Flickr has some catching up to do

Kristopher Tate walked Brian Oberkirch and me through a demo of his zooomr project at a meetro party last week (Kris, who’s 17, works full time at meetro and zooomr is a side project). He launched zooomr on March 1, 2006 after working on it for only three months or so. And what he’s built is a flickr on steroids.

Zooomr has a similar interface as flickr but does a lot more. You can choose to create an account or just use one of five other credentials to set up an account (Level9, OpenID, LiveJournal, Google (Gmail) or Meetro. The functionality is the same. Zooomr also offers the site in 15 languages.

The real benefit of zooomr is the wide variety of metadata that can be associated with a photo. Any photo can have an audio annotation, although recording functionality is not yet built into zooomr and so you must do this from your camera or an audio program and upload it separately. Zooomr has a built in flash player to listen to the annotation. You can also associate any person with a photo (something you can’t do on flickr, where you can only tag a photo with a person’s name if you like), and there is very tight integration with Google maps to allow geographic information to be included with a photo. If a lot of photos are geo tagged in a specific place at the same time, zooomr assumes they are part of an event even if the photos are all from different users.

Finally, to see a blowup of any picture, just click on the lightbox in the photo and it instantly pops up in a larger size.

For more details on features, view the zooomr “learn more” area. The site is free for up to 50 mb of photo uploading per month, and $20 per year for 2 GB per month (similar to flickr but $5 less).

UPDATE: Ouriel (who writes TechCrunch France) just pointed me to Flickr’s new ZoneTag product that auto-geo tags pics uploaded from a phone. This is a great feature.