Thursday, 12 January 2006
The Flickr Related Tag Browser
Planet internet seems to have gone Flickr crazy. While I love the idea of tagged pictures for shared interest and community fostering – like some others, I’m kinda wondering where all this visual information might end up. There have been concerns over indiscriminate and non consensual publishing, further are we just making it easier for the ever watchful authorative eye to keep tabs (tags?) on our moves and grooves. Paranoia aside for now, I’ve found some wonderful sets of images – look out for a post on some of my favourites soon.
There are also some of the excellent Flickr apps, built mostly with Flash, that make use of the open source Flickr API:
Retrievr is an experimental service which lets you search and explore a selection of Flickr images by drawing a rough sketch.
The Flickr Related Tag Browser lets you surf Flickr’s ‘tag space’. Flickr tags are keywords used to classify images. Each tag has a list of ‘related’ tags, based on clustered usage analysis.
‘Flickeur (pronounced like Voyeur) randomly retrieves images from Flickr.com and creates an infinite film with a style that can vary between stream-of-consciousness, documentary or video clip. All the blends, motions, zooms or timeleaps are completely random. Flickeur works like a looped magnetic tape where incoming images will merge with older materials and be influenced by the older recordings’ magnetic memory. The virtual tape will also play and record forward and backward to create another layer of randomness. This principle will create its own sometimes very suggestive or scary story. It might take a few minutes until the tape has accumulated enough material to not show any empty screens anymore.’
The result is a random generative film with surrealist leanings. Another word that comes to mind aside ‘Voyeur’ that is phonetically pertinent, as well as meaningful to this project is ‘FlÃ¢neur.’
‘The flÃ¢neur is the stroller, the pedestrian who finds delight and pleasure in ambling contentedly and unhurriedly through the city. To promenade without purpose is the highest ambition of the flÃ¢neur. Walking in the city is its own reward. Benjamin observes: “an intoxication comes over the man who walks long and aimlessly through the streets. With each step, the walk takes on greater moment’
So what about only including city related tags in Flickeur to produce a generative virtual psychogeographic tour of city streets?
Finally, for this moment at least, check out Jim Bumgardner’s Colrpickr which does a great job of sorting through the Flickr database using a colour search – this one could be really useful.