My dear friend Alisha (a most beautiful mortician’s daughter who, with a little help from yours truly, is about to launch a new domain) introduced me to a strange new way to eat apples. She suggested sprinkling a little salt on an apple slice and I gave it a try with a slice of Fuji. My first try was far too salty because I put about 4 times as much as I should have on the piece. The best approach is to use a salt shaker or pinch a small amount onto the apple. When I tried this the taste was much better. It was an interesting mix of salty-sweet, definitely unusual but it quickly grew on me. It’s not a flavour I’d want a lot of but for an occasional snack it’s rather nice.
For a long while I’ve used geographical metadata here on my website. Geographical metadata lets you include information about where you are located (longitude, latuitude, community, region, nation and more) in the header of your website so that visitors, search engines and other projects can easily place your site in physical space.
One of the most promising projects is GeoURL, a directory of websites sorted by geographic location. It lets you see website that are near your own or any you visit that have geographic tags. What makes it especially exciting is a new plugin for Firefox that shows a globe in the corner of your browser window whenever you are at a site using the proper tags. If you click on the globe a page will open showing the location of the site you are at and other websites near it. Here is the list of sites near my own.
There are other sites emerging to make use of location metadata. One such site is GeoTags, a location-based search engine that has just started up. There are actually a number of techniques and types of metadata that are being tried and Geographical Metadata for Websites shares a few of them, including use of the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names, which has detailed information about many communities across the globe (You can see the entry for my home city, Halifax, here.).
I think there are a lot of practical applications for geographic metadata. For instance, a websavy bed and breakfast owner could include metadata on his/her website so that people intending on travelling near it would be able to find it when searching the web in various location-specific ways. For us online journal keepers and bloggers, it may help to expand our offline community to include others who could meet for coffee rather than just dropping comments.
Even if just for fun and exploration, I highly recommend exploring this exciting and promising movement.