Machining those tags

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I really like Last.fm. I don’t have an account. I know…

Last.fm gave users the opportunity to tag Flickr photos with machine tags containing an event ID so they can be included in the content of event pages on the site over a year ago. I rarely looked at event pages (especially past events) so never noticed the integration. Until Flickr mentioned it.

With them on board as well an additional bit of meta data is displayed on the photo page. I dug through and made sure to tag my previous concert photos for those that were listed on Last.fm. While searching Flickr tags can often turn up the photos from others at the same show, this it a great way to compare what you saw to what someone on the other side of the stage may have seen. And to get angry to see that person with the fancy camera isn’t much of a photographer after all.

Unfortunately, the couple events I had photos for didn’t have any others tagged with the event ID. The typical user of either service probably isn’t aware of the feature or worse, intimidated by it. Flickr does a great job of guiding users to add data to their photos with tags and groups and mapping. While asking a user to go off to Last.fm to find the event ID and then come back might not be much help, mining map data, time shot and tags might. Showing an event tag input for every upload isn’t reasonable since only a fraction of Flickr photos are events. But if other data could be used to determine a likelihood of it being an event and only then showing the input with suggested event IDs, the process would be transparent to those that never upload event photos and simple for those that do.

Imagine the fun of crunching all that data between 50 and 150 times per second. Whew.


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