For the project website, I decided to call it 100 meters. This is because the website retrieves images from 100 meters in radius, based on the user’s GPS location from Flickr.
Elephant & Castle
(Image dragged accidentally in screenshot, stretching the photograph)
I have tested this in different locations, days and they retrieve photos updated in the last 12 hours. This is set to 12 hours because of Flickr’s API. The first image is in North Acton and the second set of images is in Elephant and Castle.
I used a plug-in called Slick Carousel, which allowed me to insert my data from Flickr into this to display the live retrieved images in a slide show.
However, I am having problems with styling the overall design of my website. This is because the slick carousel overwrites certain stylings and adjusting the Flickr images in just one of the carousel is difficult. I want to refine the styling and overall design, however, I have the lack of knowledge to correctly complete it.
For the design of my idea, I wanted it to simple and easy to use. It would use a simple layout of the image selected in full-size showing around 90% of the screen size and 10% would be the carousel of the other images. The time-frame would be shown how recent the image is and the title showing what the image is.
To use Flickr’s API, I used node.js to run the authentication, allowing me to use their service. So, I downloaded node.js and ran it on my computer.
The images below show that the Flickr API works and I retrieved information from the Flickr servers.
The design of my idea was not definite, and I was still wondering about how I should make it. Firstly I wanted to use a Map as the main interface screen for the user, which showed the location of the user and the images around them. However, this would be very similar to the Flickr’s already existing service. I want to improve this and change it to my own concept.
Another problem was when I thought of using Google Maps and their API, linking it with Flickr to create the idea. However, when talking to my peers and tutors, the idea of using a map is not necessary to use. Also learning how to use the Google’s API and linking it with Flickr can be time-consuming and complicated, with the restriction I have to be realistic.
Also, I wanted to develop this idea into an app. I started to learn about xCode and it’s basic functionalities, however there was a lot I needed to learn to achieve what I want with this project. With little experience and knowledge, I had to simplify this and choose a different route approaching this. So, I decided to make an adaptable mobile website, which would support this.
Whilst looking at Flickr’s API, I have decided to change the idea slightly. Instead of my project grabbing many medias from several networks, I will just use Flickr. This is because of my minimal experience and knowledge in API’s in general and the timespan I had.
Thinking about the concept of my project, I didn’t like what it was used for and I thought about why I would choose certain buildings to show a timeline. Because of the limited data, I would have used on only certain buildings, I thought why could it not be everything. Instead of the project retrieving certain photos of buildings, it would retrieve photos from around the user, finding every photo related to their position.
This would be used for a user who is curious about their situation around them, what recent events occurred before they arrived at their location. As this concept would be used to retrieve photos that were recently posted near their set location.
I specifically looked into Flickr’s API and found that it is very accessible and can be used to what I want to achieve. Their API has many different methods and developer tools to request certain information from their servers. They over 40+ categories of API commands to use.
Firstly I looked at the ‘flickr.photos.search’, this allows me to retrieve public photos from Flickr’s servers and specify arguments like latitude, longitude, radius etc. Which enables me to retrieve specific data from Flickr.
In order to use this argument in the API, I had to register for an authentication key, which allowed me to use their API.
There are existing services that use data and visualising it like InstaMap, TwiMap and Flickr’s map. I wanted to have a look at what is out there already that uses these social medias and I stumbled upon these.
InstaMap is a service that used to use Instagram’s photo map and display it in their own website style. This service showed exact locations of Instagram’s media, users had their own map of their posts from Instagram, whereas this service merged them publicly. However due to the changes to Instagram’s service and the API restriction is no longer functions.
TwiMap is produced by the same creators of InstaMap. This service is essentially the same, it grabs the GPS location of public tweets on Twitter and shows the most recent tweets.
Flickr’s Map is a feature that grabs geotagged photos from public photos that have GPS location set on them. This map displays all recent or interesting geotagged items on a map displaying them as pink dots. However, the loading time can be slow as it processes a lot of data at once, it can take a few minutes for the media to load and display them on the map.