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8/19/2005
05:43 PM
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Photo-Sharing Site Adds Google Maps

A startup lets subscribers enter the address for any photo or click a spot on a map to link their pictures to any latitude and longitude on Earth.

Ever share that vacation picture online, and then have to explain where the photo was taken? Well, Smugmug Inc. is looking to make that easier by adding Google Inc.'s satellite imagery-based mapping to its photo-sharing service.

The Mountain View, Calif., company said Friday that subscribers can enter the address for any photo or click a spot on a map to link their pictures to any latitude and longitude on Earth. When people visit subscribers' online albums, they can click a map button to see photos integrated with Google maps, which include the ability to zoom in on a location.

The company got the idea to add the mapping service after watching customers type awkward captions like "'about 18 miles south east from Canyon Creek, Wash., up some wicked cold river," Smugmug cofounder Chris MacAskill said in a statement.

"They can skip that now, leaving only the good part: 'I can't believe I bungee jumped off that,'" he said.

Photos uploaded with location data from handheld Global Positioning System devices or GPS integrated cameras and camera phones are automatically made ready for mapping in subscribers' photo galleries, the company said.

Google, Mountain View, Calif., has published application programming interfaces, or APIs, that let third parties program the search engine's services into a website. While Google doesn't charge for the service, it holds the right to show advertising through its service.

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