Posts Tagged ‘geotagged’

Wine REPugnant

October 31, 2008

I love The Rep in Birmingham. It’s a great theatre, with a noble history (as the civic Birmingham Repertory Theatre), and the staff are invariably helpful and friendly. But I’ve been disappointed recently to see that they’re using six seven “Heatstore” electric heaters (four pictured) outside the building.

Picture shows four of the seven electric heaters outside Birmingham Rep's Wine Rep

Every evening when I pass by there, the heaters are on, over empty tables, with no-one benefiting from them. This is madness, from an environmental and a financial point of view.

I decided to let them know that I thought so, not least since Jon Bounds tells me that I’m good at complaining (I think he meant that as a compliment, and that any complaints I make are always well-founded and cogently-expressed, but I could be wrong…). The heaters actually belong to wine REPublic (see what they did, there?) the trendy wine bar within (and owned by) The Rep, so I phoned and spoke to their manager.

He told me that they’re only [sic] on for three hours each night — we don’t use them during daytime (so that’s the equivalent of having one heater on for 75% of the time 21 hours a day, then), that they are low voltage [sic] and that we aren’t allowed to discriminate against smokers, we have to give them somewhere to smoke.

230-240 volts, 1350-1500 watts'

Which leads me to ask the question, since when has discrimination against smokers been outlawed? Why have no pubs or wine bars been fined for doing so?

And if smokers are protected, why are the Rep allowed to discriminate against them in the daytime, when the temperature is still below freezing?

(Bus) stop this madness!

July 12, 2008

One afternoon last week, I had cause to catch TWM‘s 997 bus from central Birmingham to Great Barr, while my car was in the garage, for its annual MOT test (it passed, I’m pleased to say).

I have mixed views on public transport: on the one hand it’s a good thing (TM), in that it’s available to all, environmentally friendly, and so on, but on the other hand, it usually involves the kind of user-experience which makes it undesirable for anyone who doesn’t have to use it through lack of choice.

I had already used the 997 into Birmingham that morning. It’s a limited stop service, and I must say I had been impressed that the level of comfort was higher than I was expecting.

I wasn’t sure when where to catch the bus for my return journey, so looked up the route on the Transport Direct website.

The way that site works makes it impossible to link to the relevant timetable, but as this screenshot shows, they clearly say that the service departs from Carrs Lane in Birmingham City Centre.

[Transport Direct web page showing Carrs Lane as start of route 997]

I arrived in good time for the advertised departure, but none of the three bus stops in Carrs Lane listed the 997 as stopping there.

Purely by chance, I happened to see the 997 turning into Carrs Lane, from High Street, only to stop at a pedestrian crossing. I indicated to the driver that I wished to board, and he kindly opened the doors and allowed me to do so.

I subsequently found that the 997 does not stop in Carrs Lane, but around the corner — and earlier on its route — at stop DG, on High Street (map here).

[showing corner of High Street & Carrs Lane]

The above picture shows the corner of High Street and Carrs Lane. The bus stop on the extreme left is stop DG, on High Street. On the extreme right, it is just possible to see stop DH, the nearest on Carrs Lane. Note also the pedestrian crossing at the start of Carrs Lane.

The bus I boarded had already departed from its stop. Had it not been for the pedestrian crossing and the kindness of the driver, I would have missed the bus, and thus missed the chance to pick up my car before the garage closed.

TWM and Transport Direct need to work together to eliminate erroneous information from the latter’s service, not least if they expect to entice car drivers onto public transport.

[997 at stop DG on HIgh Street, Birmingham]

Triple tags on Twitter

July 4, 2008

Triple tags (known as Machine Tags on Flickr) are a way of tagging web content with tags having three parts: a namespace, a predicate and a value. This means that we can differentiate between content about a (tagged taxonomy:vernacular=beagle) and (tagged maritime:vessel=beagle). Of course, that relies on everyone using the same tagging schema (my two examples could also be tagged with, say, pet:dog=beagle and history:ship=beagle). Fortunately, communities of web authors are agreeing on such schema.

One schema that is widely used is for geo- (or location-) tagging, where posts such as my picture of a Kingfisher on Flickr are tagged with (in that case):

  • geo:lat=-1.56403
  • geo:lon=53.60913

In other words, the coordinates of the place where I took the picture (pages using that schema are also often tagged with ““).

Kingfisher at Bretton Lakes, South Yorkshire

It is then possible for Flickr to display that picture overlaid on a map of the location.

The Flickr page is also tagged:

taxonomy:binomial=Alcedo_atthis
taxonomy:genus=Alcedo

which gives the scientific name (binomial or binominal) of the Common Kingfisher, Alcedo atthis, including the Genus, Alcedo.

Another form of tagging, using hash tags, is used by the social media text-messaging service Twitter. Tags in twitter are prefixed with a hash symbol (#), hence the name. A “hash-tagged” message might look like:

I live in #England

Hash tags are parsed by three sites that I know of (there may be others — if so, please let me know): Hashtags (e.g. ), Summize (Summize for “#blog”) and Twemes ().

All well and good.

It occurred to me recently that it should be possible to use Triple tags in Twitter messages, so I posted these “tweets” as they’re called (I find that rather, er, twee):

#tagged post about #Kingfisher #taxonomy
( #taxonomy:genus=Alcedo,
#taxonomy:binomial=Alcedo_atthis )

(See
http://twitter.com/pigsonthewing/statuses/849630924)

and:

Is anyone is parsing #geotagged posts like this: #geo:lat=52.478342 #geo:lon=-1.895389 ( #birminghamuk #rotunda #geo #geotag #tripletag)

(See
http://twitter.com/pigsonthewing/statuses/853592240)

(line breaks have been inserted to improve readability)

Disappointingly, none of the three hash tag parsers above managed to understand these. They all see “#geo:lat=52.478342″ as just “#geo” and “#taxonomy:binomial=Alcedo_atthis” as just “#taxonomy”.

Worse still, Hashtags wrongly displays my two posts without the second two-thirds of the tag content, as:

#tagged post about #Kingfisher #taxonomy ( #taxonomy #taxonomy )

(see http://hashtags.org/tag/taxonomy/)

and:

Also wonder if anyone is parsing #geotagged posts like this: #geo #geo ( #birminghamuk #rotunda #geo #geotag)

(see http://hashtags.org/tag/taxonomy/).


See also:

Wouldn’t it be great if services which parse hash tags in Twitter messages also recognised “hash-triple-tags”?

[Update: Summize was bought by Twitter and is now absorbed by them as Twitter’s own search.]

[Update: Hashtags.org now parses the triple tags as, for example, just “#taxonomy”]

[Update: David Carrington of Dabr tells me that some of these triple tags are too long for Twitter’s search API. I’ll try to find out what the limit is, and raise the matter with Twitter’s support people]

[Update: There is now a tool to automatically generate tags for Flickr images of living things; iNaturalist tagger.]


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