SOURCE: Fotopedia

June 09, 2009 13:00 ET

Fotopedia Launches the World's First Collaborative Photo Encyclopedia

Community-Powered Site Breaths New Life Into Online Photos, Creating a More Social, Contextual, and Useful Photo Resource

PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwire - June 9, 2009) - Fotopedia is transforming the online photo space with a photo encyclopedia that lets photographers, curators, and visitors contribute, collaborate and enrich images to be useful to the whole community. The new site can be used to organize photos from personal storage, Flickr, Picasa, and other services based on subject or any user-defined index, alongside a mashup of contextual information.

First launched to private beta in September 2008 as Fotonauts, Fotopedia is building the largest collection of premium images linked by topics, context, and affinities. During the first three months of private beta, the site displayed 30 million photos.

Fotopedia is the brainchild of Jean-Marie Hullot, former CTO of NeXT Software and Apple's Application Division.

"After traveling the world, I wanted to share my photos with others. Flickr and other photo sites give you exposure for only a brief window in time, and adding photos to Wikipedia proved too complicated for the average user," said Jean-Marie Hullot, founder of Fotopedia. "This sparked the idea for a 'Wikipedia of photos' -- that combines the permanence and community collaboration of Wikipedia with the ease of use of consumer desktop applications."

Unlike other photo networks, Fotopedia does not force users to store their files on its site. Rather, it creates a complete ecosystem around the pictures, regardless of where they are stored or hosted.

Fotopedia's consumer-friendly interface makes it easy for anyone to create an article about subjects that matter to them -- from butterflies to the Taj Mahal. People simply select their topic and can instantly begin searching and selecting the best pictures on Flickr, Picasa, personal storage and more. Users then populate their page with useful and relevant information, including Google maps and Wikipedia articles, to bring greater context to the images.

"Fotopedia is a great example of how Creative Commons licenses and properly marked user generated content can allow a commercial service to provide benefits to users, amateurs and professionals and contribute to the solution to one of the most difficult problems on the Internet: image search, by making the tagging and curation of photographs easy and fun," said Joi Ito, Fotopedia board member and CEO of Creative Commons.

Fotopedia gives photographers a powerful platform to share their images with the world and demonstrate authority in any given subject, geographic region, etc. They build albums featuring their best photos, select Wikipedia articles that add context to the photos and are then nominated in Fotopedia. They are notified whenever their photo is included in a Fotopedia page, and their profile page showcases the number of photos tagged within Fotopedia. Additionally, each page lists and links to the top contributing albums, to further increase exposure for those photographers.

"The digital image market is rapidly changing, as new technologies enable amateurs to provide images alongside professionals," commented Gilles Samoun, Fotopedia CEO. "With Fotopedia, we are building the largest photo distribution network, which will provide an effective avenue for photographers to promote and monetize their premium content."

Anyone can start participating at Fotopedia today and help build the world's first photo encyclopedia.

About Fotopedia, Images for Humanity.

Fotopedia's mission is to enable the creation of a definitive pool of images for everyone to contribute to, discover, use and enjoy, covering all areas of human interest. Fotopedia delivers the world's best tools for individuals to discover, organize, enrich, share and collaborate with images, wherever they are stored. Offices are in Palo Alto, California and Paris, France. For more information, visit

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