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.
I’ve just discovered two more services – Alchemy and Zemanta – and also a couple of extra WordPress plugins to use these and automatically suggest and add tags.Â One simply uses the Alchemy API, but by far the most advanced I’ve uncovered yet is Simple Tags which pulls in tags from Local Tags (I think that’s a list of tags already used), Yahoo, OpenCalais, Alchemy, Zemanta, and Tag the Net.Â So here’s a bit more text to test them out, focussed on geographic terms …
Hatfield has been in the papers again this week.Â It’s where I went to secondary school.Â I used to cycle 6 miles each way, each day, including the climb up Bell Bar (near Potters Bar) which was about half way from Cuffley.
Another experimental panorama, this time at the Imperial War Museum. Most of the main attractions are set as highlights, but Microsoft Silverlight is very frustrating in that it doesn’t allow users to hover over something in the scene and find out more. In fact it’s not very good at displaying information at all – I’d have thought it would at least show captions from the titles and descriptions that you set!
Wait a little while and it should automatically go through the highlights, or just click on the thumbnails to the right (again, there must be something not quite right with a piece of software if you have to give people guidance on how to do the basics!)
We went down to visit our friends Karen & Ian over the Bank Holiday weekend. As we went to leave it was glorious weather imaginable and it was a wrench to get away, but I had to quickly pop up the hill and shoot an experimental panorama, which I’ve stitched and uploaded using Microsoft tools for the first time.
If you don’t have Microsoft Silverlight you’ll have to install it, but it’s easy (just click on the button) and I think it’s worth it!
You can see the full version here, or better still click on the full-screen button to the right of the [-] & [+]