Imagine if you could locate your local town on a Google Maps style interface and then find out what kind of videos users in your local neighbourhood had uploaded. Imagine – you could find out things about your local area you had no idea about, get in touch with like minded video makers and of course, become your local area’s number one uploader.
That’s exactly what YouTube will soon offer according to NewTeeVee when they add their new “Geosearch” function to the world’s most popular video sharing site. Users have been offered the chance to geographically tag their videos when they upload them but as yet, there was no particular advantage in doing this. Now it seems the logic is that YouTube will embrace Google’s mapping technology to produce a much more personlised service.
At the current time, geotagged videos are available on Google Earth and but only a small selection. Presumably when the full YouTube Geosearch tool is rolled out, it will eventually be able to locate all clips. Of course, the plans do throw-up a few questions. Firstly, there’s issues of personal privacy. Should users really have to give their precise geographical location when uploading videos? If someone has managed to catch something particularly sensitive on camera, they are unlikely to want to reveal too much about their identity. Secondly, are people going to accurately geotag their videos or not? If they just select any old location in a rush to upload the videos, the whole service will become useless.
Let’s hope that YouTube offer users the choice of whether they want to geographically tag their data and if so, at least use your IP address to bring up your location quickly rather than having to select it from a map of the world.