Monday, 18 June 2007

Is anyone using machine tags/triples for National Grid references?

I'll post this around the various lists but I am still thinking about how best to phrase it. I'm not a geo-geek and I'm never quite sure if I'm using the right language to describe whatever it is I'm talking about.

We've been having more conversations about how we can use tagging to publish more information about LAARC photos. This would allow us and our users to explore, use and compare site photos in lots of different ways. Eventually it may also be applied related data streams such as archaeological finds/museum objects and related media, but for the moment we're just exploring what we can do with an existing platform like Flickr.

Using machine tags to add latitude and longitude looks simple enough, and seems there's a de facto standard for geo:lat and geo:lon. But is there a similar de facto (or proper) namespace standard for machine tags for UK National Grid references? Leave a comment or email me if you know of any, or even if you're just using them yourself.

Some relevant links:
Flickr: Discussing Machine tags in Flickr API
geobloggers » Advanced Tagging and TripleTags
geobloggers » Flickr Ramps up Triple Tag (Machine Tags) Support.


  1. I'm guessing that no-ones using grid references as they're not as international as lat/long, and I'm not sure whether GPS systems report OS refs?

    Nothing to stop you starting to use them though, if you have a need.

    Perhaps os:grid=NN166712 ?

  2. Lots of archaeological data uses the National Grid. Though that's a good point - there's nothing to stop us converting to lat/long once we've picked a projection.

  3. We use grid reference for everything that we record at the PAS. It is then converted to easting,northing, lat and long so it can be used in a variety of apps. No tags set up yet, but would be useful.

  4. Thanks guys!

    Ideally we'd publish NG, easting/northing and lat/long, because the stored data can be pushed through any transformations in the publication process.

    I've posted my question to and will report back.

  5. Hi Mia
    Here's the script that I've been using to do the conversions for
    Seems pretty useful, there is a java version as well as Javascript.