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Cosmic! Explore Flickr Photos via Tag Galaxy

It registers a Spock-like eyebrow raise when the folks at are wowed by a new tool, so check out Tag Galaxy. This is a visually engaging tool to explore flickr photos by tags. That alone does not say much, but what this site does is create a planetary like display for showing how tags are related, and the interface invites you to fly in deeper and deeper.

So in a Tag Galaxy not very long ago (yesterday) and not far away…

You start by entering a tag as the beginning of your journey, and immediately you feel some sort of Force:

In the center of my planetary flickr system is Arizona, with circling planetoids (size proportional to number of photos in flickr) are ones to explore –Grand Canyon, Tucson, Saguaro, Desert, Sunset, each revolving around the start point (I am not sure of the distance from the center has meaning).

So I decided to explore the rocky planet named Saguaro, (roll your “g” softly sah-WAR-ro)

Now my system is defined by the photos that have both the tags of “Arizona” and “Saguaro”, and I could continue to refine by picking other “planets”, but now I choose to explore, and click the center of the solar system.

This was cool to watch unfold, and I missed the screen shot that captured it, but the photos of saguaro cacti start flying in and covering the surface of the center body:

And more- you can click and drag the orb to rotate in any direction, and then click to see the individual photo.

I had a great time exploring the planetary flickr-system. Yes there are a gazillion visual flickr explorers, and this again is another subtle attribute to what happens when a service like flickr opens their data for people to do interesting things with the data. Open, baby, is it. Ever think you could explore your Bb classes this way? That is a galaxy long long long long long long long long long…

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. What an amazing new tool – loved your Arizona demo! Open systems are creating some very interesting opportunities right now and it will be fun to see what new tools continue to pop up.

  2. Tag Galaxy appears to be broken – all tags come up with no matching photos – rendering the entire site 100% useless at the moment as far as I can tell.


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