Geotagging, or adding geographical identification to images (usually latitude and longitude coordinates or place names) was once a feature reserved to the most extreme Flickr and online photo community addicts, but it turns out it's proving helpful to even the average geek. This weekend's New York Times travel feature "Snapshots That Do More Than Bore Friends" looked at how through geotagging, users can add G.P.S. data to their pictures, which can then be plotted on a digital map and actually aid friends and even strangers in planning their own vacations. Here's more:

For example, people planning a trip to Cancún can use Google Earth, a free mapping software, to zoom in on Cancún’s crowded hotel zone and click on dozens of candid photographs, from the lounge chairs at the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach hotel and the pool at the Omni Hotel & Villas, to snapshots of less-crowded beaches and the nearest mall.

If you are feeling adventurous and don't use Flickr or a site like SmugMug.com, the Times notes you can use sites like Everytrail.com, a GPS travel community that lets users upload geocoded photos from their favorite hiking trails, biking routes and sailing trips. I hadn't ventured outside of flickr's geotagging until last night, but when I checked out the images from a Maui North Shore Scooter Expedition I was hooked.