DFJ-Backed Clixtr Marries Photos With Location, Launches Website

Clixtr, a startup that first presented itself to a wide audience at this year’s TechCrunch50 Conference (our take), kicked off things with a relatively limited offering – a paid iPhone app – but is now upping its game with the launch of an accompanying location-aware photo sharing website.

It’s also dropping the price of its iPhone application to zero, so if you and the rest of the family will be taking pictures today over Thanksgiving dinner, take notice.

The fledgling company, founded by MIT and Stanford grads, aims to turn smartphones into what they refer to as ‘smartcameras’ or ‘social cameras’. The basic idea behind the service is that when you’re at an event, be it a birthday party at your home or at a massive rock concert, photos from multiple people attending could be turned into one single, centralized photo album for all to enjoy.

To make this work, even when pictures are taken by people you do not know, Clixtr uses location as the tying factor. The app essentially combines the capabilities of the iPhone’s camera and built-in GPS to geo-tag photos and determine when photos are being taken at the same location. Clixtr thus enables users to automagically create instant, location-aware, group photo albums in real-time (lots of buzzwords there, but that’s the way it works).

Before, Clixtr users could only add photos to albums using the now free iPhone application (which cost $2.99 at launch), but with the launch of the corresponding website at Clixtr.com anyone can now contribute to the group albums. Since the application can also detect which other events are happening around you based on where you’re taking photos, Clixtr can double as a discovery engine for other happenings going on around you.

No word on if and when the company plans to extend its service to include other smartphone platforms.

Clixtr founder and CEO Fergus Hurley waved goodbye to his PhD program in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT to incorporate the startup back in 2008, and went on to raise an undisclosed amount of seed financing from Silicon Valley VC firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson in March 2009.

What’s your take?