Get Involved

Published: 12 December 2011
About GeographExternal link The Geograph TeamExternal link ContributorsExternal link CreditsExternal link DownloadsExternal link Contact UsExternal link

This page shows just some of the ways you can get involved with Geograph. If you think you have something to contribute then dive right in!

...if you like taking pictures

This is the main activity. Go out and photograph your area. Click Submit in the left hand menu.

...if you have a special interest

Whether it's geology, local history, architecture, outdoor sports..., share your knowledge and help build a resource for other enthusiasts as well as schools. You can add text to individual photos or as a shared description to a number of them. Both can be done either during submission (step 3) or on the update form, linked under each picture.

Draw on your own and other people's images to illustrate a topic you're interested in such as a village, river, historical event or geographical feature. You can add maps, graphics, videos and out-of-copyright photos as well as Geograph images. To get startedExternal link, have a look at existing articlesExternal link and the guide to writingExternal link new ones.

We have a dedicated blog area, for members to blog about anything related to Geograph. Go there nowExternal link and write an entry.

...if you like to improve the quality of the Geograph database

Tags help users find relevant images. They're still fairly new, and many old images haven't been tagged at all. You can add tags to one of your own photos by going to the photo edit page and opening the tagging box. For all other images, for the moment, you can help group them into 'bucketsExternal link' according to photographic (rather than subject) characteristics. To do this, just click the thumb symbol next to an image and tick the appropriate buckets.

Check newly submitted images and data for suitability for an educational site and plausibility of location. Apply to become a moderator using the button at the bottom of your profile page.

Check corrections and text additions suggested by members and work with submitters and suggesters to maintain the reliability of the Geograph database. Apply to become a moderator using the button at the bottom of your profile page.

Whether your interest is special or general, team up with other contributors in your area to extend coverage, strengthen descriptions, uncover and correct errors and inconsistencies in photos of the area.

In other words, from a multitude of published images, make a selection that best illustrates the subject.

Contact non-contributing users to find out how and why they use the Geograph website.

...if you like testing new stuff

New and experimental features are usually announced on the forum early on in their development. Look out for forum posts in the Features in Development section. Try them out and report back to help make them as useful and user-friendly as possible.

...if you can explain things

Keep an eye on the forum, particularly the How do I...? section and help members find their way. If a question is of general interest, consider adding it to the knowledgebase.

Help new contributors and other users find their way around the site. Encourage them to join the supportive, knowledgeable and entertaining Geograph community.

These are short answers to frequently or occasionally asked questions and are found under the FAQ link in the side menu. Pick an unanswered questionExternal link or provide a question and answer together.

These are articlesExternal link which explain common tasks in more detail. Video capture, e.g. this walk-through of the submission processExternal link can be very effective and can be embedded in help articles.

The Geograph Links DirectoryExternal link is intended to give direct access to all features of the site. Click the Suggest a Link on the right on the links directory page to add new links.

The support team provides individual support to members and site visitors, responding to queries sent by email or through the contact form. If you'd like to help, send us a message using Contact in the side menu.

...if you'd like to spread the word

The interests of our members overlap with those of several other organisations, such as the Ramblers, YHA, local amenity societies, the National Trusts, wildlife trusts, photographic societies, University of the Third Age... Give a talk about Geograph to local branches. Write a piece about Geograph for their newsletters.

Word of mouth. Flyers. Leaflets in libraries. Focus on areas of thin coverage.

Contact local geography teachers. With other local contributors, set up photo opportunities for local media. Contact organisers of photography festivals and exhibitions to ask for a stand, display space or demo.

...if you're good with computers

The site is beginning to look dated. Can you design a new layout and implement it with HTML/CSS? Send us a message using the Contact link in the side menu.

We might be starting a Working Group to work on this, see Working Group: New DesignExternal link, and join if interested.

There is a separate page with opportunities for developersExternal link to contribute code. If you'd like to contribute a new feature, get in touch using the Contact link in the side menu. If you're after a sizeable project, have a look at the Big IdeasExternal link - some of these may be suitable for undergraduate projects for computer scientists.

Spread the word by using Geograph's data. This can be for a commercial venture such as an estate agent's website or for a community project, like e.g. GeotripsExternal link. Geograph has an APIExternal link to interface your application with our database.

We use our own cluster of servers to power the website, they take time to keep running in tip-top condition. From as simple as running regular spot-checks to make sure backups are in order, to helping design, implement and test new storage strategies. If the thought of a waiting Linux command line prompt doesn't scare you, get in contact now!

We have a sizeable (MySQL) database to maintain the project's data. This needs constant attention to make sure it's performing well, as well as maintaining data integrity.

With a large and varied code-base, it's inevitable that bugs creep in from time to time. Plenty of bug squishing opportunities! take a look at the codeExternal link or ask us for a list of things to look at.

Other ways to help

By joining Geograph Project Limited as a company member you can make sure that your elected directors do their job, which is to sustain and grow the Geograph project. Please contact the Secretary via the Contact UsExternal link page.
Creative Commons License Text by Barry Hunter, December 2011 ; This work is dedicated to the Public Domain.
With contributions by Rudi Winter, Robin Stott, Penny Mayes and Peter Facey. (details)
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