bumpy, caution with merging: an exploration of tagging in a geowiki

Authors Fernando Torre, S. Andrew Sheppard, Reid Priedhorsky, Loren Terveen
Conference GROUP 2010
Summary We designed, implemented, and evaluated a tagging system within the Cyclopath geowiki.
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We introduced tags into the Cyclopath geographic wiki for bicyclists. To promote the creation of useful tags, we made tags wiki objects, giving ownership of tag applications to the community, not to individuals. We also introduced a novel interface that lets users fine-tune their routing preferences with tags. We analyzed the Cyclopath tagging vocabulary, the relationship of tags to existing annotation techniques (notes and ratings), and the roles users take on with respect to tagging, notes, and ratings. Our findings are: two distinct tagging vocabularies have emerged, one around each of the two main types of geographic objects in Cyclopath; tags and notes have overlapping content but serve distinct purposes; users employ both ratings and tags to express their route-finding preferences, and use of the two techniques is moderately correlated; and users are highly specialized in their use of tags and notes. These findings suggest new design opportunities, including semi-automated methods to infer new annotations in a geographic context.