Taxonomic machine tags

Images on Flickr (and other sites?) can be tagged with “machine tags“. For living things, these can convey taxonomic information. For example:

taxonomy:binomial=Larus melanocephalus


Flickr collapses these to:

larusmelanocephalus” and “larus“, but note that subtracting one from the other gives the specific epithet, “melanocephalus“.

For subspecies, use:

taxonomy:binomial=Larus glaucoides
taxonomy:subspecies=Larus glaucoides kumlieni

and for other ranks:


Here’s an example:

Well, what are you waiting for? Tag away!

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2 Responses to “Taxonomic machine tags”

  1. Cyndy Parr Says:

    Andy, just a note to let you know we’ve picked up your suggested machine tags and are using them for submissions to Encyclopedia of Life — come have a look:

    Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus)
  2. pigsonthewing Says:

    Cyndy, That’s marvellous! Thank you for letting me know.

    Perhasp EoL would also like to consider using the ‘species’ microformat which I am developing? It’s already deployed on Wikipedia.

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