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 one of the main geographical features of the square
  • You should include a short description relating the image to the map square
  • Your submission makes a person who does not know this place think "Oh, that's how it looks there."
  • Photographing a subject that could be useful to the child in interpreting a map
  • The photo should also show some of the surroundings of the subject.
  • We want to be fair when giving points:
    • The picture must be taken close to the subject, preferably in the same square. So, the rules here are not as strict as on www.geograph.org.uk but you won't get many points by using your telephoto lens from a distant tower.
    • If there is a possible subject in the foreground, you can't get points for another subject in the next square (no two points for simmilar pictures).
    • The photographer location must not be some unusual "technical device" (plane, ...) if you want to get points. Pictures taken from a ship are okay, though.
    Pictures which do not fulfill these criteria are still highly appreciated—you just won't get points for them (classification: "supplemental"). As these criteria have changed at the beginning, some old pictures might have been classified incorrectly, but this will be corrected gradually by remoderation.

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!

Do you only accept descriptions in German?

We also accept English descriptions and titles, which will be translated by a moderator if possible. We try to keep the English version, too: we'll put it at the end of the title or description, enclosed in parentheses.

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

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://geo-en.hlipp.de/feed/recent.rss which contains links to the latest 20 moderated images.

We have recently added RSS feeds to other parts of the site:
  • You will find an RSS button at the bottom of search results, useful to keep updated on local images.
  • Registered users can access RSS feed of the latest Topics in the Discussion Forum, and even subscribe to an individual Topic, just look for the RSS button!
  • the Grid Square Discussions even supports GeoRSS.
  • Get a RSS feed of recently updated Articles.
  • The newer Content section has a RSS Feed.
(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?

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.

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.

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 (see next FAQ entry).

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

How can my images get reused?

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: Everyone is allowed to use all submitted photographs he/she wants, but he must tell who took the photograph and he/she can redistribute a derived work only under the same licence conditions as the original photograph.

Quite similar to other free projects as Wikipedia or Linux, this also allows commercial use (e.g. a newspaper could use your picture), but the licence guarantees that you are attributed as copyright holder and that your work and any derived work must be distributed only under this free licence.

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

Why is Germany divided, again? What coordinates do you use?

We basically use MGRS/UTMREF coordinates which means that Germany is divided into the three UTM zones 31, 32, 33. More details about this topic can be found in the German article about coordinates.

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, or drop in on our friendly Discussion Forum.

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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