Month: July 2005

Locations Microformat

Last Thursday evening, we (Kevin, Tantek and I) hosted a BOF at O’Reilly‘s Where 2.0 conference. Thanks to the O’Reilly guys for giving us the time and space to gather some people to talk about location tagging on the web.

I’ve posted an only-slightly-edited copy of the IRC log, which we were using to transcribe the meeting.

The discussion went really well and it was great to talk to some people that are actively involved in geo work, since that’s not one of our specialties (though Kevin has done some mapping work in the past). And it was also good to come to some preliminary conclusions regarding location tagging on the web. Here are our general ideas of what location tagging should look like on the web:

  • People generally think of their location in terms of places and street addresses; coordinate systems are usually secondary (and derived from the former).
  • There are exceptions to the above and significant enough that publishing lat/long should be supported.
  • vCard (as a schema) probably has most of what we need to do location tagging. It includes street address data, which is (presumably) international-friendly and also allows for publishing lat/long (see section 3.4 of RFC 2426).
  • As brought up by Bud Gibson, its possible that a tagging scheme based on named places (cities, neighborhoods, venues) could be very useful and seems to follow the way we think about location.

If you’re interested in this topic, please look at the location-formats page and feel free to contribute any formats you know of to that page.