I travel a lot. Well, I was doing it anyway. This pauses a bit for obvious reasons. For now, as I am stuck inside, I like to look at old travel photos with a mixture of melancholy and distant optimism, preparing for my next trip, when it could be. A composite of my Google Photos heat map. It took a lot longer to recover than I want … [+] admit. Some missing locations due to lack of GPS data in the original images. Geoffrey Morrison Years ago, Instagram had a feature I liked that would put the photos you took on a world map. You can zoom in and as long as the photo is geotagged, you can see exactly where it was taken. I’m not sure it was particularly helpful in any way, but I did feel a sense of accomplishment when the little icons appeared in places I had explored. Apparently I was the only one because Instagram removed the feature. I tried to find apps that did the same thing, but gave up. I did not find any that offered easy simplicity. And then Google reorganized the Photos app with essentially the same functionality. Google Photos Google Photos, like its counterpart Photos iOS, is a free service to store and organize your photos. It is included with Android and available on iOS. Like most things, Google is based on intelligent search. It can sort your photos and identify faces, things, landmarks, etc. A search for “dogs” will allow you to see all the photos you have taken of dogs, for example. You can then tag a specific person or animal, and it will do a surprisingly good job finding only pictures of your uncle or your friend’s poodle. There was always the possibility of sorting by places too. Geotagged photos or those with recognizable landmarks can also be sorted. That is, if you took a photo of the Eiffel Tower with your phone, there were probably built-in GPS coordinates, so if you searched for “Paris”, it would appear. If you took a photo with your DSLR, it probably didn’t have GPS coordinates, but if the Eiffel Tower was in the photo, it probably appeared anyway. Some random streets may not appear in the same search, however, without anything specific to the city. My Google Photos Hawaii Map Geoffrey Morrison Photomaps The latest redesign of the Photos app goes even further. The search tab has a specific function “Explore the map” which displays a heat map of photos and videos. If you took one or two in one place, it will have a purple dot. The more photos you take in an area, the larger the point becomes and the color gets closer to red, passing through green, yellow and orange along the way. If you zoom in or tap a specific area, the photos / videos you have taken in that specific area are displayed at the bottom. It is not perfect, of course. It’s as good as the location information on the photo itself. For the most part, this appears as missing photos. For example, on my map (displayed at the top), all the photos I took in South Africa and Swaziland are missing, because my camera at the time had no GPS, and like great photos elephants and lions, Google has no way of knowing that these are local wildlife not in a zoo somewhere. My Google Photos Heat Map of Japan Geoffrey Morrison I found a few photos of which I have no idea how they were sorted where they were. For example, a few that I caught at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas appeared in Wisconsin, for example. However, the vast majority of the photos were exactly where they were supposed to be. Does this have a specific purpose? Probably not, but I love it. It’s another way to explore your photos. It’s great to sweep the map, see a random spot and touch it to reveal a memory you forgot or a photo you didn’t know you had taken there. It also really makes me want to be able to continue traveling. It will have to wait. At the moment I can at least explore it virtually thanks to this update. If Google Photos doesn’t have the Explore Map section under Search, make sure you have the latest version of the app. .
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