Why is it that each year feels more momentous than the last? Perhaps it's that the increasing shareability of news keeps events in the collective consciousness much longer than in the newspaper days. Whatever the reason, the biggest stories of the past 12 months -- from the Royal Wedding to the Arab Spring to the last space shuttle launch -- have felt huge.
Yahoo-owned photo-sharing site Flickr has filtered through mountains of content to find the year's best, most representative photographs. Using what a spokesperson for Flickr told The Huffington Post was an "interestingness" algorithm, the site selected 18 of most stunning snaptshots uploaded by users.
The Next Web celebrates the quality of Flickr's Year In Photos series. "While Instagram has captured the imagination of budding mobile photographers everywhere, Flickr still has some amazing near-professional content on its platform," writes TNW. In fact, many professionals maintain Flickr pages, such as the official White House account or the NASA Goddard page.
According to VentureBeat, Flickr provides a geo-tagging feature, which lets its 70 million users easily associate their photos with specific locations, which makes for easier searching and grouping. Of the 6 billion photos currently on the site, over 250 million have been geo-tagged.
Check out Flickr's 18 most stunning photos of the year (below). If you're still feeling nostalgic for 2011, check out Yahoo users' favorite search terms of the year, as well as the most-shared stories on Facebook, Twitter's most iconic moments and Google's fastest-rising search terms.