GeoRSS of flickr photos – “flicked”

You can now use a little application to get GeoRSS feeds for flickr photos for wherever and whatever in the world. Choose the tags, choose the bounding box (where in the world), choose how many results to retrieve, and choose the format, as list, as map (see below), or as GeoRSS feed. Don’t specify tags, and it gives you back the latest photos for that area. Users logged into Ning can save their searches/feeds and can get a shorter permalink to their feeds. Heres an example feed showing some interesting trees in the UK.


The GeoRSS feeds can be viewed a number of ways, using the ACME GeoRSS viewer , the OpenLayers Viewer, or viewed in GoogleEarth via the Geonames RSS to GoogleEarth tool. The OpenLayers viewer on the site has a Yahoo! Maps layer, which you can swtich on or off.

The GeoRSS is RSS2.0 and the geo points are represented twice using

W3C Basic Geo


Simple GeoRSS
<georss:point>31.114651 120.83571</georss:point>

Primarily, it has been a learning exercise in Flickr api’s, Ning , XML, GeoRSS and OpenLayers. Its on Ning, so anyone can clone, look at the source, help me bug fix 😉 . You can see some of the steps I took here.

At the moment, occasionally the flickr services timeout causing a crash. If that happens, a reload will usually correct things. But it’s a reminder not to hit it too hard (fixes are planned, see below).

Note: You can speed up feed generation by choosing to just have photo link and title (no description, owner name, or tags). These extra, “Detailed Outputs” result in a Flickr API call for each individual photo, as opposed to one at the beginning, thus slowing things down some.

Flickr themselves and Rev Dan Catt of Flickr and Geobloggers have hinted on the blog and on the Flickr:GeoTagging discussion group that this is what will be coming to Flickr.

Take any RSS feed and add &georss=1 onto the end of it, it’ll pop in a georss:point for you, if the photo has geo information.

An example of the geotagged tag’s RSS feed

Of course with that there’s no guarantee that any photos will have a georss:point. But it’s there if you want to use it on your own photos or whatever.

So hopefully we will soon see these types of GeoRSS feeds to be easily made right from the flickr map. In the meantime, this builds upon that by doing a photo search with a geographical bounding box, we are able to get all photos that have geo information.

The URL is quite hackable too (and subject to change), with key value pairs:

xn_auth=no sidesteps Ning authentication, thus makes it faster.
tags=thistag,thattag,theothertag (comma separated, no spaces)
&numresults=30 – can go up to 500 apparentlyThese three give detailed information, any on set to true will slow down feed &desc=true|false – description and date uploaded
&oname=true|false – show Flickr Username
&showtags=true|false – show tags (some photos have loads!)

&bbox= min_lon, min_lat, max_lon, max_lat – the guts of the feed.
And other things, like sorting by interestingness, relevance or date, etc

Example Feed (30 of the newest photos):

One thought on “GeoRSS of flickr photos – “flicked”

  1. this is quite interesting and if you’d be interested i’d love to talk to you about the possibilities of adding/hacking in a GeoRSS feed into location based groups on ning networks. It looks like your network bit the dust during the phasing out, so i can’t find your brilliant application. Could you please send me your contact info to the address i provided above? I’ll give you credit for your work of course and this will be the first of its kind…looking forward to it..
    Justin Land Surveyors United

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