POIDH: The Flickr API

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  • Internet slang for “PICS OR IT DIDNT HAPPEN.”
    We take photos to capture and share our most important memories. That’s one reason Flickr is such an interesting service for developers.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/blythe_d/519585642/
  • But first, Hello!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/heather/384134566/
  • head of product strategy @flickr
    flickr peep for ~3.5 yearsreluctant ex new yorker
    (bit of a nerd)
    http://flickr.com/people/mroth


    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jojojo/664794926/
  • Flickr! What is it!? (mmmm... flickr)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/niznoz/7155790/
  • Before Flickr, there was GNE.
  • GNE is now ended. (Obvious joke stolen from Mr. Cal Henderson.) Side project from GNE = Flickr.
  • Flickr is a small photo sharing community website. Mostly focused on photos of kittens.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/eole/2755260460/
  • Flickr will hit 4 billion photos during this talk. (Still mostly photos of kittens.)

    But, Flickr is more than just the website...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/polvero/3517939540/
  • We have tons of data, Flickr API == tons of ways to work with it.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/dunechaser/134671943/
  • Here is the RTFM version of this talk.
  • 2004 == AJAX!!!. So really, the Flickr API was mostly built for us -- we built (and continue to build) Flickr API in order to build Flickr.com. The API launched to the public in early 2005. One of the first public APIs.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/emedeme/138958630/
  • Most recent “APIs” == mostly about getting your stuff on THEIR page.
    Flickr API == about getting your stuff in and out of Flickr, from wherever you want, as easily as possible.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/monkeyc/325891178/
  • OAuth is basically FlickrAuth with some refinements (and some security issues).
    Delegated authentication, because sharing your username and password is retarded, open a web browser, user logs in, and your application gets a token. The actual dance is a little more complicated than that, but it’s best to look over the documentation.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/26809429@N02/3917079414/
  • Gotta catch them all! (at http://flickr.com/services/api )

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/25182307@N00/1881207586/
  • Tons of API Kits, providing wrapper functions and helper functionality for your preferred environment.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/inkytwist/3808610673/
  • API explorer allows you to test out the results of API methods in realtime. There’s a link to it on the bottom of every API method documentation on Flickr.com
  • Pretty full featured API, but we keep adding more to it. Briefly review some of the things we’ve added so far in 2009.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/suvodeb/3188700716/
  • Ability to post images directly from Flickr to Twitter with a flic.kr URL — supported in the API via the “post to blog” functionality.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/tarikb/2821633690/
  • With 130M geotagged images, we want to have lots of ways to query them. If you’ve been using Flickr API for a while, you probably are very familiar with bounding boxes — you’ll be happy to know we now support radial searches as well. In addition Flickr, in particular Aaron Cope (who spoke earlier on the Geo panel) has been working on generating shapefiles for locations generated from Flickr data.
    We are releasing all of the Flickr shapefiles as a single download, available for use under the Creative Commons Zero Waiver. That’s fancy-talk for “public domain”.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/straup/3536471854/
  • Biggest buzzword right now, is of course realtime services! I’m not 100% certain what realtime is, but many Social Media Gurus assure me it’s the new big thing. Flickr is of course the pioneer in realtime services, as evidenced by the mystical panda we added to our site, which pukes out a rainbow of the most interesting images as they are uploaded in realtime. (really, go check it out!).

    The panda is somewhat of a trojan horse (or trojan panda) — it was a fun way for us to test some new realtime methods for interesting photos. Of course, the mystical panda has an API method so you can make your own fun realtime apps with Flickr data.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/psd/2913831391/
  • There are actually three pandas. As you can see, there is an API method to make sure your list of pandas is always up to date. Each panda has a slightly different view of the world. Ling Ling and Hsing Hsing are both interested in things as they happen, with a slightly different focus. Wang Wang cares more about geotagged images. (Ignore the fourth panda in this image — we don’t talk about him.)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ohadby/492775448/
  • By querying the panda API method with your choice of panda, you’ll receive back a “packet” of photos that are interesting for that moment in time.

    While the pandas have inspired a lot of fan art, not many apps yet.
    ...so, if you can build something more better than a vomiting panda (which lets face it, it pretty hard to top!), we’d love to see it at Hack Day.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bar-art/3345670157/
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/revjim5000/2689005397/
  • Great little app, makes great titles for slides and websites.

    http://bighugelabs.com/namethatcontact.php
  • Fun game to play to see how well you know your friends.

    http://bighugelabs.com/namethatcontact.php
  • An example of how robust an app you can make on top of the Flickr API, nearly all of the functionality available on the Flickr website.
    In fact, “Geo Nearby” was available in Darkslide via the Flickr APIs before it was available on Flickr.com website itself.

    http://connectedflow.com/darkslide/
  • http://flickrforbusypeople.appspot.com
  • Social network analysis, done by Gustavo G.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gustavog/9708628/
  • 150K images pulled via Flickr API, reassembled into 3D renderings of cities.

    http://grail.cs.washington.edu/rome/
  • Sometimes hacks build upon each other.

    Jim Bumgardner made this color picker, that will find you Flickr photos that match a specific color profile. (BTW, full howto and sourcecode is in his book, Flickr Hacks)
    http://krazydad.com/colrpickr/
  • At Open Hackday 2006, someone build upon that concept, and extended into the hardware world.
    Vintage Herco 620 camera.
    http://bjoern.org/projects/cfcam/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bpunkt/233285021/
  • Lots and lots and lots of apps -- which actually presents a bit of a problem.
    * as a Flickr user, how do you find the good ones?
    * as a developer, how do you promote your app?

    This is something we’ve been thinking about trying to make better.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/maistora/3014414972/
  • Our answer: App Garden

    To announce and preview app garden, please welcome to the stage Josh Nguyen.
  • Josh Nguyen
    Product Manager, Flickr
    http://flickr.com/people/jfisher/
  • URL for secret developer preview.
    You get to put your stuff in now ahead of time, and it will be there on day one for launch.
  • P.S. We’re hiring!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/revdancatt/473785583/

Transcript

  • 1. POIDH: The Flickr API Matthew Rothenberg Josh Nguyen All photos Creative Commons licensed and sourced from Flickr.com, attribution in slide notes.
  • 2. POIDH (pics or it didn’t happen)
  • 3. http://flickr.com/people/ mroth (bit of a nerd)
  • 4. Agenda background Flickr API overview recent API additions fun stuff built with Flickr ? ? ? secret new developer feature sneak? preview?(ssh!) ? ?
  • 5. Game Never Ending
  • 6. Game Never Ending (now ended)
  • 7. a small photo sharing community website on teh internets
  • 8. (no longer small) 3.998 billion photos 130+ million geotagged (still mostly of kittens)
  • 9. Flickr API (flickr for robots)
  • 10. flickr.com/services/api
  • 11. History
  • 12. Open?
  • 13. Flickr Auth (kinda like OAuth)
  • 14. ~150 API methods
  • 15. support available PHP Ruby LISP Perl .NET Java ActionScript Python Obj-C cUrl BASIC
  • 16. API Explorer
  • 17. some new (API) hotness
  • 18. Flickr2Twitter http://code.flickr.com/blog/2009/06/30/twitter-in-the-api/
  • 19. Radial Searches + Shapefiles http://code.flickr.com/blog/tag/shapefiles/
  • 20. REALTIME!!! http://flickr.com/explore/panda
  • 21. flickr.panda.getList() <pandas> <panda>ling ling</panda> <panda>hsing hsing</panda> <panda>wang wang</panda> </pandas> Wang Wang Ling Ling Hsing Hsing 23
  • 22. flickr.panda.getPhotos(panda_name=‘ling ling’) <rsp stat="ok"> <photos interval="60" lastupdate="1253674217" total="51" panda="ling ling"> <photo title="Abandoned House" id="772383233" secret="22ee16e698" server="1369" farm="2" owner="49249779@N00" ownername="BACKYard Woods Explorer"/> <photo title="" id="3619592730" secret="aab9c42e7a" server="3410" farm="4" owner="7566627@N07" ownername="Alex Foureyes"/> <photo title="I Like Ovaltine Jars" id="2396926381" secret="41c39ecd93" server="3076" farm="4" owner="7652657@N02" ownername="Majlee"/> <!-- snip --> </photos> </rsp>
  • 23. some awesome apps:
  • 24. Spell with Flickr http://metaatem.net/words/
  • 25. Name That Contact http://bighugelabs.com/namethatcontact.php
  • 26. Darkslide http://connectedflow.com/darkslide/
  • 27. Flickr for Busy People http://flickrforbusypeople.appspot.com
  • 28. network analysis http://flickr.com/photos/gustavog/
  • 29. Building Rome in a Day, Univ. of Washington GRAIL Lab http://grail.cs.washington.edu/rome/
  • 30. Color Fields Experimental Colr Pickr Jim Bumgardner http://krazydad.com/colrpickr/
  • 31. Color Field Camera Björn Hartmann http://bjoern.org/projects/cfcam/
  • 32. 500K+ API keys issued 15K active every hour (a lot of apps)
  • 33. App Garden
  • 34. App Garden Preview Josh Nguyen Janitor, Flickr
  • 35. App Garden sekret developer preview! git yers here, pardner: http://flickr.com/ appgarden_super_secret_zomg.gne
  • 36. P.S. We’re hiring! http://flickr.com/jobs
  • 37. Q&A App Garden Sneak Preview: http://flickr.com/ appgarden_super_secret_zomg.gne