Marc Canter and family stopped by a couple days ago, and everybody had a lot of fun. Naturally we talked shop as well. In the midst Marc shared a one-liner that I love: “Open is the new black”.
Which brings me to Google Earth. I have more than 22 thousand photos on Flickr. Of those, more than 6.5 thousand are tagged “aerial”. If I had the time or energy I’d go back and give another few thousand the same tag.
Yet, far as I know, I can’t add any of these to Google Earth — at least not in the way that Panoramio shots get added. Panoramio is a cool service, but its feature set is small compared to Flickr’s, and less appealing to me as both a photographer and a geology and geography freak. I’d much rather upload shots to Flickr than to place them on Google Earth (or any mapping service) using open APIs.
Yet, far as I know, I can’t (with Google Earth, that is). That’s how it looked the last time I tried to make a go of it. (Also, Google Earth doesn’t like aerial photos, which also isn’t helpful, especially in places where its own resolution is low.)
Anyway, I’m not here to carp about Google Earth, which is one of the most amazing and helpful programs ever. I’m here to carp about exclusivities. Services such as these should be maximally mashable. By favoring Panoramio over Flickr (and other services like it), Google does neither Panoramio nor Google Earth any favors. In fact it isolates both from competitive pressures that would lead to improvements in their own code and in the marketplace.
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