Back last summer I wrote an article on this site complaining about triple tags and the clutter they create on tag clouds. The idea was that a tag cloud is meant to group items with similar characteristics. However, triple tags are meant to identify a specific item. They are often called "machine-readable" because they are meant to be parsed by various scripts. The most common type is geotagging, where appropriately tagged data or images can be displayed on a map.
Flickr has been addressing the problem of triple-tagging. First, they rolled out their own version of geotagging which did not create visible tags. That was a nice step, however, Flickr’s geotags were not readable by other services, such as Google Earth. This is understandable, to some extent. Flickr is owned by Yahoo, which is a direct competitor with Google. Unfortunately, runs totally counter to Web 2.0 concepts, and the ability to use data across multiple sites and applets. One had to triple-tag anyway, usually using a script such as Yuan.cc to convert Yahoo’s tags into triple-tags. The net result was that images were double-triple-tagged (sextuple-tagged?)
This past week Flickr took one more step. They have made it so that machine readable tags do not appear in the tag list for the image. But, the tags still show up in the tag cloud, where it causes the most problems, anyway. There is a way around this, but it’s a pain in the posterior. Flickr tag clouds show the top 100 tags for a user. Since machine-readable tags are specific to one item, one just needs to make sure that they have at least 100 tags that aren’t machine-readable. Yeah, that will work. At least, until Flickr fixes this last little problem.
[tags]Flickr, triple-tags, cloud clutter[/tags]