Twitter Places with Photos

Today we officially announced a new feature for TwitPic that integrates some great location-aware features using Twitter’s new Places service.  For a long time, we have wanted to be able to put a location with a photo.  It adds meaning, and it is also a great tool for businesses to stay on top of things.  Since we are using Twitter Places, you can not only say that a photo was taken in “Charleston, SC”, but you can also say that the photo was taken at “Starbucks, 239 King St., Charleston, SC”, for instance.

Adding a location to photos is simple.  There are two ways you can do this:

Adding a Location to a New Photo

When you upload a photo using the TwitPic website (not a 3rd party Twitter app), there is a checkbox in the third step (Post Options) that says “Include location data”.  If this box is checked, this means that you want to specify where this photo was taken.

One thing that is important to note is that we rely on your camera’s ability to store the coordinates of where the photo was taken in order to provide you with better location services.  Almost all moderately new cell phones have this ability, and some high end digital cameras do as well.  If there is no location data stored with your photo, you will not be presented with a page to choose the photo’s location.  If you would still like to choose a location for the photo despite this, you can follow the instructions in the next section.

So once you click the Upload button on the upload page, and if your photo has location data, you will see the new Places page as shown below (click to enlarge):

Screen shot 2010-06-24 at 6.15.07 PM

From here, you can save where the photo was actually taken.  You will see nearby options listed based on where the photo was taken, although if the correct location is not shown, you can search for it, as shown below (click to enlarge):

Screen shot 2010-06-24 at 6.18.46 PM

To select a location, click on it in the list, and it will become highlighted in a pretty blue.  Click the “Save with Location” button at the bottom and voila!  It is important that you click either “Save with Location” or “Save without Location”, or else the tweet with your photo will not be sent to Twitter.

If your photo was not taken at any particular location, but you would still like to show where it was taken on the photo page, you have the option to “Use Exact Coordinates”.  This will show a pinpoint on the map showing exactly where the photo was taken.  Normally, if you choose a Place for the photo, it will show that place instead of the photo’s exact coordinates.

Adding a Location to an Existing Photo

If you would like to go back through your already uploaded photos and assign locations to them as well, then you can do that too!  Simply navigate to the photo you would like to set a location for, and click the link “add/edit location” to the right of the photo.  You will be presented with a page very similar to the one shown above.

If your photo does not have location data stored with it, you will have to search for the place manually.  In the search box, type in the name of the location and be as descriptive as possible.  We are working on refining this search, but for now it may take a few tries to find the right location.  We will also add the ability to choose an exact location by clicking on the map in the future.

Once you have chosen a location, click the “Save with Location” button.  Clicking “Delete Location” will remove the location currently saved with the photo.

Some Final Words

Twitter Places is a very important milestone in our development, but keep in mind that it is an extremely new feature.  Twitter is constantly working to improve the feature, just as we are working to improve our implementation of the feature.  If the location you are searching for is not found, chances are it will be added in the near future as Twitter expands the feature.

We hope you like the new feature, and let us know what you think!

23 thoughts on “Twitter Places with Photos

    • We actually do use the photo EXIF data to get the exact coordinates of the photo. From the blog post:

      “One thing that is important to note is that we rely on your camera’s ability to store the coordinates of where the photo was taken in order to provide you with better location services. Almost all moderately new cell phones have this ability, and some high end digital cameras do as well.”

  1. Great new addition to the site. Two quick questions.
    1. I email my photos to Twitpic. Is there any way to automatically have them geotagged? (Assuming the EXIF data are there).
    2. When will geotag support for 3rd party sites be available? I’d love to offer it to users of @dabr.


    • Hi Terence, so to answer your questions:

      1) We would like to add an option in the site settings that lets you choose to automatically geotag your posts. This would have to use the “Use Exact Coordinates” setting though because we have no way of knowing if you took the photo at a nearby point of interest or not. You can always come back later and specify a Place for the photo as well.

      2) We have been working on rolling out our full site API for some time now, we expect to add our Places integration soon.

  2. Does this only work in the USA? I tried to add a location to an image I took here in the UK and it wouldn’t search for it. If not, why not? Google earth allows a worldwide search…

    • Hi Ben,

      We use the Twitter Places database to do searches, and unfortunately they only have US data at this time. They are working on expanding internationally very soon though!

  3. Thats great :)

    Question 1, “If I upload a geotaged photo by dabr, twibble or gravity from my mobile, will it show the exact location?”

    Question 2, “If I upload a photo through geotaged tweet by twibble from my mobile , will it show the exact location?”

    For me, the mobypicture and twibble function is cool, as if my tweet is geotaged then mobypicture take the location and they show the interactive map at there! Quiet a interesting one!

  4. I like this new feature and I think the search location possibilities are great. but I’m having trouble getting it to work. Is there a way to get it to work with a Blackberry-through a web connection? or if I email pictures with geotagging from my phone then post from a computer to twitpic?

  5. Please add the ability to use the geotag in uploaded (or mailed!) photos automatically. The whole sense of location-aware data is to share it quickly via your mobile. The best way to do this is to send the image via email.

  6. The search feature appears to only work with locations that are stored in the system…. I’d like to add locations for pix that I have taken NOT in locations already filed… how do I do this? I have attempted the search function but get nothing with the searches…. Versailles KY is one I tried overnight with no luck…..

  7. Twitpic should start some mobypicture like services for geo location based photo!

    I use mobypicture by twibble from my nokia n82 & I found that really effective!

    Geotaged tweet and photos are really awesome :)

  8. Is anybody reading these? I love the new location search, and I’m rooting for the little guy (Twitpic). Many of the other twitter photo apps have geotagging easily from your phone. Is Twitpic working on that? I think that is what you’re saying above?

  9. 1st, LUV the ‘pretty blue color’! lol. 2nd, new to twitter & twitpiccing & evidently not very tech savvy, I could use any & all advice on using these, mostly from my cell (Samsung Reclaim). Any advise?

  10. Trying to add locations via the Twitpic website, but it doesn’t seem to be working for me. Tried on Firefox, Internet Explorer, and on my iPad. I get no response on any browser.

  11. i found the location by myself after clicked the link “add/edit location” to the right of the photo. But then, it doesnt allow me to click “save”. So its not being saved anyway? How can I click the “save” button. I can found the location however.

  12. Once I navigate to the add location site and enter the name of the city, the site does nothing. It doesn’t search, it doesn’t save, it doesn’t give a map, nothing… Any ideas?

  13. i want to know how to upload pics from my mobile? i just want to put a profile pic on my twitter…someone please help me a s a p

  14. As well as reading data stored by the camera It would be nice to have a manual form that allowed a choice of methods of identifying location. This should include direct entry of lat, long co-ordinates. The Google maps api could then be used to show the exact location.

    Remember 90% of the World is outside the US and some of us have computers and Internet access. Those of us from Britain also have a deep sense of irony and the ability to use sarcasm.

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