IEG Update (October)

Things have been pretty crazy lately. I’ve been scheduled for dental surgery, and will likely be moving to Australia in a couple months’ time, with all the necessary preparations yet to be made! On the bright side, an exciting new development for the app – a few folks have expressed interest in coming together to work on new features for the app during the Vienna hackathon next year, so we’ve been trying to make that happen.

3 new features in the app:

Option to copy title and description from previous upload (#65). A button was added to allow users to use the same title and desc as the previous upload, to make it more convenient for people who upload several images of the same topic consecutively.


Suggest categories based on entered title (#43). In addition to suggestions for recent categories and nearby categories, we have added a new type of suggestion: title-based categories. A search is performed for categories matching the title that the user has entered for the image, via asynchronous queries to the Commons MediaWiki API. This is the same API call used for the category search tool.

An issue with this implementation is that it is subject to the same limitations as the category search tool. For instance, it works well for simple titles such as “pancakes”. However, if someone titles their image “Nintendo sign at Tokyo branch in Taito”, it searches for that exact string instead of searching for “Nintendo”, “sign”, “Tokyo”, “branch” and “Taito”. This issue has been documented at #306. Solving it would likely require substantial language processing capabilities (splitting into words, extracting keywords, etc), so it will have to be left for future work.


Filter out year categories (#47). Categories such as”X in 2006″ are very unlikely to be appropriate, so we have filtered out categories containing 4-digit numbers starting with ’19’ and ’20’ from all category suggestions. An exception is made for categories containing the current year or previous year. E.g. if a user searches for “Burning Man”, he should see a suggestion for ‘Burning Man 2015’ but not ‘Burning Man 2005′. The rationale for this design choice is that people are unlikely to store more than 2 years’ worth of pictures in their phone. So if someone has pictures of Burning Man on their phone, it is likely to be for the 2015 or 2016 event, not for 2005 etc.

We are open towards the possibility of use cases that we have not thought of, though, so please feel free to chime in in GitHub issue if you disagree with our rationale.

IEG Update (October)