Flickr’s geotagging is let down by Yahoo Maps

Just back and looking at Flickr’s new geotagging tools, which allow you to specify the location your photos were taken. They’re very cool, in theory. Groups / sets / search terms / individual users’ photos can be viewed in a very swish interface – mine are here, for example – and there are plenty of searching options that seem most impressive. Full details are here. It’s all great and very well done, but they’re badly let down by the underlying map software: Yahoo Maps. It just sucks, especially when you compare it to the greatness that is Google Maps. I know it’s early days, but adding a location just now was nearly impossible.

I tried to add a location to the photos from the Bloggers4Labour meetup last Thursday. The postcode was EC4M 9EH. Type this into Google Maps and you get:

Postcode in Google Maps

The location marker shows the actual postcode location, and there are street names and other details. Great. Do the same in Yahoo Maps, via the ‘Organize!’ Flickr interface, and you get:

Postcode in Yahoo Maps

Which is just the Eastenders credits. The small blue circle is a preexisting image I’d eventually tagged from satellite imagery (it was taken on a bridge which was thankfully easy to spot). The postcode I want is actually centered in the view, although that isn’t mentioned. Zooming in to full detail gives:

Postcode in Yahoo Maps - Zoomed

Which is probably right, but I’ve no idea which building it is. I can’t even figure it out from street names, since they seem to have no data for central London.

I just tried tagging a photo from this weekend’s festival and had a similar problem. Yahoo just shows me a large area, whereas Google shows me a map of the locality that’s actually useful.

Maybe these are just teething problems, and Yahoo Maps will probably improve over time, but it’s a disappointment currently. The drag and drop interface is a great idea, but I hope somebody writes a greasemonkey script to change it to Google Maps. From what I’ve seen of the UK data it’s not really useable atm.