I did some lateral thinking about how the implementation of a social platform for Google+ can have some pretty far reaching impacts on the Google location services Earth. Here is what I was thinking.
In the fall, Google announced that service reached 1 billion downloads of the Google Earth desktop client, the Google Earth browser plug-in and the Google Earth Mobile app. That is not visits or sessions, but the software and plugin to use the service. This means that more have access to Earth than are on Facebook at present. Definitely more than the almost 100 million on Google+. But that is the opportunity for Google. The Earth service has a lot of functions more than great satellite imagery, but it certainly has the opportunity to grow into the social sphere with Google+. I am thinking about geotagging – you know setting up a point on a map and letting folks know about it through your social platform.
Let’s think for a moment of how easy it is to tag yourself and create a new place on Facebook. The problem is that since anyone can do that, there might be multiple Places for the same location. Merging them is done through the Places editor, but it is up to you who own that location to check on that. Further to that, Facebook Places has it’s downside as you can have a Place and a Page. If you better be doing the merging from the spot on Facebook you want to keep. Recently I merged a Place and a page and lost the content of the Page as the merger was done from the Facebook Place. This too gives me a headache. Am I talking about a Place or a place, a Page or a page. Facebook needs to sort out their nomenclature.
Google has that down as their maps, pins, Earth and Circles etc seem not to use language that will confuse you.
But let’s look at geotagging a photo. Google states “The easiest way to match your photos to a specific location is to use Google Maps in Picasa. However, you can also use the original geotag feature in Picasa, which launched Google Earth to accomplish the same thing.”
The bridge to Google+ is Picasa – “Once you join Google+, by default all albums can be re-shared by people that have access to the album — those people on the album’s ‘Shared with’ list in Picasa Web Albums.”
So we have pictures geotagged that are showing up in Google+. But this is by using Maps, Picasa and Google+. You can’t be sure of using Earth at all for this if you are on a Mac according to Google. Things are not all together, but under different services. Maybe this is the plan, lets not make any one service duplicate a function of another service. I am all for that, but still the integration of Maps, Earth, and Picasa has to be a lot easier than it is presently.
“I can rate business under my Places nickname but that is not tied to what I think of them on their Google+
business page or even qualifies me as me as I am not using my Google+ account with my real name.” – textureweb/Todd Yeadon
I should be able to easily check into a place (especially with the mobile app), take a picture and tag it as a place. That can then show up on my Maps, Picasa and Google+ – as well on Earth if I choose to.
Google Places allows you to add a place if you are a business which then shows up in Google Maps. The cross to Google+ may be coming soon. It will however be a herculean task for Google according to some. It certainly makes sense when you think about the search aspect of it all. One thing to think about is how I can set a nickname to rate a place on Google Places, but have to have my own real name on Google+ – see the problem?
I think you will see this happen this year, but hey I have been known to be wrong on many an occasion, so don’t hold me to it.
What do you think? Do you think this tighter integration can happen and will it? Please send your thoughts below in the comments form and I will share them here.