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