visual tagging

I recently uploaded this pic on my flickr account:?

streetart ffm

Streetart, a normal graffiti in a metro station in downtown Frankfurt. Nothing special.

Upon seeing this same figure somewhere else in Frankfurt, I realized once again that this graffiti also perfectly illustrates what maybe someone like David Weinberger tried to explain in his recent book “Everything is Miscellaneous” (see TBG Ethan’s post on this):

Suppose I would like to know more, find out the name of the artist who made this graffiti, know more about the origin of this figure, get some insight into the not-so-obvious context it comes with. Maybe this graffiti is part of some streetart project, something similar to Banksy‘s famous projects? Well, is it?

Unless of course I blog on it or upload it to a photo community like Flickr, adding tags and give it some reference/context, this pic and the information given on it is just a bunch of binary data. But how do you tag this pic if you don’t know anything about it?

What about an image search? Something like Google’s image search doesn’t work this way. You will always need to type in words that describe this picture. Keywords, further information, something that makes this identifiable among the huge repository of other pictures.

Next thing I’ll have to add to this blog is the tagging of my articles? (yeah, I know…), even tried doing so some time ago but then forgot about it as other things came up that seemed to be more important. However, tagging makes sense. Most of the targeted informations I am obtaining through the internet these days are found by using tags. Social bookmarking websites are the best thing introduced on the net since the introduction of instant messenger services during the late 1990s.

Coming back to the tagging of visual informations: given the fact that most of my friends have an eye memory where they remember things visually, I am wondering if there are any services / algorithms so far that help to make use of this visual approach instead of using words/tags only (?).

Author: jke

Hi, I am an engineer who freelances in water & sanitation-related IT projects at You'll also find me on Twitter @jke and Instagram.

3 thoughts on “visual tagging”

  1. oh gosh i think there is a way to do visual tagging, i just cant for the life of me remember what it was! (It may have been featured in pop tech last year) shoulda tagged it then. will tag it for you once i find out (grr mental moment there, dont like it when you recall bits and pieces of information, then it bugs you so much that you couldnt recall all the relevant specifics!)

  2. So there are still Germans using flickr although flickr/yahoo company is nowadays censoring all users from Hongkong, Korea, Singapore and Germany!
    (Tag: censr censorship censored thinkflickrthink Zensur)

  3. AfroM, yes I think I remember that, thx for reminding me.

    @the censored yahoo user: yessss!! Does this depend on registration ? My yahoo ID dates back to 1998 and was done when there still wasnt anyting like yahoo DE & Co…

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