Great Ski Holidays lets you search for a place you want to go skiing using a faceted system, so you can specify tags such as alpine, beginner, nightlife, and spa. (For my ideal ski resort, the tags would be: free, low, and indoors.) It seems well done, but the thing I really like about it is that you can choose which authorities you want to use: ski review sites, ski resorts & club sites, trade sites & tour operators, and (coming soon) reader reviews.

The site started out as a demo of “Authority Driven Facet Tags” by an enterprise search agency called Metaphor Search. It went so well that they opened it up to the Web public, although it still shows some signs of its demo origins, including some typos, etc. It just adds to the charm.

One of their blog posts actually credits Everything Is Miscellaneous as one of the inspirations, which makes me happy. The post says part of the impetus for developing a faceted system with configurable authorities was experiencing the difficulty of coming up with a single, uncontested geographical classification for the Maldives: Asia? Indian Ocean? And it got worse when they tried to come up with a taxonomy of destination types. So, rather than try to figure out what each user’s unexpressed taxonomy is, they decided to let the user decide which authorities to trust and use those authorities’ ways of divvying up the world. Clever, and not unlike the multi-taxonomy approach taken by some species-of-the-world sites.