Rate My Place
Rate My Place, which has been in the works for some time, is now out on the Web. The project is essentially a Facebook application (see the FB profile here: here) allowing users to rate areas on a map with a spray can tool. The application has been developed with Jeremy Morley and is run through the University of Nottingham (Centre for Geospatial Science) and Ordnance Survey Research.
The idea of the project is to extract people’s perceptions of geographic boundaries in order to capture geographic data. The spray can tool is operated by the user to mark out areas on the map according to whether to their rating – “love”, “like”, “dislike” or “hate”. This creates an extent which the user associates with a placename. This extent is then aggregated in real-time into both an average rating map overlay and also stored individually in a database. Individual extents can then later be extracted and combined together to give a collaborative definition of a neighbourhood.
Like Flickr Shapefiles, Rate My Place is concerned with vernacular geography. While not only helping to further understanding of people’s geographic knowledge, this kind of data can be used to build other systems. Personalised or local search algorithms can integrate these perceptions to provide more relevant results.
Currently, the application is currently set up to allow users to rate areas of Europe but could be extended further. The only real constraint is disk space and some fairly hefty/lengthy processing time to generate blank tiles of the areas.