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Google And Yahoo Add Photo Features

The two search engines upgrade their respective online photo services to give consumers a more integrated experience.

Google and Yahoo on Wednesday enhanced their respective online photo services, Picasa Web Albums and Flickr.

Google quite literally has put Picasa Web Albums on the map. Picasa users now have the option to place images in their Picasa Web Albums on an online map. Friends and family with whom those photos have been shared can then see where the images were captured using either Google Maps or Google Earth.

To do this, select a Picasa Web Album and click on the Edit Album Properties link. This opens a menu that allows address entry. After clicking the Update Map link, save the edit and use the Map Photos button atop the images to drag photos from the left hand photo inventory to the map.

Of course, images can be placed anywhere, regardless of where they were actually taken. This may open the door to a new form of public commentary by which the obvious disconnect between image and geography serves as commentary.

Google also launched a version of Picasa Web Albums for mobile devices.

Yahoo, meanwhile, said that it has integrated Flickr images into Yahoo Image Search.

"We had a couple of objectives for this integration," explained Ujwal Tickoo, senior product manager for Yahoo Search, in a blog post. "First, we wanted to ensure that we respected the contributions from the Flickr community and give credit where credit is due."

Yahoo Image Search thus attributes the photo to the Flickr photographer who took the picture. And clicking on the search thumbnail takes the searcher to the photographer's Flickr public photo stream.

"Second, we wanted to build a scalable integration that surfaced the freshest, most relevant content from Flickr," added Tickoo. "As a result, we've built this integration via a direct feed versus an API, ensuring timely results for your image queries, including any modifications or additions that are made in Flickr."

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