new idea – what do you think?


It’s been a while since i threw around some ideas here, so this is one i’ve been debating with myself about for a while… don’t know if it exists or not, but if it does i couldn’t find it…

Public Photo Tagging

Take my trip to Paris… over 1,000 photos taken. Probably hundreds if not thousands of random strangers in them. Those strangers will probably never, ever see themselves in my photos and vice versa. It’s a sad situation really when you think about it… if you’re in a built up area you’re probably guaranteed to be photographed even if you don’t notice it. If you’re in a touristy spot like¬†Disneyland, you’re probably in a photograph every few steps you take. But you’ll never see those photos because people go away and store their photos offline… many don’t even know how to upload them online, let alone make them publicly available on a photo sharing site…

Creative Commons License photo credit: JD Hancock

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could browse through photos by location (geo coordinates), time and date and stumble across yourself or people you know in strangers photographs? Yes. Wouldn’t it be cooler if you could tag yourself or other people in those photos? Yes. It would mean that you could in theory walk through a busy street at a certain time and date, then browse through people’s photos later and tag yourself in them.

Maybe you were within touching distance of someone famous without knowing it or walking alongside a friend without realising it… public photo tagging would open up a whole new world…

It’s the Facebook way of thinking…

The problem with this concept / idea however is that we’re not living in a world which would accept it, yet. Google+ is aiming to ‘take back’ control of privacy settings whereas Facebook up until now was gradually nudging us in the direction of a ‘public or nothing’ world. So it’s idealistic… but i feel it has legs.

The benefits of such a website would extend far beyond personal satisfaction / entertainment. Think about how much evidence and clues photos provide in murders, missing persons, terror attacks etc… we now live in a world where everybody gets photographed (particularly in build up areas / cities) so this type of system could act as a form of cctv or tracking people. Introduce facial recognition to automate or semi-automate the process and it becomes easier for the community (general public) to manage.

Hello Strangers

It’s just an idea, but i’ll leave you with some pictures of complete strangers. Strangers to me. Somebody knows them… most of these guys probably didn’t have a clue they were in my photos and will never know. Modern day families will grow up having unknowingly appeared in thousands of photos just like mine…

Parachute Ride

Parachute Ride

Walt Disney Studios


Disneyland Paris

1 thought on “new idea – what do you think?”

  1. Great idea, especially for us seasoned photo-bombers. I know I’m in at least 4,000 photo’s on Facebook, untagged.

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