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(show all questions)
(show all questions)
- What makes a good Geograph? Close
- The answers given by Barry have been on the site for a long time, and they form the basis of what the site is about. Yet many good Geographs do not fulfil any of those criteria, and two are almost contradictory (at close up and being useful in interpreting a map).
It is important to realise that the site has grown way beyond what was first envisaged, and so the site's definition of Geography is now very wide, incorporating a lot of social history, ecology, geology and other allied subjects. This is encouraged but it means that the definition of a Geograph has become broader.
So a Geograph is any photograph, accurately geoloacted, that depicts the Geography of a square, or any aspect of the Geography of the square, shown in some form of context. A description is useful and encouraged, especially for photographs in which the geography is not obvious, but it is not essential.
Some other photographs are still extremely welcome and contain useful geographical information but may not be classified as Geographs*, and listed below:
Firstly, it was felt that it was very important that every square should be actually visited and not just 'view-bagged' from a distance. So, Geographs must be taken within the square. Nevertheless, certain views can only be seen from outside a square. These cross-grid shots are classified as "Cross Grid".
Secondly, some photographs don't have much context. These are usually details of large objects, but they may just be very small objects or they could be large objects that are not shown completely. Most mods would agree that the smaller the object the more context that is needed to make it a Geograph. These close-ups are classified as "Close Look"*. The largest objects that tend to be classed as shown in close-up or incompletely are buildings. Most mods believe that to be a Geograph a building photograph should the whole building or some context, although some mods would prefer both.
Thirdly, indoor shots are classified as "Inside". They can add useful information, but indoors, being an entirely human environment, is on the fringe of the site's definition. Only public indoor areas are acceptable.
Fourthly, shots taken from the air are classified as "Aerial". They are often useful, but they approach the subject of Geography in a different way than was originally envisaged.
Finally some shots are classified as "Extra" these include:
Sunsets and sunrises
Cloudscapes, sky, auroras, celestial bodies etc
Things in the sky such as birds, aircraft, balloons etc.
Things on the sea that are not permanently fixed to the sea bed for extended periods of time such as boats, windsurfers, inflatables
*(From 11 May 2016 the Supplemental Classification is replaced by Image Type Tags:
see http://www.geograph.org.uk/article/Image-Type-Tags-update ).
- Why are you introducing Geographical Context? Close
- Geograph publishes photos that illustrate the geography of Great Britain, Ireland and the Isle of Man.
For the first six years and 2 million images, Geograph contributors have been required to choose a primary geographical category for each of their images. They could either select one from a list or create a new one if what they wanted didn't exist. Some contributors limited themselves to a small number of very general categories (moorland, lake, buildings...) while others preferred to create much more detailed, often unique, categories (church (Roman Catholic) (former), artificial fish farming pool, bat hibernaculum...). The list grew to an unwieldy 9,000 categories, mostly of detailed photograph subjects. The primary geographical categories – which offered a broad-brush way of organising the archive – had got lost.
The system showed its limitations as the archive grew. For example, in this subject-rich photo http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1579473 the short title and description and single category (Watercourse) mean that other features go unrecorded, so will not be picked up in a search. Similarly in http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/716196 the category selected was Lake. A search on Lake would return over 25,000 images – not very useful. The interesting detail in the description would only be found by a very specific search. In a third example http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/514710 the category Artificial fish farming pool is unique, although the image would be found by a search for Fish farm. All these images would of course be seen in browsing their respective gridsquares. Photos with the minimum information will tend to be invisible to searches because searches are text-based. The solution is to enable contributors to choose multiple categories – tags – and one or more primary geographical categories – geographical context - that describe the content of the photo.
Of course, submitter knows best. The new system asks submitters to choose at least one geographical context from a fixed list of 46 very general options. If several of them apply, all their boxes can be ticked. At the same time, detail is encouraged with free-form tags which would previously have cluttered up the category list, and which can now be put to good use in narrowing down searches. So, geographical context and tags together should do all that categories used to, but without their limitations. In the Askern example several context boxes could be ticked: Lake, Village, Open space, Leisure; possibly Mining. From these alone a picture forms in the mind. Tags would fill in details of the birds, the tree, and the vanished historical features. The more information that can be attached to a photo the greater its value to the archive.
[edited by Robin Stott]
- I've spotted a mistake. What should I do? Close
- [PERSONAL OPINION OF THE AUTHOR] Geograph takes pride in taking care about accuracy of location and information content. We like to think that this sets us apart from many other picture sites on the internet.
Whether it is one of your own pictures or someone else's, if you think something's wrong, please use the 'change image details' or 'suggest update' link under the main picture. This gives you access to a form where you can amend any of the details (subject and camera position, view direction, title, description etc). After making your changes, leave a short explanation in the box at the end of the form.
Changes to your own images will update immediately. The only exception are changes to the subject grid square, which are moderated; this will typically take a day or so.
If you suggest changes to someone else's pictures, they will be alerted and have an opportunity to reply. Ideally, you should work with the original contributor to come to a consensus. Moderators will try to assist with that. Generally, accuracy is taken very seriously, but if additional information is presented, it is the photo contributor's prerogative to decide whether to accept it.
When making a suggestion, please bear in mind that you are communicating with the original author, not primarily with Geograph. Explain your changes in a friendly and civil manner, and supply sources to verify your point. Avoid making many suggestions to the same contributor at the same time.
Suggestions which are mainly concerned with geograph/supplemental* classification or seek to move positions by small amounts within the stated precision (often 100m) are regarded as a waste of time by many and can cause aggravation out of proportion with their usefulness.
* (From 11 May 2016 the Supplemental Classification is replaced by Image Type Tags:
see http://www.geograph.org.uk/article/Image-Type-Tags ).
- What makes a good Geograph? Close
- * You must clearly show one of the main geographical features within the square
* You should include a short description relating the image to the map square
* Photographing a subject that could be useful to a child in interpreting a map
- Can new items be added to the subject list? Close
- The subject list is intended to contain broad categories of subject rather than specifics.
While you can add new items, anything very specific is likely to be changed to an ordinary tag i.e. the prefix 'subject:' will be removed.
- How can I improve a photo? Close
- [the beginnings of an answer]
Put simply, photographs are made of light. In good light, today's digital cameras make it difficult to take a technically poor photo. Sometimes, though, photos unavoidably come out dark or grey because the subject was in shadow, or it was getting late; worst of all, a cloud appeared overhead and followed you round while the distant landscape was bathed in sunshine. There are ways of making these photos reveal their subjects better.
This isn't a highly technical answer. It refers to features of commonly-used image editing or image enhancement software.
[to be continued]
- I need to remove a picture I uploaded, is this possible? Close
- Once you have pressed the "I agree" button your picture is in the system and subject to the Creative Commons Licence.
If the picture has not yet been moderated, you can requested for the image to be rejected, and you will be asked to give a reason. To "self moderate" in this way you click on the "Change Image Details" link under the picture: you should see an icon for "reject".
Once the picture has been moderated and accepted you will probably need to give a very good reason for the image to be removed from display. Images may be removed from display if they were taken illegally, or, for example if a landowner objects to a picture taken from a place without public access. This process of removing from display is sometimes referred to as "vaulting" as a copy of the picture remains in the "vault": a file storage area.
See also "I have licensed an image larger than I intended, can I remove it?" http://www.geograph.org.uk/faq3.php#93
- How accurate do I have to locate photos to submit to Geograph? Close
- As accurately as you can. If you can pinpoint subject and photographer position on the map then do so. If you are unsure then don't worry but do expect others to make suggestions of more accurate positions. You can help them by mentioning in the description things such as the direction you were facing or the name of nearby roads.
- How do I choose tags for my images? Close
- The idea is that you specify at least one 'top' (or 'geographical context') tag. These are about 40 broad classes describing the main aspect of the subject at the time the image was taken. You can add additional top tags if you like, depending on what surrounds your main subject. The top tags are shown in the tagging box if the radiobutton "context list" is selected.
In addition to the top tags, you can highlight detail that you feel is important. For that purpose, free-form tags are also available as an option. You can pick the most salient words from your description or any others that you would like your image to be found by if someone uses the word as a search term.
In addition you can use prefixed tags for collections of special interest: A railway enthusiast might create a prefix 'locomotive:' and use it to tag the different engines in their pictures. Or someone interested in churches could use a 'denomination:' tag to indicate which particular community uses the place of worship shown. You can also use existing prefixes, e.g. 'place:' or 'near:' to indicate which town something is in or near to. Have a look at what prefixes and tags others have already created: http://www.geograph.org.uk/tags/ . However, there is no need to restrict yourself in any way to that list. Prefixes are best used wherever it is likely that there will be other examples of your subject (church, locomotive...) with a slightly different attribute (Methodist, Diesel...).
As far as tags are concerned, chaotic growth is encouraged - the top tags are meant to counterbalance that!
- How can I take better photos? Close
- Geograph is primarily for documentary photographs, not works of art. If your photos clearly show the subject, are well-lit, straightened-up, in focus and if possible visually appealing, you're doing fine. In the Collections area of the site there are many examples: see any of the 'Stellar examples' in Themed topics and illustrations of Geographical context at http://www.geograph.org.uk/tags/primary.php
Generally speaking, sunshine gives best results, but time of day and time of year impart their own qualities to a photo. In bright summer light in the middle of the day, subjects are unavoidably top-lit, often reflective, while shadows are short, intense and below the subject. In the early morning and from late afternoon the sun is lower in the sky, subjects may be side-lit, the light is less harsh and shadows may be attractively long, revealing the form of objects they lie across. Similar conditions prevail in the middle of the day in the winter months. Photographing into the light is not recommended. 'Contre-jour' effects are expressive but may not convey much geographical information. Sometimes, however, you should ignore advice such as this and just respond to the subject and the conditions. For very bright surroundings such as snow, beaches and expanses of rock or concrete, consult your user guide.
Subjects and scenes in shadow may sometimes have to be photographed "ready or not". The sun goes in or clouds merge. Pointing the camera more towards the ground will make auto-exposure adjust for a darker subject. If you prefer more control you can change the camera settings: look in your user guide for topics such as 'ISO speed', 'Metering mode' and 'Exposure compensation'. There may be less control with a camera phone: photos taken in poor light are likely to be dark or dull. To salvage something from a disappointing photo, see the answer to the question 'How can I improve a photo?' On the other hand dull days provide opportunities for photographing other subjects, such as details. Exploit the 'flat' light with zoom shots of distant subjects.
Photographs taken at night are often classified as supplementals. That is fine; they can reveal geographic and cultural realities not evident during the day. There may be multiple light sources. Again, consult your camera's user guide. Experiment — and stay safe.
edited by Robin Stott
- Is there a way to enter latitude and longitude directly when submitting? Close
- Most GPS receivers allow you to change the datum and display format to OSGB36 and British National Grid, the convention used by the Ordnance Survey of Great Britain. If you're using a GPS built into a mobile phone, this may not be possible, and your coordinates will always be in WGS84 lat/lon format. If you also use your GPS phone to take your geographs, it should store the positions in the GeoExif header, which Geograph should interpret correctly as camera position (via the Geotagged Image option).
Otherwise, you can use the map part of the submission routine ('locate/find on map') and enter your lat/lon coordinates in the format the 'Search' function, in decimal degrees like 56.45657,-4.54675 . This will look up the grid reference for the location and insert it as _subject_ position into the submission dialogue. You may have to adjust this unless the subject was right in front of you.
Alternatively, there is a conversion tool here on Geograph Tools http://www.nearby.org.uk/coord.cgi?f=conv from which you can copy and paste. Or one built into geograph at https://www.geograph.org.uk/latlong.php
(Question asked by Roga and answered by barryhunter, oasthouse and DHL on the forum http://www.geograph.org.uk/discuss/index.php?&action=vthread&forum=18&topic=13483&dontcount=1&page=0#1
Later updated, as conversion tools have changed over time))
- Do you accept multiple images per square? Close
- Certainly - the points system is there to encourage people to make that extra effort to capture squares we don't have photos for yet, but we welcome additional images, perhaps showing a different subject, or a different time of year. You could be gaining yourself a personal point too.
Everyone sees things differently - feel free to give us your take on any square. Some squares have been done in considerable detail, helping to more fully document and add depth to a square. In particular, watch out for things others may have missed - the coverage maps can help with this.
Long term, multiple images taken at different times, even of the same subject, help to document change or the lack thereof.
- I have just had my first ever Cross Grid. Why none before? Close
- The image type tags were introduced in May 2016, previously it would have been classified as Supplemental. Perhaps you have not previously submitted an image where the subject is not in the same grid square as the camera position, or maybe you just have not noticed the tag.
- Are all photo's taken outside of a grid square "cross-grids"? Close
- (From 11 May 2016 the Supplemental Classification is replaced by Image Type Tags:
see http://www.geograph.org.uk/article/Image-Type-Tags-update ).
The short answer is "Yes": Whilst in the past there was some degree of discretion if the camera position was close to a grid-line, current guidance (2016) is quite strict.
One of the aims of Geograph is to encourage people to visit all possible land squares. If there was not a general rule requiring the camera to be in the same grid square as the subject a photographer could go to the top of a mountain or tall building and use a telephoto lens to "bag" a number of grid-squares without having to visit them.
- family snap Close
- I am guessing this is a question as to the suitability of family snaps. The general rule is the people should be the secondary element of the photo rather than the main feature, and posed shots (it can be worked out in most cases) are more suitable to other photo sites as not related to the area they are in. Having said that a discussion thread has refined this recently, and the general conclusion was if there are local events or occupations which are taken spontaneously then a person featuring as the main subject can be included although without a reasonable amount of background would normally be added as a supplemental*. But for straightforward posed family snaps then the only circumstance they would be suitable is if they were a small part of the whole scene, and as with most the older the photo the more flexible the criteria.
*From 11 May 2016 the Supplemental classification will be replaced by Image Type Tags: see http://www.geograph.org.uk/article/Image-Type-Tags-update
- Collections on Geograph record the number of visitors to them. Do they record the visits of the collection authors? Close
- Technically it's more a hit counter, than a visitor counter. Just counts the number of times the page is rendered. Note that stats shown on the 'Collections' page are subject to some delay (on the order of hours), due to caching, and updating indexes.
- What is the Photo of the Week / Year competition? Close
- The Photo of the Week competition is an informal competition intended to showcase some of the best images submitted during the week.
The only criterion for an image to be considered is that it must have been taken during the qualifying week, which runs from Saturday to Friday, and submitted by midnight on the following Tuesday.
Some people like to make sure that their images are submitted within the qualifying period, and other like to delay their submissions to make sure they are not considered.
What constitutes 'best' is very much subjective, because the selections of both shortlist and winner are done by different contributors each week.
As with all subjective selections, there is often disagreement with some of the selections, but that usually manifests itself by people saying which image they would have picked if it had been up to them to do so.
It all takes place in the Discussion Forum "Photograph of the Year (date)".
Photo Contributors :: Contributing
Points and Moderation
Finding way in the forum
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