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Foto Brisko: leading you to the places where great photos are made

iPhone developer Bill Dudney is well-known for his classes and books on iPhone development. When he's not teaching others how to write iPhone apps, he's writing his own code for Gala Factory Software.

When I met Bill at the 360iDev Conference in Denver last October, it was after a talk he had given about using Map Kit to add location information and maps to iPhone apps. Since he's an expert in the use of this iPhone toolkit, It's not surprising that his latest app is full of map and location capabilities.

Foto Brisko [$2.99, iTunes Link] has an appropriate name -- it's Greek for "photo find." The idea behind Foto Brisko is brilliant, and the app is well executed. As a longtime amateur photographer, I've devoted a lot of time and effort to improving my photography by taking a lot of pictures. Sometimes it helps to know where really incredible subjects are located, so you can increase your chances of taking an amazing photo.

Foto Brisko is the one piece of my photographic toolkit that was missing. Regardless of where I am, I can now pull up the app and look for geotagged Flickr photos taken near my present location by other photographers. If I like the looks of a location, Foto Brisko can give me directions on how to get to that place so I can try taking a picture of the same subject.
Using Foto Brisko is quite simple. Launching the app displays a screen with two icons, one titled "Explore Photos" and the other "Shot List." The shot list icon is grayed-out when you start the app the first time, and you'll see why in a moment.

Tapping on Explore Photos (and the Locate Me button if needed) displays a Google map of your present location, along with several "pins" that pinpoint locations and display either a single photo or a slideshow of Flickr photos that were taken at that location. If there is more than one photo, tapping the pin displays a light table, which is a corkboard with photos strewn upon it. Only one photo at a location? You'll just see that photo when displayed when you tap the pin.

Tapping any individual photo then brings up two icons -- one, a small star, is used to add the photo to your shot list. The other, an envelope, is the typical iPhone share icon and at this time, you have the choice of posting a photo to Twitter or emailing it.

When you tap a group of photos and see them displayed on the light table, tapping a single photo will bring up a large view of a photo with the shot list and sharing icons displayed at the bottom of the photo. There are also icons for selecting more than one photo at a time for sharing or addition to your shot list, or for playing a slide show of the photos on the light table.

Once you've added a group of photos into your shot list, the shot list icon becomes active and tapping on it displays a list of the photos. Tapping any one of the photos brings up a detail page, showing EXIF metadata such as the camera type, exposure settings, and more. This data doesn't appear for every photo, as either the image tags did not include it or the person who made the photo available on Flickr has made the metadata private.

While Foto Brisko displays your location and the place where the photos were taken, it does not provide directions between the locations. Dudney noted that he's planning on adding more photo sources to Foto Brisko, and would also like to have the app be able to upload photos to Flickr.

The app works flawlessly and quickly, and is definitely worth the $3 price tag. Foto Brisko is an app that should be on every photographer's iPhone. Check out some screen shots in the gallery below.


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iPhone developer Bill Dudney is well-known for his classes and books on iPhone development. When he's not teaching others how to write...