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mapping metadata and folksonomy

aaronland.info has a cracking use of the metadata provided by the NY Times.  Thanks to Brendan who I work with for this. 
New to the ways in which one can use data I’ve been trying to play catch-up lately and Aaron’s work is particularly impressive – using the metadata around new stories like "location" to physically map the content of that days NY Times.  I love maps. 
The tagging of news stories got methinking about the ways in which punters tag data.  The use of tagging to classify data in services like flickr has been described a ‘folksonomy’  a social classification which mirrors people’s interests and provides the potential for them to link, like the friend facility in flickr and to a lesser extent the neighbour facility in audioscrobbler[as the tags there are also created by the automated tags of the music you play – like artist, genre etc.].  I once heard Clay Shirky refer to this phenomenon of personal tagging which sums up this folksonomy thing to me.  It went like this.  There were a group of people on livejournal who were interested in horses and riding.  This interest then broke down into numerous smaller groups.  He was interested to find that there were two groups for ponies.  One called ‘ponies’ and the other ‘peonies’.  Whether the latter was a group of dyslexic pony lovers was almost beside the point, they wanted to be ‘friends’ despite, or actually, because of, the fact that they all identified with that incorrect spelling.  It said something about who they were.  Be interesting to see how people consumed the NY Times articles based on giving them all the tags and raw data for that day but it would be potentially more interesting as to how they would consume that content if everyone were allowed to tag it too.   location: Iraq.  user tags…?

see also:

my del.icio.us folksonomy tags
my tagging, ordering, nutriously post

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