Yahoo ZoneTag

Now that I’ve got pastebin back on an even keel, there’s lots of Geograph work to be done. I’ve been slowly working on a tagging engine which is nearing completion, but this morning Barry Hunter pointed me in the direction of Yahoo’s ZoneTag project (via HighEarthOrbit)

ZoneTag can suggest your location and tagging information based on cellphone tower, zipcode or latitude & longitude. The last piece of the tagging system I’m working on is the suggestion engine, so this was of great interest.

I gave it a quick test run, and predictably, it’s a case of feast or famine. A request for my home town of Baldock in the UK produces two results – “Plinston Hall” and “Letchworth” – so not entirely useful. More fruitful was a request for the location of the London Eye – you’re deluged with a plethora of data – here are the “venue” tags it suggests:

Waterloo, cleopatra’s needle, Eurostar, Downing Street, Eagle, London Eye, Guard, Waterloo Station, Parliament, Somerset House, Whitehall, Westminster, Memorial, skyline, Big Ben, Embankment, Thames, graffiti, Hungerford Bridge, Dali, SW1, horse, Eye, Banksy, train, Trafalgar Square, National Theatre, St Martins Lane, trains, station, Ferris Wheel, bridge, river, Guards, church, SE1, pub, Waterloo Bridge, Protest, IMAX, Horse Guards Parade, Wheel, River Thames, Charing Cross, Underground, View, sign, Southwark, House, Tube, Palace of Westminster, Horse Guards, Red, night, London Aquarium, Victoria Tower, england, sky, UK, Lion, long exposure, blue, statue, Trafalgar, Lambeth, Millenium Wheel, Demonstration, Peace, Anti War, Bus, Elephant, Europe, Clock, Nelsons Column, Street, Oxo Tower, Guess Where London

Perhaps a few too many there, but still, not a bad result. As it’s an experimental beta, not sure we can use it directly for Geograph, but it might serve as a useful comparison for our own suggestion engine. We could even offer a compatible service based on our own data too…