Astronomy photographer of the year

Astronomy photographer of the year launched today. This is a collaboration between the Royal Observatory Greenwich (my employers), Sky at Night magazine and Flickr. It’s been keeping me busy for the last few weeks, mostly getting my head around the Flickr Authentication API so that I could build the entry form. There’s a Flickr group from which photos can be entered for the competition, via the form that I built on the Maritime Museum website.

The most interesting bit, from my point of view, is our collaboration with the amazing work done by the guys at Their robot will scan photos in the group, derive astrometric data (coordinates of the centre, orientation, angular extent and names of objects in the field) and then save that data as machine tags on each photo. The machine tags are all in the astro: namespace. There’s a brief overview of the tags on the web site. I’ve also scribbled some notes on how the machine tags might be used. I’d be really interested to hear what ideas other people have for the applications of this sort of data.