October 10, 2004

Labeling who is in a photo

The gallery functionality still has a fair bit of work to do on it, and once some of the more basic features are finished/tweaked, there could be some really cool stuff we could do.

Because a lot of the photos that people are uploading are going to be of other people at Warwick and places/events around Warwick. Wouldn't it be nice if we could mark up photos with a bit more metadata?

It is usually quite difficult to get people to put even a title or description against a photo, but if we make it fun and easy, it might be worth a go.

An example application might be if you could put in a list of names of people in a photo, in theory you could then really easily search the database, across multiple blogs and galleries and find all photos that featured yourself or a friend. This has been done before a fair bit and can be seen in action here, here and here

That last one is a neat one, showing how you can do a photo six-degrees type thing. That links shows links from Libby Miller (a researcher in Bristol) to Frank Sinatra.

If lots of people were uploading photos and putting names and places against them, you could search for photos of you and your best friend at Top Banana for instance. Even though you never knew the photo was taken (you were too drunk to notice), you may well come across a great photo.

I guess a question I have to ask is…will people abuse it? Unfortunately in the last couple of weeks, we have seen a handful of people try to do some rather silly things with Warwick Blogs. Would people upload photos of their pet snake and label it as being their personal tutor? How could that be prevented?

Of course, if you really want a neat gallery system, check out Flickr, they have some really cool stuff.

Who knows if we'll get a chance to try this out (there are a hell of a lot of features way higher on the priority list than this), but if we did, I think it could be a lot of fun.

- One comment Not publicly viewable

  1. Andew Ingram

    The idea has potential, I had a similar thought when browsing a few random galleries. The problems with achieving all the aims are numerous though. You'll have to deal with typos in names, nicknames, abbreviations, even pet-names, this could make a six-degrees thing a bit of a nightmare.

    On the other hand, implementing descriptions would be a piece of cake and as long as they're fully searchable I suspect people would be about to find about 90% of photos with them in (as long as there is some sort of familiar description).

    As for abuse, the only sure way I can think of is to make it so that every picture and description has to be authorised, but obviously this would end up taking a lot of work. So the next best thing is to just have a report abuse link next to every photo so that if someone finds something inappropriate they'll be able to take action. At the end of the day, the blogs will always include insults and attacks that don't go quite as far as violating the terms and conditions, some will take offense, some will ignore them. You can't stop everything, but you can keep things under control. Most "abusers" don't really intend to cause trouble anyway, some people will mess around to see what's possible but I doubt anyone really intends to cause any real problems.

    11 Oct 2004, 01:04

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