Transitioning Categories to Tags

Published: 9 March 2011
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Geograph is undertaking to introduce the concept of tags to photo submissions. Tags are free-form keywords/phrases, used to organise photos. Visitors can search images by tag, and browse other nearby images using the same or similar tags.

At the same time, we will be removing the old cumbersome category list, and replace it with a shorter more focused list.

The short version - for contributors

  1. The number of categories available during the submission process will be reduced to around 40.
  2. The Other category will be removed, you must choose one or more from the list.
  3. You can also add one or more 'secondary categories' - these are known as Tags.
  4. It is not compulsory to add any tags.
  5. Please add as many tags as you need. Tags will help other people find your photo.
  6. Most existing photos will be re-categorised automatically.
  7. Search tools will be provided to enable searching by tag.

If want more information read on...

Why the transition?

The current category list is an archaic mix of very precise categories, and very broad ones. Images are somewhat arbitrarily assigned to one category, as much as anything just based on what the contributor can find in the list. The incorporation of 'other' has allowed the list to grow to unwieldy proportions.

So we are splitting what is the current category selection into two, a new shorter 'Geographical Context' list, and the new concept of tags.

Importantly there can be multiple tags per image, which is a primary motivation for introducing them - so they can replace the current category system - which is limited to one per image.

At the most fundamental level, tags are just what categories have become (a free-form keyword) - except that they allow several per image. Moving the free-form nature into tags allows the new category list to return closer to the original purpose of the category selection - browsing by Geographical topic.

Further reading

Read about tags: link

collectively tags form a Folksonomy link

and our own (rather technical) article:

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright March 2011, Barry Hunter; licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Licence.
With contributions by Geographer and Penny Mayes. (details)

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