Flickr Commons – interactive timeline of images

Totally experimental (think of this as an ‘alpha’ release!) so forgive me if it’s either not working or you have problems with it, but below you’ll find a first attempt to get a timeline of Flickr Commons images online. As a bit of a plug, this is derived from work I have been doing for my dedicated Dated Vintage Photographs group on Flickr. For that, and potentially here, I plan to add options where end users can restrict images by date range, tag, search query, Flickr user (or in this case institution), etc etc. It doesn’t look great in this confined blog post, so open it up full-screen for the best experience. All feedback and suggestions welcome!

Two current caveats:

  • to keep the search within reason (extracting from 11,000 image records and nearly 1MB file size felt large enough!) it only displays the more ‘interesting’ images (as Flickr terms it) and also excludes images with estimated (‘circa’) dates;
  • and to help with performance (and minimise any downtime from errors fetching the data in ‘real time’) this is using a static snapshot of images that is updated periodically, so may not display the very latest images.

PS I am happy for anyone to embed this in their own website – just use http://www.whatsthatpicture.com/flickr/commons-timeline.php (and append ?nsid=[Flickr account ID] if you just want images from one Commons member). I’m also happy to share the source code (especially to anyone who wants to help improve it).

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