Monday, July 28, 2008

rotto on the schmap

We had an offer we could refuse recently: an online publisher asked if she could use one of our Hawaii photos from last year.

We love our on-an-angle pic of the Marriott Maui Ocean Club, but we politely declined. Well, we clicked a button.

Schmap is “a powerful desktop application that gives you a world of additional trip planning convenience, including options to take virtual tours and custom-print full-colour guides…we’ve schmapped 200 destinations…add a schmap to your website or blog…show friends where you live…let hotel guests see your great location…help vacationers find your rental.”

Hmmmm. From Rotto Bloggo’s ignorant viewpoint, it’s not an app that’s going to shake the world. We know mashups are all the rage, and convergence is king, yadda yadda…but there’s no payment for photos being used.

We assume Schmap’s Emma J. Williams had to pay for doing a deal with a street directory, and has to pay for hardware and bandwidth. Why shoouldn’t she pay for using photos too?

We had a look at her Flickr account – see here. There are countless enthusiastic thank-yous from people who’ve had their photos chosen. It’s worth reading down to see the occasional rant from someone who resents being asked if their photo can be used gratis.

“…they prey on the egos of photographers that think somehow being "published" is valuable consideration for their work. If you give these guys (or anyone) free photos you are contributing to the demise of the photography business as a whole.”

You think? Is this sentiment right? Or is Rotto Bloggo behind the times and erring by not embracing the Creative Commons thing?

What is the Rottnest, connection, I hear my thousands of readers asking?

Schmap has a Perth map. It’s a work in progress, shall we say. There are a few photos of the beautiful island there. Alas in the Rotto chapter there’s one of a place called ‘freemantle’, too.

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