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Domestic tourism recovery – COVID-19

In this time of uncertainty, there is one thing we do know – there will again come a time when we’ll be completely free to roam.

How long we will have to wait is a big unknown. Months? Years? The signs – at least in this country – are promising; however, we can be fairly certain that it will be a changed world for some time.

How long until we are able to travel internationally? Some estimations are that international travel could be years away, and possibly never return with the same level of ease and freedom we have enjoyed in recent years.

Domestic travel is arguably a very valid short-term cure for itchy feet and we are exceedingly fortunate to live in a country of amazing diversity. Australians are able to enjoy snowy alps, tropical beaches, stunning desert landscapes, rich farmland, lush rainforests and much more.

While there are myriad experiences available, too many are stuck in a pattern of rinse and repeat when it comes to travel.

Even in terms of domestic travel, many families return to the same holiday spot year after year, enjoying the safety and ease of a familiar environment, knowing exactly what to bring, what activities can be enjoyed and where the best spot for [insert; swimming, fishing, diving, photography, hiking, etc.] can be located.

If only this information and experience could be shared with others. Suddenly the world would be full of possibilities. If another traveller’s experiences could be accessed and the GPS locations discovered, perhaps it might be time to let another family occupy that tent site while you explore a new campsite another day’s drive west, a farm-stay two hours’ drive south, or a gypsy wagon glamping experience you never even knew existed.

Brisbane-based travel photography app founder, Obelia McCormack, has come up with the solution to a problem many people didn’t even know they had. 

“I was on a self-drive holiday in Tasmania when I got the idea for the app,” says Obelia.

“I had just spent hours looking for a convict bridge a friend of mine told me I ‘must see’. I was frustrated and lost, and feeling the hours of my precious holiday slip past. This spot had no address so I was using some written instructions to ‘not’ find the location …

“I had been planning for this trip for over a month, I had a new Canon EOS 6D DSLR camera and I was determined to get some great, unique shots.

“Planning my road trip destinations seemed incredibly easy in front of my computer with Google Maps in front of me, but trying to follow written instructions while driving was incredibly difficult,” says Obelia.

“I did manage to find some amazing locations after roping a relative from Hobart into being my guide for several days, but I missed just as many as I found. I came home determined to create a better way to share, plan and navigate to off the beaten track destinations – and PicTrax was born.”

The PicTrax, GPS map-pinned travel photography app essentially pins images to their GPS capture location so others can find, save and navigate to these spots.

And it’s not just the ‘followers’ who benefit from the app. Contributors are well taken care of.Discover amazing new travel destinations with PicTrax

“As someone who has sold stock photography before, I understand just how little financial reward is on offer for travel shots.

“Photographers can pay thousands of dollars for camera equipment, and lug their gear on and off planes, up and down mountains, and get mere cents for the ‘sale’ of one of their shots.

“It’s depleting as a photographer to invest in great equipment, and spend your time and effort creating beautiful work for so little reward.

“PicTrax is built to reward contributors for their efforts. When someone simply likes one of your images, your profile is immediately credited.

“Photographers wanting to sell their work can sell off app by providing a link to their portfolios, where they can negotiate the sale price themselves.

“I understand many people will be skeptical, but I’m proud to say that the credits paid to users is subsidised through advertising revenue, not from selling personal information like many other ‘free’ apps.

“When a user’s account reached $20 or more, they can cash it in for real Australian dollars. It’s not about selling ‘influence’ on PicTrax, it’s about sharing your experiences and being rewarded for taking the time to do so.”

PicTrax has a long-term goal of helping people become better acquainted with the world

“We have gorgeous travel images pinned in many countries around the world,” says Obelia.

“I truly hope this platform helps people find authentic travel destinations, not only here but internationally too. One user posted pics of the mountains, lakes and rivers of Kyrgyzstan. It’s so beautiful there, and before PicTrax, I’m embarrassed to say I’d never even heard of the country before.

“Now is the time to share great domestic travel destinations. When our borders open to international tourists, let’s show them there’s more to see than the over visited tourist traps.

“Let’s show Australians and the world what we have to offer as a tourism destination. Regional and remote areas have a lot going for them. It’s time to show off our tourism assets.”

PicTrax is free to users, and is available for download on iPhone and Android phones and tablets.

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Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions – PicTrax

Here you’ll find the answers to several frequently asked questions, designed to help you learn more about PicTrax and how to get the most from it. This section will grow as more questions are added, so if you don’t see an answer to a question you have, ask us in in our contact form at the bottom of this page and we will do our best to answer you.

Upload images to PicTrax from your mobile device:
1/ Tap on the ‘upload’ icon (plus button). You will find this button in the centre of the bottom navigation bar. PicTrax should open your mobile phone or tablet’s gallery.
NOTE: PicTrax may open your phone’s file structure. If that occurs, simply navigate to your device’s image gallery and album or sub folder.

2/ Tap on the image you wish to upload.
NOTE: We suggest ‘favouriting’ or ‘liking’ images in your gallery or saving to a specific folder for easy location. This helps save time later.

3/ If the selected image contains GPS metadata, the image will automatically be pinned to the capture location. If the GPS metadata is missing or incorrect, you can navigate to the capture location by standard pinch zoom control. When the capture location has been found, tap the map to pin the location.

4/ Fill in the required info fields, or you may choose to change the image.

5/ When the upload form is complete, hit ‘Save pix’ – Your image will now upload.

NOTE: Navigating away from this window during the upload process may cause the upload to break.

6/ You will then be taken to your image’s ‘detail view’ where you may check the image, mapped location and info for accuracy, edit the info, make public (or private) or delete the image, or leave it as is.

Make money from PicTrax in three easy steps:

  1. Upload a travel pic you’ve taken of a worthwhile destination to PicTrax.
    NOTE: Images with embedded GPS metadata will be automatically pinned to their GPS capture location. If this is incorrect or not available, you can manually pin the image by navigating to the place you were when you took the pic, and tapping the map to pin the image.
  2. Like your pic.
    Tap and hold the heart icon to apply up to five likes. The act of applying likes is counted as a ‘Like Action’. Once applied, a Like Action and credits can’t be removed, even if the likes are removed.
  3. Go to your profile and you will see that your earnings have increased by the current ‘Like Action Value’. This will vary from time to time. You can check the current ‘Like Action Value’ here.

When your credits reach (AUD)$20 you can cash it in.

What can you do to increase your earnings further?

Encourage friends and family to follow you in PicTrax and like your pix. Each time a unique user likes one of your pix, your earnings grow. During promo events, the Like Action Value will increase to up to 20c per like. It will be particularly beneficial to gain as many likes as you can during bonus promo events!

Absolutely not! At PicTrax, we are ‘Team You’. The platform was built to assist people in the following ways;

  1. Increased awareness of the world and where to find amazing destinations.
  2. Making money from ‘Like Actions’.
  3. Opening an avenue for personal image sales to a potential global audience – via the ability to include a URL to your own online presence in the comments section.

PicTrax has no interest in claiming ownership of user uploaded images, however one or more user images may be seen in on screen video and screenshots taken for promotional purposes.

At PicTrax, we have taken steps to protect your rights by:

  1. Preventing images from being copied, downloaded or taken by screenshot. Images taken via screenshot will have a PicTrax watermark that will prevent the image from being used commercially.
  2. Requiring the uploading user to declare they have copyrights to the image.
  3. Allowing an avenue for reporting in the case that a user does upload an image that they do not have copyrights to.

If you would like to crop, enhance or otherwise edit an image prior to uploading to PicTrax, it is worth noting that some image editing apps will erase the GPS metadata.

We consistently use Snapseed for image enhancement prior to upload as this app retains the GPS metadata AND saves enhanced pix to a created Snapseed gallery folder/album, which allows for easy retrieval in the upload process.

There may be many other image editing apps that retain GPS metadata – please test on one image before committing to any specific image editing app.

Your personal information will not be retained by PicTrax so therefore it cannot be sold to a third party.

PicTrax does serve advertising. In some instances the advertising platform may match your device ID and match it with ad content that it considers relevant to your profile in their existing records.

PicTrax may use your email address to;

  • Communicate system information – you cannot unsubscribe from this as these communications may be required by law, i.e. updated terms of service notification in compliance with changes in legislation.

PicTrax may also use your email address to;

  • Advise of bonus ‘Like Action Value’ periods, or milestones in earnings, likes or other user to user activity.
  • PicTrax may also use your email address to communicate new developed features.

You will of course be able to unsubscribe from these emails.

If you are attempting to upload content in a low or intermittent data environment, the upload may break, showing a partial upload. If this occurs, please delete the image and try again at a later date, in a stronger data environment.

If the uploading device is disrupted through; going into ‘sleep mode’, moving away from the upload screen during upload, accepting a call during upload, the image may fail to upload correctly.

If this does occur, please open the image to detail view and use the elipsis menu in the top right of the image pane to delete the image, and attempt upload at another time.

Yes, in both iOS and Android devices, you will have the ability to apply a ‘heart’ to, or ‘favourite’ an image.

This will place the image in a ‘favourites’ folder which will be much easier to access than scrolling through years’ of photos to find the one you wish to upload.

Using the Snapseed app to enhance your images is a great way to separate your enhanced pix from the rest as Snapseed can save the enhanced pix to a Snapseed folder or album.

Manually moving images to a new folder for upload is another way to separate the images you wish to upload to PicTrax.

Many professional photographers have beautiful images they may wish to share on the PicTrax app.

In order to upload these images to PicTrax, the user must be able to get the images onto their mobile phone or tablet. Here are a few methods we can endorse:

Google Drive and or Dropbox: Upload images to Google Drive or Dropbox from your desktop and download to your phone’s gallery using the Google Drive or Dropbox app.

Direct connection: Connect your phone to your computer via USB or Bluetooth and transfer files to your device’s image gallery files.

Digital SLR WiFi: Many modern cameras, such as Canon, have apps that allow WiFi connection to the camera for remote camera control and image transfer. Check to see if such a method exists for your Digital SLR camera make and model.

Note: We advise saving images to a new folder/album created to receive these images or it may be difficult to locate them within your phone’s image collection.

Users may only delete any images that they themselves have uploaded.

You will find all images you have uploaded in your profile page. Your images can also be found in the main view by filtering on ‘my pix’. Pics that have been uploaded by the logged in user will be distinguishable by a small white dot in the bottom right of the thumbnail.

To delete any of your images, open any ‘owned’ image to ‘detail view’. To access detail view, tap on any image thumbnail in your profile’s ‘All’, ‘Public’ or ‘Private’ image tabs. Users may delete that image by hitting the on-image vertical ellipses icon (…) and selecting ‘delete’ from the resulting drop down menu. The ellipsis menu will be found in the top right corner of any image uploaded by the logged in user when seen in detail view.

NOTE: This will immediately and permanently delete images from the PicTrax platform and cannot be undone.

Users may make an image public or private at any time after upload, or during the upload process.

You will final all images you have uploaded in your profile page. Your images can also be found in the main view by filtering on ‘my pix’. Pics that have been uploaded by the logged in user will be distinguished by a small white dot in the bottom right of the thumbnail.

To change the public/private status of any of your images, open any ‘owned’ image in ‘detail view’. To access detail view, tap on any image thumbnail in your profile’s ‘All’, ‘Public’ or ‘Private’ image tabs. Tap on the on-image vertical ellipses icon (…) and select the correct status from the resulting drop down menu. The ellipsis menu will be found in the top right corner of any image uploaded by the logged in user when seen in detail view.

NOTE: No further action need be taken – the image will now be accessible in the public or private domain as stipulated.

Collections have been created to allow users to save and group their own, and other users’ pix together under a common destination, theme or topic. Creating collections will help when planning a trip, recording past journeys, or just categorizing your favorite images. You can create collections in one of two ways: #1 Create collections from Profile view 1/ Tap on the profile icon in the navigation bar at the bottom of the screen. 2/ In profile view, you will see your collections grouped together under the first tab, labelled ‘Collections’. You will find an empty collection, ready to be named. 3/ Name the collection and when done, hit the ‘tick’ icon to save. 4/ Your newly created collection will now be available under the default, unnamed collection. #2 Create collections from detail view and adding a single image 1/ After tapping on an image you want to collect, you will be taken to ‘detail view’. 2/ Tap on the ‘collect’ (bookmark) icon in the under-image tool bar. 3/ Name your collection and hit ‘done’. You have now created a new collection and added the image to your new collection.

Save an image to one or more collections from detail view
1/ After tapping the on-map thumbnail of an iamge you want to collect, you will be taken to ‘detail view’.
2/ Tap on the ‘collect’ (bookmark) icon in the under-image tool bar.
3/ Name your collection or select and existing collection and hit ‘done’. You have now added the image to your collection.

You can edit your profile details by hitting the settings ‘gear’ icon. This icon can be found in the top right corner of your profile page.
Here you can:

  • Upload or change your profile photo
  • Tap in the editable fields and make changes to your details.

NOTE: Changing username may not be permitted if the username has been taken by another user.

Your image’s GPS meta data may be incorrect due to a number of factors such as;

  • Satellite coverage may have been insufficient at the time of capture, causing the mobile phone or GPS-enabled digital SLR camera to record incorrect data.
  • Your mobile phone’s position may have been determined by mobile phone towers which may have used a ‘triangulation’ method to determine your position at time of capture. This method of location mapping is less accurate than satellite positioning and any resultant images may not be placed correctly on the map.

NOTE: PicTrax advises users to routinely check their images info to make sure the image placement is accurate while in the field to ensure images captured will be placed correctly when uploading to PicTrax.

If your image is not automatically pinned on the the map on upload , it generally means your image’s GPS meta data may be missing or the uploading device’s privacy settings may prevent pinning. This can happen due to a number of factors such as;

  • The image has been saved to a device instead of having been taken with the device.
  • The device may have GPS location services disabled or may not be capable of capturing GPS location data.
  • The image has been saved from a social media account may have had the information erased in submitting to that platform.
  • The image is not an appropriate file type and has been removed by PicTrax admin staff.
  • The image is a screenshot and not an original capture.
  • The metadata may have been stripped by an image editing app such as Photoshop or Lightroom

Inappropriate content
If your image was reported for inappropriate content, your image will be reviewed by PicTrax admin staff and either removed from the platform if the image fails to meet PicTrax’s acceptable publishing standards, or made private, if deemed to be inappropriate for public viewing.
NOTE: No user action is required and no correspondence will be entered into after PicTrax admin action has been taken.

Breach of copyright
If your image was reported for breach of copyright, PicTrax admin staff will investigate the matter.
NOTE: To protect users from ‘internet trolls’, repeated and unfounded reporting may result in the reporting user’s account being deleted.

NOTE: PicTrax admin staff may contact both the user and the reporter to determine the most likely image copyright ownership status. Once PicTrax – through any investigative method deemed appropriate or necessary within Australian law – has determined the most likely owner, the image in question will be removed from the non-owner’s account and no further correspondence will be entered into.

Inaccurate location
If your image was reported for inaccurate location, your image may be made private to ensure other PicTrax users are not directed to wrong locations.
NOTE: No user action is required and no correspondence will be entered into after PicTrax admin action has been taken.
NOTE: No user action is required and no correspondence will be entered into after PicTrax admin action has been taken.

Poor quality or composition
If your image was reported for poor quality or composition, your image may be made private so that you may continue to enjoy your image while maintaining an enjoyable in-app experience for other PicTrax users.
NOTE: No user action is required and no correspondence will be entered into after PicTrax admin action has been taken.
NOTE: PicTrax users, through the acceptance of PicTrax Terms of Service, have agreed to abide by PicTrax acceptable use parameters and multiple breaches or numerous nuisance reporting as well as multiple breaches of PicTrax usage guidelines may see that users’ profile deleted from the platform and potentially banned from PicTrax with no further correspondence being entered into.

PicTrax needs the GPS location data (automatically stored in many digital images taken on mobile phones and or cameras) in order to plot the image on the global map so that others may discover the location for themselves, or so that you can plot your private journeys on a global map.

This is the true purpose of PicTrax and images that are not of destination specific subject matter may be removed from the platform.

What data does PicTrax collect from digital images?

PicTrax will access and use the following info from images you upload to the platform to help other users be able to find the location and replicate the image’s capture conditions. These include:

  • Time of capture
  • Date of capture
  • Device used (mobile phone or digital SLR make and model)
  • Device photographic settings at time of capture, ISO, f stop etc.
  • GPS Longitude recorded at time of capture
  • GPS Latitude recorded at time of capture
  • Device orientation at time of capture

There are several reasons an image may be removed from PicTrax after upload. These can include;
1/ Lack of copyright
2/ Inappropriate or explicit content
3/ Poor composition
4/ Non destination specific subject matter

Note: This platform differs from Instagram in its destination specific nature. For this reason, uploaded pictures of people, food, animals or objects that are not destination specific and do not add to the travel and photographic exploration experience for other users may be deleted from the platform.