JCDL 2007 in Vancouver

I’m currently in Vancouver attending the Joint Conference on Digital Libraries where I’ll give a talk in the CAMA Workshop on Saturday about “Sharing Contextualized Attention Metadata to Support Personalized Information Retrieval”. As there is no wireless at the conference (pretty strange for a conference in 2007), I can just blog from my hotel room (free WLAN there, hahaha).

The conference was opened today with a keynote by Google’s Daniel M. Russell about “What are they thinking? Searching for the mind of the searcher”. It was pretty interesting to see how Google copes with the different contexts, perspectives, and mental models of users. I guess the most difficult problem is related to what Wayne Hodgins is always refering to as “unlearning”: People don’t follow the optimal path, but the most familiar one. Tough work for Google ;-)

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Another very inspiring talk was given by Rahul Nair from Yahoo! Research Berkeley lab (looking at the photo on his page almost prevented me from posting this, but it was really good anyway). He introduced the World Explorer - a great example of how we can make use of the mass of user-generated metadata: They use geotagged images from flickr to provide meaningful tags about any region in the world. A simple but very exciting approach - take a look!

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