Friday, May 4, 2007

Correction of misplaced photos with suggestions from other people

Four years ago I was in Potosi (Bolivia) and I took some photos from its beautiful colonial buildings. When I uploaded those photos to Panoramio some years later I had some problems mapping them. I could not remember the exact position of those photos, especially because the satellite images were not that detailed at that time. Some days ago, I received suggestions to relocate those photos. I was completely amazed by the accuracy of the suggestions and the improved quality of the satellite images from Google Maps. It is a nice feeling to know that your photos are in the right place ;)

Of course, I was not the only one in that situation. Despite that most of photos uploaded to Panoramio are located with very much accuracy, the existence of misplaced photos has always being a hot issue. Some months ago we added the possibility to suggest new locations to misplaced photos. At first we were checking the suggestions ourselves, but very soon we realized that we could not manage the rising number of suggestions and even more important, very often we had problems to decide what to do. Another important point was that relocating photos without notifying the author was not specially nice, especially in the case of false positives.

Then we realized that the author of the photo is best person to decide about suggestions. After all he was there and knows the place better than us. We also believe that authors should be responsible for the quality of their own contributions, so in case the suggestions are ignored, photos might be removed from the public map. You will receive alerts by e-mail when a suggestion to your photos is sent, so you can manage it in few hours. The number of suggestions received is visible in your personal area.

The suggestion system has been already working a couple of weeks, but there were some adjustments pending.

- The system was accumulating suggestions for some time before, thus many people suddenly received many suggestions. Now that stock of suggestions is over and the flow of new suggestions much smaller.

- At first there were too many wrong and repeated suggestions, maybe because some people was just testing the system. In order to prevent that, only one suggestion per photo is accepted now.

- The management page was downloading very slow when displayed many suggestions. Now the number of suggestion is limited and it downloads faster.

Until now more than 20.000 suggestions have been managed by the system and around 1.000 suggestions are sent per day. Overall the feedback has been very positive. Thanks for your suggestions!