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This will change the way you travel forever

Obelia McCormack
Obelia McCormack

Designer, photographer, PicTrax app founder, lover of good coffee and real experiences

If you’ve ever travelled to a ‘touristy’ destination, you will undoubtedly have found it is possible to have one of two experiences; the touristy experience, or a more authentic experience, the experience of a long-term resident or a local.

The first, though efficiently encapsulating the location in ‘consumable chunks’ for the tourist, and thoughtfully mapped out in easy to follow, glossy, printed maps with step-by-step guides (or should I say ‘stop-by-stop’ guides), will inevitably take you to the same destinations as every other tourist. These locations will generally entice you to part with your hard-earned holiday budget in exchange for mass-produced, over-priced food and branded trinkets that are rarely made locally.

You will find examples of these trails, highlighted on framed maps adorning the walls of tourist information centres, and free, in fold-out paper form beside the cash register as you leave (with armloads of merchandise).

This experience is by far the most common and although it allows the average tourist to quickly check numerous destinations off a list, it’s often a contrived presentation designed to satisfy ‘tourists’ by the carload or busload, regardless of personal tastes, while contributing a predictable income stream to the businesses en route.

This is great for the lucky few businesses on these trails but can be less fortunate for the rest of the region as many off-trail retailers and local producers struggle to stay afloat on local trade alone – even though their product or service might be more authentic and / or lower priced.

Simply leaving the venue of a coach-tour rest stop and walking around the block can often reveal retailers offering much more affordable prices and more authentic, ‘handcrafted by locals’ souvenirs.

‘The authentic experience’, is much harder to come by. This requires the traveller to ‘seek out and discover’, taking time to find places only the locals (and backpackers with months to spend in a location and many peers to consult) seem to know about.

The authentic experience rarely comes with tourist loaded pricing and a one-size-fits-all presentation.

Even better than the ‘authentic experience’ alone, is the authentic experience that speaks to a traveller’s  own passions. This experience offers a traveller a glimpse into the aspects of a location that speaks to them on a personal level. Art galleries for the art lover, authentic food outlets for the food lover or food worker, historic sites for the history buff or photography locations for lovers of photography.

One of the best things about travel to any new destination is experiencing the things we love through the lens of a different culture. These travel discoveries, rich with local nuance and style, can offer ongoing inspiration long after the holiday has ended.

The traveller who has a passion for street art would have to spend some time researching where to find examples of this art form in a new destination. The same could be said for anyone on this planet with a passion for [insert; live music, waterfalls, markets, architecture, etc. etc.]. It’s even more difficult when travelling with others who will, of course, have their own desired outcomes – I daresay this is the reason many friendships and relationships suffer or even end, mid holiday.

Yes, there’s a better way to travel – here it is …

When we plan a holiday to any new destination we want to know; how long and where we should plan to stay to take in everything we want to see and do, what we can do in the location that caters to our tastes, and what we can do en route.

And we have similar ways of gaining insights to help make these decisions.

We consult websites, news media, friends and family and of course the glossy printed travel brochures found at travel agencies and tourist information centres. We make notes, sign up for tours, packages or cruises, we book; tickets, accommodation, car hire and travel insurance and off we go with an agenda and a (usually) fixed timeline.

Here’s where it gets different.

PicTrax is a new travel photography app that opens up travel exploration in a way that has never been done before. With the ability to peruse travel pix taken by other travellers, we can see the sights as seen by other PicTrax users at any travel destination around the world – and see exactly where the traveller stood when they saw that sight, and took that pic. To refine a search, you can view these images either by exploring via the interactive map or filter location-based searches by parameters such as; most recent, nearest to your current destination, your (own) uploaded pix, most popular pix, or pix you’ve ‘liked’.

As you discover images that you’d like to save for future reference (for planning or when you’re there), save them to a ‘collection’ and get directions (via a link to Google Maps) when the time comes to travel there.

Each traveller in the party can have their own ‘itinerary’ via a collection of their desired experiences.

If fact the uses for PicTrax collections extend well beyond mere ‘holidays’. Users have created collection for numerous location-based purposes.

We have wedding location collections, film-shoot location collections, dive site collections, walking trail collections, new home location collections, bucket list collections as well as holiday-specific collections.

With PicTrax you can get on-map travel inspiration from other explorers, and you can share your own discoveries too.

When you save your travel pix to PicTrax you’re effectively creating an on-map travel journal that you can either keep private or share with the world, inspiring others to follow in your footsteps.

Search for specific destinations or get inspiration by scrolling through the world map, who knows what you will find. There may even be locations in your local area that you didn’t even know existed!

The magic really starts when you get to your long awaited destination!

This is where PicTrax will change your (travelling) world.

When you arrive at your travel destination, use the PicTrax interactive map to quickly see what other travellers have discovered around your destination and en route to your next destination.

Alternatively, open the collection you have created for this destination and see your most desired travel destinations isolated on the interactive map. In this way you can quickly see past the clutter and see exactly where you have chosen to visit.

Example: Say you have created a collection and named it ‘Tasmania Trip’. This collection may hold dozens of desirable locations for your eventual exploration of the island-state. When you are next in Launceston, you can open the ‘Tasmania Trip’ collection and hit the map icon to see all locations on-map, and navigate to the closest one with the touch of a button.

Earning money with your travel pix

Users who upload pix to PicTrax earn money as their images get likes. Every time a new user likes their image for the first time, their profile is automatically credited by the current ‘like value’.

You can find out more about earning money with PicTrax from the following articles:

Earn money with your mobile phone travel pix, in 3 ridiculously easy steps 

4 super easy ways to make your travel images EARN MORE MONEY with PicTrax 

Note: When you upload travel or destination-specific images to PicTrax, you must acknowledge that you are the copyright holder of the image and that the image was taken from a publicly accessible location.

Be mindful

Whenever exploring a new location please respect the local people, laws and customs, the environment, and other travellers and photographers!

Sharing is caring, and while we strongly feel that everyone should be free to enjoy this world, we also feel that it is all of our responsibility to care for it!

The purpose of PicTrax is to open up the world to a more authentic level of exploration and see over-visited sites experience some relief as other very worthy sites are brought to light. It is possible to take a magical shot almost anywhere in the world, let’s share the inspiration and get out there and explore!

Happy travels 🙂

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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.