We are pleased to announce that Photo Atlas, the first Design Think Travel app, is available on the Google Play Store.
With Photo Atlas, you can explore the world in Flickr photos. Get inspired for future trips, scout locations for a photo shoot, or just browse billions of amazing images from around the world. You can save photos in collections to refer to for trip planning.
Why Photo Atlas?
Anyone who knows me or reads this blog knows that I love to go to beautiful places and take photos. My second favorite thing to do is to find out about more beautiful places to take photos. I developed the Photo Atlas app to make it easy to visually research destinations.
The app displays geotagged Flickr photos on a map. You can search for places and zoom in to find more photos for a destination. You can also filter photos by keyword. By default, the app displays photos that rank high in in Flickr’s interestingness rating. You can also sort photos by date taken or date posted.
You can save photos you like by adding them to collections. Collections help with planning trips, making bucket lists, and finding great shots to try to reproduce. The app doesn’t save photos on your device, so you don’t need to worry about it consuming device storage.
Click on the button below to install the app. You need to have a device running version 4.4 (KitKat) or higher of the Android operating system.
How to use Photo Atlas
Photo Atlas shows a Google map with geotagged Flickr photos. As you pan and zoom the map, the screen will refresh to display the top 30 photos taken at locations on the map. Click on a map marker to see a thumbnail, and click on a thumbnail to see a full screen image. This can be addictive. One of the challenges of developing the app was that I kept getting distracted by all the great photos that are out there on Flickr.
If you already have a Flickr account, you can authenticate through Photo Atlas. This lets you mark photos as favorites on Flickr and filter map results to only show photos taken by you.
The feature that sets Photo Atlas apart from other photo sharing apps is that you can add photos to collections. When you add a photo to a collection, you are essentially bookmarking it so that you can find it later in a group of related photos. Let’s say I’m planning summer hikes in Washington. As I pan around a map of the Cascades, I find photos of some trails that look really great. This looks like an awesome spot to watch the sun set behind Glacier Peak.
Click on the thumbnail to see a larger version of the photo.
I save the photo to a new collection called Summer Hiking. This collection will remind me of the hikes I want to do and the places I want to photograph this summer.
I continue to explore the map and add more photos to my hiking collection. I can look at all the photos in the collection in a tile view, like this.
Or I can switch to map view and see where each photo was taken. Note that in this screenshot, I’ve selected the Terrain map type.
We have a lot of ideas for features to add to upcoming releases to Photo Atlas, and we’ll listen to user feedback. We have also been working hard to generate concrete ideas for new apps. Our trip gave us a lot of ideas for apps to help travelers and photographers. We believe that travel and photo apps can go beyond selfie sharing and provide real benefits to travelers and the places they visit. Photo Atlas won’t be the last Design Think Travel app.