About this site

The overall aim was to provide an interface to enable easy crowdsourcing of metadata for Flickr Commons images. There's a lot more background to this than I shall go into here, but if you want to discuss the project contact me at james@jamesmorley.net or @jamesinealing

Key functionality


Discover the wealth of Flickr Commons content in ways you've never been able to before.


The main photo page provides easy to use tools for tags, dates and mapping.

  • all image information visible alongside image for quick reference
  • view highest res image via magnifier
  • tags easily added (a common complaint about 'new' Flickr)
  • flag existing tags if inappropriate
  • make suggestions of date
  • use searchable, interactive map to suggest locations
Updating & enhancement

All interaction is captured and easy to use tools are provided to send approved updates directly to Flickr.

  • suggestions and flagged content are clearly displayed
  • one-click approval by Commons institutes

Current issues and future plans

This has been developed in my spare time and at this stage is very minimally tested - consider it an 'alpha' release. All feedback and bug reports are not just welcome, but actively sought (see contact details below).

  • It is essentially untested for various browser/platform options, code validation and basic accessibility requirements!
  • It is running on cheap shared hosting so liable to experience performance issues! (though currently the only problems I have seen have been related to Flickr API performance)
  • a few immediate design/functional enhancements needed:
    • some issues around making suggestions on images where users haven't enabled public tagging etc. These should not apply to Commons images though and has been raised with Flickr
    • Permit special characters in text fields (currently things like apostrophes break the tool) - done 18/7/13 but needs testing
    • Improve tagging with multiple tags - clarify if comments are needed etc
    • Display user's tagging count as number of actual tags, not number of suggestions (which can contain any number of individual tags)
    • Enable admin tools - completed on Latest activity page, but needs to be added to individual Photo page
    • Pagination on Suggestions page
    • Tooltips on icons (mainly now done)
    • Report spam comments
    • Enable commenting
    • A user should be able to delete/edit their own suggestions (pre-approval) in the case that they have made a mistake
    • Have adjacent images from owners photostream visible and linked from photo page
    • Change 'nearby' image grid to a map view
    • Enable more elegant error catching - sometimes the Flickr API can be a bit flaky and currently this results in errors being displayed on pages
    • image zoom tool fails on certain images and loads a Flickr error image - I think this is where users have prevented access to original images, which shouldn't be the case with Commons images - please report any instances you see. Equally the zoom is pretty pointless if the original is available but it is not high-res
    • When reporting tags it should give visual confirmation\ which tag is being reported
    • Search page: "Sometimes when I conduct searches, many images do not appear in the search, however, the info for these absent images does appear - unable to replicate but please report if seen frequently"

Some longer term plans and ideas

  • Enhanced home page e.g.
    • different galleries - imprecisely geotagged or dated images, images near user's location or in random location, on this day, low tag count ...
    • manually chosen 'daily challenge', featured set etc
  • Layout options on search page (e.g. image grid, map view)
  • Allow search results view by set (handy if a Commons member wants to crowdsource specific images)
  • Display the names and a link to the sets and galleries that an image is in
  • display and add notes
  • enhanced editing map (e.g. satelite view)
  • integration with other data sources/APIs to display related content
  • Using 3rd party services like Google image search to identify usage, similar images etc
  • Enable social sharing - Twitter, Facebook etc
  • Posting comments to the image page after activities are completed e.g. when a geotag is accepted it could note this and credit the user who suggested it


The site is built in PHP and MySql, but the task was made possible by some excellent tools:


All feedback, good and bad, is welcome. I expect it's rather buggy so if you encounter problems then make sure you let me know. I'd also love to hear ideas for how it could be enhanced.

Contact James at james@jamesmorley.net or @jamesinealing