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App-Rising.com covers the development and adoption of broadband applications, the deployment of and need for broadband networks, and the demands placed on policy to adapt to the revolutionary opportunities made possible by the Internet.

App-Rising.com is written by Geoff Daily, a DC-based technology journalist, broadband activist, marketing consultant, and Internet entrepreneur.

App-Rising.com is supported in part by AT&T;, however all views and opinions expressed herein are solely my own.

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May 15, 2008 9:26 AM

One of the Coolest Flickr Visualizations Around

To start with, Flickr is a website that lets you upload, organize, and share photos with friends, family, and the world.

Flickr is a Web 2.0 application in that the data on its site can be easily inputted into other sites, which though not talked about as often is a defining characteristic of Web 2.0.

So what that means is other sites can tap into Flickr's treasure trove of images to do different things with them.

Without going into an extended exploration of all the things this can mean I want to just focus on one instance, which I just discovered moments ago, that might be the coolest visualization tool for Flickr images I've ever seen.

It's called Tag Galaxy.

Click on the link and then enter a tag in the box. A tag is a word used to describe an image. So if you want to see pictures of puppies, type in puppies.

You're then shown what looks like planets in a solar system. The central one will have your tag, and any surrounding planets represent tags that are related. So in the case of "puppies" I got planets like "dogs" and "pets" and "cute".

Now, click on a planet. If you click on a related planet then you're taken to another solar system of planets with the central planet containing both your original tag and the related tag you clicked on. So if you inputted "puppies" and then click "cute" the central planet would be "puppies+cute". What this is doing is helping you refine your search so you're only finding the images you want to.

To see what the site's really all about, eventually you have to click on the central planet. Once you do, the solar system goes away and in its place is a single globe covered in tiles. Images then fly in from all angles to cover the tiles so that the globe is covered in images.

Click on an image once and it jumps out. Click on it again and it expands while also giving you the option to go to that image's original Flickr page.

Navigate around the globe by grabbing the space around it and moving in any direction.

Now to be honest, I'm not 100% sure if this endeavor is adding much to society other than a liberal dash of cool. That said, if I were looking for a particular image this is certainly a fun way to do so and may be more effective than hunting through Flickr.com.

But in any event it's a prime example of the kinds of interfaces for finding information that only broadband and computers make possible. I highly recommend anyone reading this to go check it out and have some fun.


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Comments (1)

Hi Geoff!

This is Steven Wood, the creator of Tag Galaxy. I just found your great article, and your description of the application is better and more accurate than anything I could have come up with. I'm glad to hear that you enjoy exploring the endless depths of Flickr as much as I do. Thanks a lot for writing about Tag Galaxy!


Posted by Steven Wood on May 19, 2008 10:03 PM

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