Bicycle Tag of bike

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  • Hey, sorry, just woke up!

    Our tracking of the history puts the origin of the game back to 2007 from a post on a motorcycle forum in Minneapolis:­index.php?showtopic=14572, as far as a "Bicycle Tag" game goes, but we have been able to track some photo tag games going farther back. So you're totally right @KT_Bee, known origins are motorbike forums.

    As @Velocio said, the origins of photo tag games goes much farther back with Motorcycles. We have been working on a comprehensive history of the BikeTag game. If anyone wants to help out with that I would love to chat more!

    The games on Reddit started, as we mention in our small "about" on the site, in Austin, Texas and spread from there to Chicago, LA, and more. There are now almost 30 games played across Reddit, most of which users manually upload their images to imgur and some of which have a template for users to fill out when creating those posts.

    We, my friend Evan and I, created BikeTag.Org as a tool to aid in playing the game that doesn't require an account to play. Anyone can play! Evan was the one who introduced me to the game back in 2018 and I've been developing this app as a labor of love ever since. The posted images to BikeTag.Org are then synced to Reddit (manually at the moment) where discussions around the tags happen. We launched in Portland and we now support 9 different games across the world (including Vienna, Austria!)

    Now, during the pandemic, we're seeing a lot of people using BikeTag as a way to get out of the house and to socially interact with others without actually being physically around others. A lot of new games have started this year, in: Seattle, Austria, Eugene, Miami, and more.

    I found out about a Glasgow from a post on the Inverness subreddit, where they mentioned a Glasgow game. I tend to get excited when I discover new games so I created and really quickly, then I discovered these forums! So yeah, that's a little more background but I'm stoked to talk to y'all more~!

  • Love this!

  • Thanks for this!

    I have been spending all morning reading and sending messages to my friends about these games!

    We have some good ideas for non-geo specific games and for minigames. We've brainstormed some ways to allow "retagging" and to be able to set a "theme" for a given period of time.

    Y'all are inspiring!

  • I couldn't find tag threads on old boards I used to run like Chicago Fixed Gear (chifg)... but yet there was one.

    The problem with old forums... they crashed, got deleted, migrated and broken, and general data loss.

    Would be nice to find the earliest cycling instance of the game... it's probably in­.misc or­ from the 1980s for an online version - but Google have made it really hard to search old old stuff.

    I bet my fathers anecdotal "we did this riddles on a motorbike" basically came from cyclists before... but we'd be jumping back so far that there's unlikely to be written history of it.

  • I’ve often wondered if outside world tagging and this thread would one day find each other. Welcome @BikeTagOrg.

  • We are attempting to solve for the issues of things getting old and being deleted/archived.

    The site runs on no database, a strategy I am hoping to be able to continue to employ. All images are uploaded to Imgur, which is public, into an album created by our Imgur account. All of the data for each tag is contained in the Imgur image, including the credit for the person who tagged it as well as the hints/found locations. (we are also looking to add GPS coordinates in the near future, for doing auto verification of new mystery tags as well as providing an interactive MAP). Basically, you don't need BikeTag.Org to see all of the data that you see ON BikeTag.Org.

    Because we don't run a database, all of the data is out there. The website code, similarly, is open sourced and the content is public there. When we create Reddit posts (for threaded discussions, much like this forum), those posts are public.

    We certainly expect that these larger platforms will be around a while. Using Imgur and Reddit and NOT Facebook is our way of trying to make the game as readily available for as long as possible.

    We also have a lot of features currently in the works to automate and add more fanciness. We have a leaderboard (@ /leaderboard for a given geo for you sleuths out there) that is currently in development and a user profile page where users can see their own individual tags. These features are all being driven by a BikeTag API that I am developing to make the data, and how we compile it, available for anyone to mash and mold and do with however they please. Chicago's game has a cool new dashboard at which is built using Tableau. I don't have those Tableau skills but I am doing what I can to enable others who do have such skills to be able to create whatever.

  • I don't know what you have planned for your leaderboard but when I day dreamed about doing something similar to what you are doing I was thinking of things like greatest distance between tags, quickest tag etc.

  • The site runs on no database

    Well... you have a database, it's just one that you don't own or maintain and you hope that Reddit will allow you to use indefinitely for free without showing adverts that they sell and keeps them in business.

    You should be fine though... unless someone else significantly larger causes Reddit to redefine policies on content usage they'll just ignore this.

    Context here is: All the integrations people built on top of Twitter before Twitter got serious about ensuring adverts were in the mix and they had control of the presentation of content.


    I love those filters that you could add to a map or a leaderboard. Our current leaderboard is as raw as it gets, just a list with the number of tags next to the users submitted name. What I am envisioning is something like that link above built in Tableau. But honestly, as the sole developer on the project for the last two years, after having spent the last 6 weeks hacking away on this and the 5,000 lines of supporting code that it runs on, I can only do so much.

    The only thing holding us back from making a map is the fact that we don't have any GPS data saved in the images. I wrote some code to pull EXIF data out of the images before uploading to Imgur (which strips all EXIF data) and to save that into the images, but it had something wrong and I was getting incorrect coordinates so I shelved it. But once we have that data (and I'm sure people would be happy to backport their games with this data) we can start to show things like greatest distance between tags and quickest tag.

    The game in Seattle has been going HAM for weeks now. Yesterday they had 4 tags and they have been averaging like 2 tags a day for a long time. They actively snipe each other as well, and people will be attempting to upload their new tag and see that they've already been sniped. It's awesome and they are really great sports about it, which I enjoy. I enjoy the BikeTag community and most of it's members who are just about getting out there on your bike and enjoying it.

  • Leaving the EXIF data in your upload is a little amateurish. You are supposed to identify the tag from the photo and clues, not by looking up the coordinates.

  • I hear you, but the plan is to continue to scale and include redundancies for these things in the future. For now, Imgur is solid and I hope we can rely on it for another 5 years. Before that time is up I hope to have support for S3 buckets and whatever Googly store I can hack into this. Redundancies are important for when, say, Imgur goes down. If Imgur goes down so does BikeTag.Org.

    Reddit, as a forum, is great. The API they provide is awesome, and we can crosspost really easily. We plan to turn r/biketag into a global leaderboard that has crossposts from all of the games we track worldwide. But Reddit is also not the healthiest community, and garnering trust amongst Redditors can be very difficult. ( I was actually remarking, this morning, about how nice y'all have been so far. I try to be kind and respectful and to be as enthusiastic about this endeavor as I can be but some people just don't like "outsiders" -- definitely a US thing.)

    No matter who came up with what or who did it first and where, there are way more BikeTag games out there than we know, and discovering this forum shows me that we still have a lot more work to do on our history.

  • This is getting really technical, sorry if I'm exhausting this thread!

    The EXIF data is always stripped on upload by IMGUR, so you will never find any of that with the BikeTag images. We want to save only the GPS coordinates from that data and we want to save it to the "found tag" only so that we can build the map/leaderboard. To ensure quality data we have to supplement this with a map to the end user on upload ("Is this really where you are? --> drop a pin on the map") and then we also have to add the appropriate checkboxes and GDPR notices.

    Our progression of features has been slow with our existing communities, so things like this are a natural next step for us. I don't know how that would translate to these other forums and games that have gone stale, but maybe?

    If anyone is interested in helping out/participating with our history efforts, dev projects, or even using the BikeTag app for your games here reach out to me.

  • Well that was fun!

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  • By Ludwig Standards that is an excellent tag.

  • it was the Portland one:

    Bit far for me.

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  • That first image you posted looks like the side of Hungry Tiger Too, but the current tag in Portland is not at that location.

  • That pipe work / air con unit matches, no? I went through the artist's tumbler page and it led me there.

  • What's the new one?

  • Sorry, your sleuthing is spot on. You definitely found the location, I just thought it looked like a different place.

  • Indeed, to avoid confusion, back in London you're trying to find this:

  • It's in Portland, good luck!

  • That first image you posted looks like the side of Hungry Tiger Too, but the current tag in Portland is not at that location.

    Nice try. What you don't know yet is that if there were tagging world championships, we'd send oat44. :)

  • That was super fun, and I was 8 months pregnant at the time!!

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Bicycle Tag of bike

Posted by Avatar for MinhDinh @MinhDinh