ScenicOrNot: finding Great Britain’s pretty places


Last week, we finished a new project. MySociety commissioned us to produce ScenicOrNot. They want to create a “database of scenicness”: something that identifies pretty places and their locations. They came to us with the idea for the site, and we put it together for them over a couple of weeks.

The idea behind ScenicOrNot is simple: it’s a game, very much akin to HotOrNot, which asks users to give photographs of places a score out of 10. There’s a photo on the site for nearly every 1km grid square of the UK, so eventually, we’ll have a dataset that we can use to give every bit of Great Britain an average score for prettiness. MySociety have a very cool plan for it, and they’ll release the data as soon as it’s useful so that other people can get cracking with their cool ideas, too.

The site is fun, easy and hopefully a little bit addictive: just the right prerequisites for a site that’s croudsourcing a new dataset. If we’ve done it right, rating pictures shouldn’t feel remotely like hard work, and by the progress we’ve seen so far — 109,000 votes cast and 10% of the country rated in just under a week — it’s not going too badly.

Please do check out the site and, as always, tell us what you think about it.