Travel Related Photographs For a Travel Search Engine

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I have worked on sites that featured places that you can visit – specific city or country pages that contain a lot of travel-related photographs. Having a system that can perform image analysis, and review photograph metadata sounded like it would increase the value of such photography, and the idea of a travel related search engine that could help with travel and lodging was something to think about. The references to EXIF data were also interesting. A New SEO Classics post on E-A-T should be published here this week, too.

Looking at Computerized Travel Photographs

This recent patent is about computerized travel photographs.

The Internet gets used to planning travel. Users submit particular travel queries to Internet travel search engines and get presented with precise travel query results. These results are often insufficient for users who lack a clear plan or wish to explore many travel options.

This specification describes technologies relating to computerized travel-related photographs.

Does Google Use EXIF Data in Image Analysis?

It appears that Google can consider EXIF data in images when Analyzing images.

One of the image analysis approaches mentioned in this patent and at least a couple of other patents from Google has been using EXIF data that a camera adds to the information in a photo. There has been some news that Google has been looking at this kind of data since 2014. See: Matt Cutts Answers If Google Uses EXIF Data From Pictures As A Ranking Factor

Here are a couple of Google patents that describe the use of EXIF data to understand better images that are being analyzed better:

In part, this is a concern because compression on images can take out EXIF metadata from images, but having smaller images in web pages is often stressed for optimizing pages for search. The recommendation patent describes Google viewing EXIF data at sources such as Flicker, so that Google can recommend better vantage points for the taking of photos.

The patent about more accurate business establishment locations tells us of EXIF data in images on authoritative websites for businesses to better capture the up-t0-date places of those businesses. (These both seem like they would be good uses for EXIF data.)

Other Reasons for Better Analysis of Travel Related Images

Generally, one aspect described in this specification can get embodied to select a photograph for a destination or point of interest. Many travel-related photographs for a goal or point of interest become unrelated to the purpose or topic of interest. A selected photograph gets selected from the many travel-related photographs based at least in part on selection success data and documents.

In general, another aspect of the subject matter described in this specification can get embodied in methods that include the actions of:

  • Receiving natural feature mapping data and wild feature mapping data representing geographic footprints of many natural features
  • Receiving political feature mapping data, the political feature mapping data representing geographic footprints of many political features
  • Classifying the natural features as a destination or not a destination, including categorizing at least one of the natural features as a destination-based
  • Determining that the geographic footprint of the natural feature overlaps with the geographic footprints of the political features
  • Storing data representing the natural features classified as a destination in a geographic datastore

In general, another innovative aspect of the subject matter described in this specification can get embodied in methods that include the actions of

  • Receiving data indicative of a point of interest or destination, such as a city, and a time of the year
  • Identifying travel related photographs using an index of pictures, the pictures getting identified from the index as travel-related photographs geographically related to the point of interest or destination and having a creation timestamp corresponding to the time of the year
  • Determining for each of the pictures, a relevancy score based at least in part on selection success data of the photograph for image queries referring to the point of interest or destination, and references to the end of good or goal in documents associated with the picture
  • Selecting a selected photograph from the travel-related photographs based at least in part on a respective visual quality score and the respective relevancy scores, the visual quality score representing a degree of the optical quality of the individual travel-related photographs.

Points of Interest Or Destinations

In general, another innovative aspect of the subject matter described in this specification can get embodied in methods that include the actions of receiving data indicative of a point of interest or destination, such as a city and an activity;

  • Identifying travel related photographs using an index of photographs, the travel related photographs getting identified from the index as photographs geographically related to the point of interest or destination
  • Determining for each of the travel related photographs, a relevancy score based on first selection success data of the photograph for image queries referring to the point of interest or destination
  • Picking success data of the photograph for image queries referring to the activity, references to the end of good or goal in documents associated with the photograph, and regards to the action in papers related to the photograph; and a selected photograph from the travel-related photographs based at least in part on a respective visual quality score and the respective relevancy scores, the visual quality score representing a degree of the optical quality of the individual photographs
  • .

In general, another innovative aspect of the subject matter described in this specification can get embodied in methods that include the actions of:

  • Receiving data indicative of a destination, such as a city
  • Identifying points of interest associated with the goal by querying a geographic datastore that includes data mapping destinations to points of interest; for each of the effectiveness of interest
  • Identifying travel related photographs using an index of photographs, photographs getting identified as photographs geographically related to the end of good
  • Determining for the travel-related photographs a relevancy score based on selection success data of the photograph for image queries referring to the point of interest and references to the end of interest in documents associated with the photograph
  • Selecting a selected topic of interest photograph from the travel-related photographs based at least in part on a respective visual quality score and the respective relevancy scores, the visual quality score representing a degree of the optical quality of the individual photographs
  • Selecting a selected destination photograph from the chosen point of interest travel relatedphotographs

In general, another innovative aspect of the subject matter described in this specification can get embodied in methods that include the actions of identifying points of interest or destinations, such as cities, associated with a travel location by querying a geographic datastore that provides for data mapping travel locations to points of interest or goals;

  • Determining for each of the effectiveness of interest: a count of travel-related documents that refer to the end of interest or destination, a count of travel-related queries that refer to the point of interest or goal, a count of photographs that are geographically related to the end of interest or purpose, and a popularity score based at least in part on the count of travel documents, the count of travel queries, and the count of photographs
  • Selecting a selected point of interest or destination based at least in part on the respective popularity scores

What Can Be Seen Using Travel Queries

In general, another innovative aspect of the subject matter described in this specification can get embodied in methods that include the actions of:

  • Receiving a travel query
  • Determining an origin location, a time frame, and a travel location based at least in part on the travel query
  • Identifying points of interest or destinations, such as cities, associated with the travel location by querying a geographic datastore that includes data mapping travel locations to points of interest or goals; for each of the effectiveness of interest or destinations
  • Determining photographs that are geographically related to the end of interest or destination according to an index of photographs
  • Selecting a selected photograph from the photographs based at least in part on a respective visual quality score, the visual quality score representing a degree of the optical quality of the respective photographers, and a separate relevancy score, the relevancy score representing a degree of relevance to the point of interest or destination of the individual photograph
  • Obtaining a description associated with the point of interest or goal, obtaining a hotel price related to the end of interest or destination and with the time frame, and obtaining a flight price for a flight corresponding to the origin location, the point of interest or goal, and the time frame
  • Providing for each of the effectiveness of interest or destinations, a query result including the respective selected photograph, the respective description, the respective hotel price, and the respective flight price

Other embodiments of this aspect include corresponding computer systems, apparatus, and computer programs recorded on computer storage devices, each configured to perform the actions of the methods.

In general, another innovative aspect of the subject matter described in this specification can be embodied in methods that include the actions of:

  • Receiving a request identifying a destination, such as a city, the request also identifying a time frame and an origin location
  • Identifying destination photographs using an index of travel-related photographs, the destination photographs being identified from the index as photographs geographically related to the destination
  • Selecting a selected destination photograph from the destination photographs based at least in part on a respective first visual quality score, the first visual quality score representing a degree of the visual quality of the respective destination photograph, and a respective first relevancy score, the first relevancy score representing a degree of relevance to the destination of the respective destination photograph
  • Obtaining a destination description associated with the destination
  • Obtaining hotel data identifying a hotel associated with the destination, the hotel data including a hotel price
  • Obtaining flight data identifying a flight corresponding to the destination, the origin location, and the time frame
  • Identifying points of interest associated with the destination; for each of the points of interest
  • Identifying point of interest photographs using the index of photographs, point of interest photographs being identified from the index as photographs geographically related to the point of interest
  • Selecting a selected point of interest photograph from the point of interest photographs based at least in part on a respective second visual quality score, the second visual quality score
  • Representing a degree of the visual quality of the respective point of interest photograph, and a respective second relevancy score, the second relevancy score representing a degree of relevance to the point of interest of the respective point of interest photograph; obtaining the respective point of interest descriptions associated with each of the points of interest

  • Providing a destination page, the destination page including the selected destination photograph, the hotel price, the flight data, the destination description, the selected point of interest photographs, and the point of interest descriptions

Other embodiments of this aspect include corresponding computer systems, apparatus, and computer programs recorded on computer storage devices, each configured to perform the actions of the methods.

In general, another innovative aspect of the subject matter described in this specification can include the actions of:

  • Receiving a search request identifying a point of interest
  • Receiving a search request identifying a point of interest identifying the point of interest photographs using an index of travel-related photographs, the end of interest photographs getting identified from the index as photographs related to the point of interest
  • Receiving a search request identifying a point of interestSelecting a selected point of interest photograph from the point of interest photographs based on a respective first visual quality score, the first visual quality score representing a degree of the visual quality of the individual end of interest photograph, and a separate first relevancy score, the first relevancy score representing a degree of relevance to the point of interest of the respective point of interest photograph
  • Receiving a search request identifying a point of interestObtaining a point of interest description associated with the point of interest
  • Receiving a search request identifying a point of interestObtaining hotel data identifying a hotel associated with the point of interest, the hotel data including a hotel description
  • Identifying other points of interest associated with the point of interest; for each of the different points of interest
  • Identifying another point of interest photographs using the index of photographs, the other end of interest photographs getting identified from the index as photographs geographically related to the other point of interest
  • Selecting a selected other point of interest photograph from the other end of interest photographs based at least in part on a respective second visual quality score, the second visual quality score representing a degree of the visual quality of the individual another point of interest photograph, and a respective second relevancy score, the second relevancy score representing a degree of relevance to the other end of interest of the respective another point of interest photograph; obtaining respective another point of interest descriptions associated with each of the other points of interest; and providing a point of interest page, the point of interest page including, the selected point of interest photograph, the point of interest description, the hotel description, the selected other point of interest photographs, and the other point of interest descriptions

Other embodiments of this aspect include corresponding computer systems, apparatus, and computer programs recorded on computer storage devices, each configured to perform the actions of the methods.

Selecting photographs for a destination or point of interest
ventors: Barnaby John James and Bala Venkata Sai Ravi Krishna Kolluri
Assignee: Google LLC
US Patent: 11,263,712
Granted: March 1, 2022
Filed: November 14, 2019

Abstract

Methods, systems, and apparatus for computerized travel services, including computer programs encoded on computer storage media.

One of the methods includes identifying photographs using an index of photographs, the photographs being identified from the index as photographs geographically related to the point of interest or destination and having a creation timestamp corresponding to a time of the year; determining for each of the photographs, a relevancy score based at least in part on: selection success data of the photograph for image queries referring to the point of interest or destination, and references to the point of interest or destination in documents associated with the photograph; and selecting a selected photograph from the photographs based at least in part on a respective visual quality score and the respective relevancy scores, the visual quality score representing a degree of the visual quality of the respective photographs.

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3 thoughts on “Travel Related Photographs For a Travel Search Engine”

  1. Thanks, it made my day, I have been searching for some tips and guidance for the last 2 hours and this is the most informative article I have found.

  2. Great share, Bill.
    While I can recall recommending optimizations on EXIF data as far back as a few years ago to a client “just in case,” your illumination through the patent links and descriptions provides the kind of verification I’ve been looking for.
    Thanks, again. Your contribution is significant.

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