Flickr is best known for its photo-sharing, but increasingly its most innovative work is coming from its geo-developers (Radar post). Yesterday they announced the addition of a street-level map of Black Rock City so that we can view geotagged Burning Man photos. Flickr got the mapping data via Open Street Map‘s collaboration with Burning Man.
Flickr uses Yahoo! Maps for most of their mapping (and fine maps they are). The underlying data for them is primarily provided by NAVTEQ. NAVTEQ’s process can take months to update their customers’ mapping data servers. For a city like Burning Man that only exists for a week every year that process won’t work. However, an open data project like Open Street Map can map that type of city. To the right you can see what Yahoo’s map currently looks like.
This isn’t the first time Flickr has used OSM’s data. They also used it to supplement their maps in time for the Beijing Olympics. I wonder if Yahoo! Maps will consider using OSM data so that their sister site doesn’t continue to outshine them (view Beijing on Yahoo Maps vs. Flickr’s Map to see what I mean). OSM’s data is Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0.
If you want to get more insight into Flickr’s geo-thinking watch their talk from the Where 2.0 2008 conference after the jump.