FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

What is Geographing?

  • It's a game - how many grid squares will you contribute?
  • It's a geography project for the people
  • It's a national photography project
  • It's a good excuse to get out more!
  • It's a free and open online community project for all

See the original guide to good geographing, and contributors quickstart guide.

What makes a good Geograph image?

  • You must clearly show at close range one of the main geographical features within the square
  • You should include a short description relating the image to the map square
  • Photographing a subject that could be useful to the child in interpreting a map

How do I get a geograph point for my image?

If you're the first to submit a proper "geograph" for the grid square you'll get a geograph point added to your profile and the warm glow that comes with it.

We welcome many Geograph images per square, so even if you don't get the point, you are still making a valuable contribution to the project.

What is a supplemental image?

If an image doesn't quite fulfill the geograph criteria above, but is still a good image, we'll accept it as "supplemental image" - no geograph points are awarded, but the image will still appear on the selected grid square. A square that just contains supplemental images is still open to be claimed as a geograph though!

Note Follow this link for a more in depth discussion on the finer points of moderation.

Do you accept multiple images per square?

Certainly - the points system is there to encourage people to make that extra effort to capture squares we don't have photos for yet - but we welcome additional geograph or supplemental images, perhaps showing a different subject, or a different time of year. Everyone sees things differently - feel free to give us your take on any square. Some squares have been done in considerable detail - helping to more fully document and add depth to a square.

Do I need to resize my photos? Are there size limits?

You can upload images of any size, portrait or landscape, but we do resize them so their longest dimension is 640 pixels. We do not keep your original print quality image, only our resized screen-quality version.

Ideally images shouldn't have the longest dimension less than 480 pixels, while we might accept such images if they hold particular interest, we would really prefer a larger image.

We do preserve the EXIF headers from your original image, so it is advantageous to upload your original camera image if you want this information to be kept.

I disagree with the location or title of an image - what can I do?

Our "Change Request Tickets" allow any registered user to suggest a change of grid reference or title/comment information - simply view the full size image and click the "report a problem" link.

Theres a page I once saw on geograph, and I can't find it again!

Have a look at More Pages and our Sitemap, between them should give access to many a page

What do all these strange words mean?

Well, if it's a 'geographism' - a term developed during use on this site, then see this glossary article we have started compiling. There is also a wide range of sites dealing with Acronyms, and Abbreviations, listed on DMOZ hereExternal link.

Do you have an RSS feed?

RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, allows you to obtain an up-to-date listing of the latest geograph submissions for integration into another website or RSS reader. For more information, try this Wikipedia article on RSSExternal link.

The feeds are also available in formats.

We provide an GeoRSS (RSS1.0) feed at http://www.geograph.org.gg/feed/recent.rss which contains links to the latest 20 moderated images.

We have recently added RSS feeds to other parts of the site: (they also accept the format parameter like the main feed)

If you use the FirefoxExternal link web browser, you should be able use our feeds as "live bookmarks" - simply click the orange button in the address bar (or in the status bar on older versions).

I would be interested in using Geograph content, is that possible?

Please get in contact if you have an idea for reusing images, beyond what's available via the RSS feeds above, in all likelihood we can provide a feed to suit your requirements.

Images are licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Licence, see licence details by viewing a full size image. Also look for the "Interested in reusing this image?" link under each image on the main photo page, which outlines easy ways to reuse the image.

The entire archive is also available for download via bittorrent - see http://torrents.geograph.org.ukExternal link for details.

We also have a Google Gadget: * Add to my iGoogle pageExternal link * Add to any webpageExternal link *

Open source? Creative Commons? What's that all about?

Putting this together requires many people to donate their time or resources, and we wanted to be sure that we created a resource free from commercial exploitation in future. To that end, the site software is available for re-use under the terms of the GNU Public Licence (GPL).

In addition, we require all submitters to adopt a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlikeExternal link licence on their photographic submissions. While our volunteer photographers keep copyright on their photos, they also grant the use of their photographs in return for attribution (take a look at a typical submission for more details).

In a nutshell, we wanted to build a true community project that won't leave a nasty taste in the mouth by getting sold for shedloads of cash and taken away from the people who contributed. These licence terms ensure that the site and content can never be "taken away" from you. See Freedom - The Geograph Manifesto

Why must I agree to allow commercial use of my image?

Running this site costs money, particularly over time as the storage requirements are quite large. We require commercial rights to enable us to support the running costs. One way we may do this is through sales of montage posters once we reach a critical mass of submissions.

Granting everyone the same rights actually protects the site community from exploitation (see previous FAQ entry), but do bear in mind that we only retain a screen-quality version of your image, and that under the terms of the Creative Commons licence, you must be credited for any use of your image

Who built this marvellous site?

Please see the Credits Page for information on all the people who make this site possible.

I'm concerned about a photo or comment I have seen on the site.

Please get in Contact, we'll do our best to deal with your concerns prompty.

I have a further question, what should I do?

Please Contact Us

I use AOL, and the images look terrible!

AOL's default settings for graphics is to show "Compressed Graphics Only". This means AOL is selectively re-compressing images before you see them on your screen. This loses a lot of image quality.

You should reset the preferences under "My AOL/Preferences/WWW" to display "Uncompressed Graphics". You will pay only a small penalty in download time to see this and other photo oriented sites the way everyone else can see them.

Many thumbnails seem to be missing, any idea of the cause?

Some firewall programs, in particular Norton Internet Security, block images that are the same size as some common advertisements. Unfortunately many thumbnails and some map images happen to be this exact size.

So if you use such a program you might like to try turning it off temporarily and trying again, and if that gets our images back, then have a look for the option to disable this, arguably, flawed method of security.

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