Location, location, location for YouTube


12 Oct 2007

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Yesterday Google Earth added a YouTube layer to the ‘Featured Content’ section allowing users to watch videos from specific geographic regions as they virtually globe trot.

Preparing for this integration, the Google-owned video-sharing site add a geo-tagging feature earlier this year so technically every video has a country of origin if tagged correctly by those uploading.

Google has high hopes for this: “A trip to Maui offers videos of surfing, snorkeling and exotic sea life, while users who fly to Chamonix-Mont Blanc, France, can watch breathtaking videos filmed at the highest points of the Alps”, it says on the official Google blog.

The problem with user-generated content is that it is not always as insightful or riveting as Google describes, but potential use for this service is to get a taste of local life in another culture, or perhaps use it to pinpoint destinations for a holiday or trip.

I decided to cruise Dublin from Google Earth to see what our city’s YouTube users had on offer, and it was a mixed bag.

There were plenty of clips from concerts and gigs ranging from Justin Timberlake at the RDS to Krafty Kuts at Crawdaddy. This is decidedly useful, as is the footage of various bus routes, like the 123, around the city.

Of course this choice also runs into the plain bizarre: I was treated to footage proving a link between the architecture in Dundrum and the Stonemasons in ‘The Occult Symbolism of Dundrum, land of the Fish God’.

Google Earth has a few other integrated features dotted about the landscape like high-res pictures of landmarks and plenty of Wikipedia articles on sites of historical interest.

By Marie Boran