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):
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):
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!