Monday, August 10, 2009

Hot or Not on Google Maps - Updated


ScenicOrNot is an interesting project from MySociety to find the most attractive places in Britain. The site uses a 'hot or not' format to get users to rate photographs taken around the UK. The site includes a leaderboard of the most scenic locations, as voted on by the crowd, and each photograph includes a link to view it on a Google Map.

One reason this project could be really successful is that the site is leveraging the 1,426,857 pictures submitted to Geograph. The Geograph British Isles project is aiming to collect geographically representative photographs and information for every square kilometre of Great Britain and Ireland. By crowdsourcing the rating of these photographs ScenicOrNot are presumably hoping to eventually produce a fairly accurate 'attractiveness' map for the UK.

Barry Hunter of Geograph has also produced this Google Map showing the locations of the top rated photographs by ScenicOrNot. The images are shown on the map as small thumbnails. Clicking on the thumbnail image will open an information window with a larger picture of the same image.

It is easy to see how having data that contains the attractiveness of most places in a country could be very lucrative. Real estate companies are just one potential customer of such data.

ScenicOrNot say they are gathering the data for a 'secret project'. They provide a link to the secret project 'Mapumental', which contains this video:

As you can see from the video the project shows users commute times on all public transport, including buses, trains, trams and the tube. Combine the commute data with house property prices and you have a sophisticated search application for house buyers.

Once Mapumental add in their attractiveness ratings from ScenicOrNot to the map, you can quickly see how the resulting map becomes very useful. Potential properties can be assessed not only for how long it would take to get to work but also for how attractive the place is to live.



Rob said...

I think you have misunderstood one of the main differences between Mapumental and Where Can I Live. The latter uses London tube (and DLR) only; not much use outside London. Mapumental covers the whole of England and Wales, and uses data on all public transport, including buses, trains, trams and the tube. This is a whole level of magnitude more sophisticated and the ScenicOrNot really is just the icing on the cake. Pretty much all it needs now is a travel by car option...


Keir Clarke said...

Rob, I didn't realise that the map would be usable outside London (the video really just concentrates on London).

Thanks for the info on the public transport data. I've taken out the reference to Where Can I Live and added your corrections to my original post.

Anonymous said...

ScenicOrNot looks at pictures from England, Scotland and Wales = Britain. This does not include Northern Ireland and certainly not the Republic of Ireland which is a separate country. There is no political or geographic term called "Great Britain and Ireland".

Keir Clarke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keir Clarke said...

I was talking about Geograph which is collecting photographs for Great Britain and Ireland.

Nobody is implying a political or geographical body called "Great Britain and Ireland".

And if you think they don't exist here are the links on Geograph.

GB =
Ireland =

barryhunter said...

Afraid I missed what the being talked about re Great Britain and Ireland. As pair they are not a term in themselves, just what we use on Geograph as an alternative to British Isles.

To clarify ScenicOrNot (and hence Mapumental) is only covering Great Britain, including Scotland (just that house price data is not used in Scotland - other parts still work)

Also its not Google Maps being used - but rather OSM.

Should someone make a quick GMap mashup of ScenicOrNot now? (I can only offer OS maps using OpenLayers: (open the layer switcher to enable ScenicOrNot data)

barryhunter said...

Also scenicornot, only currently use a sample of 217,674 images from Geograph ;)

Once all of them have been rated it will add more photos.

Keir Clarke said...

Hi Barry, it was a bit of a stretch to justify putting this on Google Maps Mania. The Scenic or Not site does use Google Maps for the map link on the photographs.

barryhunter said...

Ah of course! Forgot about the little 'map' links ;)

I also can offer this:
as a Google Map featuring ScenicOrNot data. Shows the top 50 locations on one map.