I'm a fan of photography and obviously dabble a bit myself, but I don't take any of it too seriously. Some people do, and Flickr
has become huge because of it. They started with a basic function: online picture storage and access. Then they expanded upon the features and options. But they didn't stop there. Just like Google, they've kept their basic functionality open and the result is some interesting third party facilities (aka mashups) like Tag Galaxy
, which allows you to browse through Flickr photos in a 3D planet-based interface using keyword tags as search criteria.Flickrvision
is another neat application that mashes Google Maps and Flickr together to provide a real-time peak into the geographical locations of images that are being added to Flickr on a second-by-second basis. It has a surreal feel to it as you play peeping tom to millions of unknown strangers, taking a look into each of their lives, if only for a brief moment.
Spending just five minutes staring at this application will make your mind bend in some
way, if only for the sheer randomness of it all. You see a skyscraper in NYC one second, and a family of farmers in Indonesia the next. After that comes a baby picture from Montana, a Concert photo in the Netherlands, and a cat snap in Göteborg, Sweden. Perhaps the oddest feeling I noticed, really, was my perception of how much we are all really alike (or, at least those who post photos to Flickr are). Images of groups of friends, Baby pictures, Pet photos, and art pics.. All a little bit of history repeating.
The details of the human condition might be come out different each time, but ultimately the story is the same.