Last week I read a lot of interesting literature for my thesis. I divided the subject into separate concepts and looked for papers and books on each concept. One of the concepts is representation.


When it comes to the presentation of a story in images there must be a source for these images. The Internet is, by far, one of the biggest sources but very unusable. So lets first setup the requirements. I want:

  • Geo-tags
  • User-tags and/or description
  • An API

The geo-tags are used to define the location of the picture, the user-tags are used for the rest of the image description. The API is important because without one it will be very hard to get the images and information.

With these requirements I start looking at several image collections on the web. Some notable collections include: Picasa, Panoramio, Flickr, DeviantArt, Photobucket and probably more. The reason for including DeviantArt is because it can be interesting to show modified images. But how nice that might be they lack an important feature just as Photobucket, namely they do not use geo-tags. The ones remaining are Picasa, Panoramia and Flickr, but with respect to the large collection that Picasa offers they do not have an API that suits to my needs.

So my conclusion is that there are globally two sources of picures that contain location data (GEO-tags), user-tags and have an API. These are Panoramio and Flickr. I will only use one of these. Both have advantages as Flickr is a widely accepted choice. But with respect to Flickr, when I just take a look at the amount of pictures available for the Netherlands Panoramio seems to have a lot more images. Besides this Panoramio also is included in Google Maps so this also can be seen as a kind of acceptance. Because this research takes place in the Netherlands, and more specific in North-Holland, I will use Panoramio.