Yahoo launched a new weather app last week, and it’s getting rave reviews. Pretty amazing, because there’s only so much you can do when it comes to presenting weather info, right?
What Yahoo’s doing differently is crowdsourcing stunning photos from Flickr users. Here are a couple screenshots I took last night:
Every image is credited to the photographer in the lower right, and that credit links to the photo page. (The credit is easier to see in the app than in my screenshots.) So, while Yahoo isn’t paying photographers for these images, they could be sending some nice traffic and exposure. And that leads to the obvious question:
How Do I Get My Photos in Yahoo’s Weather App?
1. Sign up for a Flickr account, or sign-in if you already have one.
2. To have your photos considered, you have to be a member of the Project Weather group on Flickr. Join that group.
3. Submit your best weather-related photos to the group. Your photos won’t automatically show up in the group. Yahoo has a team of moderators that reviews images for possible inclusion in the Yahoo Weather app.
In addition, there are some photo-related guidelines you need to know about. These are detailed in a Welcome/Help message that’s posted in the group. The guidelines include:
a) The photo should depict one of these weather conditions: Clear, Cloudy, Rain, Storm, Fog, Snow
b) People shouldn’t be the focal point of the photo. If it has people, they shouldn’t be identifiable.
c) Horizontal-shaped photos should be at least 1024px wide by 554 px high
d) Vertical-shaped photos should be at least 680px wide by 1024px high
e) Square photos should be at least 1024px by 1024px
f) No borders, frames, timestamps, etc. Just clear, unadorned images.
g) THIS IS IMPORTANT: Your photo has to be geotagged using Flickr’s map-tagging tool. That’s how they know the photo’s location.
If you don’t geotag your images, you’ll get an error message like this when you try to submit it to the Project Weather group:
As best I can tell, the title and description of your photo don’t matter. That amazing New York photo above, for example, is titled “Civilizzazione / Civilization” and, even though it mentions New York in the description, Yahoo gets the location from the geotagging, not the description.
4. You’re done! Sit back and wait.
Yahoo says you won’t be notified if they choose your photo. It’ll just show up in the Project Weather group someday (Yahoo says it should be reviewed within 30 days, but that group is getting popular so I think it’s going to be longer than that.) and you’ll see “Project Weather” listed on your photo page under the Groups section.
More Tips for Yahoo Weather Photos
As I said above, Yahoo is looking for photos of these six specific weather conditions:
Clear, Cloudy, Rain, Storm, Fog, Snow
Photos are also being assigned based on time of day. The Help page says
The frequency at which your photo displays in the app depends on the number of photos in the group that reflect the same weather condition, location, and time of day as your photo.
So if you geotag your photos, that takes care of the location. If you shoot photos of those six weather conditions, that helps your chances of getting your photos included. And then there’s the “time of day.” My guess is that Yahoo will be looking for photos that match these times of day:
Sunrise, Morning/Daytime/Afternoon, Dusk/Sunset, Night
But that’s a guess on my part; Yahoo doesn’t specifically call out how many times of day it uses. But the team is obviously reviewing each image and assigning it to show in the app at certain times of day.
So that’s it. Pretty simple to submit. But maybe not easy to get your photos in the Yahoo Weather App. I’m not even going to bother submitting any Hawaii photos — I’m sure Yahoo will have a zillion to choose from. So I’ve mostly submitted photos from my hometown area, where there are likely less pics to choose from.
Hopefully in a month or so, I’ll spot my photo(s) in the app and do another post about that!
UPDATE: It didn’t take a month. It took less than 24 hours, as I wrote about here: BAM! Already Got One Photo Approved for Yahoo’s Weather App.