Network of Excellence Peer-to-Peer Tagged Media

Off The Beaten Track

"Off The Beaten Track" (OTBT) is an innovative concept developed in order to test the viability of PetaMedia Triple Synergy. The OTBT concept involves recommendation and discovery of long-tail travel destinations. The concept will be used as the basis for the development of a prototype that will be evaluated from a user-centric perspective.


Research Challenges

The goal of testing the viability of the PetaMedia Triple Synergy in a real-world use domain is an ambitious one. The first research challenge that arose involved finding a means by which to combine the user-driven and the technology-driven aspects of PetaMedia. This challenge was met by first defining a Triple-Synergy "use space" consisting of a group of people and activities that provided a sufficiently fertile context for the application of PetaMedia technologies. In order to provide the necessary match with the Triple Synergy, the use space was required to involve user-user relationships (i.e., a social network), user-media interactions (i.e., user-contributed annotations) and a multimedia collection (i.e., material for multimedia analysis). Within the space the use case was defined and the "Off The Beaten Track" (OTBT)  concept was developed.

The OTBT concept involves recommendation and discovery of travel destinations that are personally interesting for a user, but yet far away from mainstream tourist destinations. The prototype system based on the OTBT concept (referred to as the Near2Me prototype) will facilitate the personalized virtual exploration of a place through the recommendation and navigation of aspects of this place that: (1) authentically portray the place’s spirit and living culture, (2) appeal to the user’s interests.

The Near2Me prototype incorporates the following PetaMedia technologies:

  1. Geotag-based location recommendation
  2. Place naming based on a geotag and textual tags
  3. Retrieval of diversified images for a location, using image properties and textual tags
  4. Determination of subject-related authority based on comments made by peers on the user's uploaded content
  5. Tag clustering and cluster naming
  6. UGC/tag propagation using object duplicate detection


The prototype is designed to have a one-to-one correspondence between the technologies and the features in the interface that will make it possible for the user tests to provide useful information for further development of these technologies.

Development of the design specification and the implementation of the OTBT prototype is significant research challenge. It is necessary achieve a tight integration of the technologies in order to ensure the seamless realization of the OTBT concept necessary for user-perspective tests. The engineering effort (which begins July 2010) is significant.

Another research challenge involves the evaluation. The research questions to be addressed by the evaluation existed in a rough form at the beginning of the OTBT concept design process need to be refined so that their formulation is sufficiently narrow and their number is sufficiently few for thorough evaluation during the alloted evaluation period. A tight match must be ensured between the questions, the functions of the prototype and the data used within the prototype.

The final research challenge is the refinement of the prototype based on the outcome of the initial evaluation. In the project plan, is also a second iteration of evaluation that will focus on the refined prototype.


  • TU Delft: Stevan Rudinac, Maarten Clements, Martha Larson, Christoph Kopfler, Yue Shi, Luz Caballero, Alana Hanjalic
  • EPFL: Peter Vajda, Ivan Ivanov
  • TNO: Stephan Raaijmakers, Erik Boertjes
  • Novay: Christian Wartena

Related Research Projects 

OTBT  is related to the first generation PetaMedia research project "Tools for Tagging" and also makes use of results from the second generation reserch project "Authority".