Thursday, January 08, 2009

Thing 68: Filtering Flickr

This discovery exercise has us looking at two filtering sites for Flickr photos: flickrCC and Tag Galaxy.

I started with my favorite search term--fairies. I always love the whimsy and fun associated with these pictures.

flickrCC - I was simply amazed by the amount of creative commons photos that were available for fairies. I liked that it had check boxes if you wanted photos for editing or for commercial use. It even has links for if you want to edit the photo inhouse or use Picnik. Also you can click on the size you want and it immediately gives you the URL so you can link to it in your blog, website, or presentation. And of course there is a link back to the Flickr page from which it comes from if you want to comment or add to your faves.

Tag Galaxy - The visual appeal of Tag Galaxy is simply stunning. You enter your tag search and it gives you your tag as a main planet with smaller satellites orbiting your tag that are related. You can select any of these additional related tags to focus your search. Since there are many variations on how to spell fairies, singular and plural, I was glad that Tag Galaxy pulled these out for me automatically. I added: fairy, faerie, faery, and faeries. Very handy.

Then Tag Galaxy pulled together my search into a planet of 309 photos. It would have been nice if flickrCC told you how many hits you got on your tag search. In Tag Galaxy you could zoom in our out with your mouse wheel or show your results in fullscreen mode. You could rotate this planet of photos and select any photo from the sphere. One mouse click gets you a close up and title. Click again and you get the description as well as a link to the original Flickr page so you can get your URL for the photo. Click the "X" to go back to scanning the photos. Be careful about using these photos, they are not all limited to creative commons so you'll need click through to Flickr to be sure it is OK to use.

Then I did a second search to see if fans of the book Neverwhere by: Neil Gaiman had posted any creative commons photos that were inspired by the book. I wanted to spice up my slides for my book club quiz show. I used flickrCC and it brought up 31 creative commons photos. Then I went into Flickr's advanced search option and tried the same search--Neverwhere limited to creative commons photos. This brought up 70 hits. So there were some that may have been missed by flickrCC. Then I went to Tag Galaxy and did a search for Neverwhere. This brought up 96 hits, but since it does not have a way to limit to just creative commons photos I would not be able to use it to search for photos to use in projects.

Overall, both flickrCC and Tag Galaxy have their advantages. Even when you use the same tag in each they bring up a different set of photos to browse. I would tend to use Tag Galaxy for personal use and browsing and flickrCC for specific things and to search for photos for projects. I would also include an advanced search in Flickr itself for photos for projects. They both have a place in my toolbox. Thanks flickrCC and Tag Galaxy!



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