Disclaimer: I work for Europeana. But this is still great and I would have blogged about it anyway!
I was prompted by a new blog post from my former Kew colleague Anna Saltmarsh – Plants to pixels: enhancing access to Kewâ€™s herbarium collectionsÂ – to have a closer look at the Europeana search widget. It can deliver targeted search results directly on external pages – everything from private blogs to institutional data provider websites. There’s a really handy wizard that lets you create your own widget, with different themes and styles to suit most needs. Crusially though you can also tap into the power of the Europeana API to control what is displayed and what your users can then search for.
Here’s an example of the code that allows you to quickly and easily search Kew’s content, in this case looking for palms:
A few weeks ago I undertook a quick challenge to come up with something to show how cultural collection APIs could be used to very quickly deliver simple tools aimed at reaching far beyond typical audiences, especially in the creative sector.
I chose Flickr Commons and Europeana APIs, though the idea could easily be extended to any image collection accessible via an API. The development process was simple: ingest the image metadata via the APIs; create a basic script using ImageMagick which resizes images to custom dimensions; configure powerful but simple Apache redirects and regex so that images can be served up using clean urls based on a standard syntax; and finally wrap all this in a clean and easy user interface that works well on both desktop and mobile devices.
Seb Chan and the team at Powerhouse Museum in Sydney certainly likes to make sure they stay one step ahead of everyone else in the museums sector, and they’ve proved it once again with the launch of a custom WordPress plugin that interfaces with their collections information through the API (which, of course, they have had up and running for ages).