Using EXIF time stamp as blog post time?
April 21, 2010 6:22 PM   Subscribe

I want to set up a little "one picture a day" blog, using something like Tumblr, except I want the time of the post to be taken directly from the "Date Picture Taken" EXIF data. Is there a CMS (or even better, a Tumblr hack) that will allow me to do this?

I'm trying to set up a blog where I take a photo every day and post it, except I don't really want to worry about actually having to post the picture every single day. Ideally, the blog software would be able to do it automatically, and I'd be able to post it from my iPhone. I want the time of the post to be taken directly from the "Date Picture Taken" EXIF data. Is there any CMS that can do this?

If there's a hack that will allow Tumblr to do this, even better. Anyone know of anything that can do this? I haven't been able to find anything.

By the way, I have a Flickr already and I don't think it's suitable for the stripped down, tumblelog thing I'm trying to go for with this.
posted by malapropist to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
The problem you're going to run into with Tumblr as a barrier to entry in your admirable "pull from EXIF" scheme is that their scheduling posts system is entirely... broken, it seems. It just doesn't post scheduled (or "queued," as they call them) posts. (Plus you also have to hack all the available templates to get a Tumblr site to display large pictures, as you will presumably want to do, though which you should be able to do easily enough.)

You could probably toss this together with Wordpress but I can't quite help you with your main mission, as that is beyond me. (There's a few scripts out there that can export EXIF data into XML and then presumably use that to then import into fields but I have NO idea how you could routinize it so you don't have to think about it.)

Hmm, alternately... there's some easy ways to auto-import from Flickr to publish on a blog (in both MT and WP I think)... surely then there's some way to take the attendant metadata from Flickr?
posted by RJ Reynolds at 6:49 PM on April 21, 2010

Flickr -> Yahoo Pipes -> ??? -> blog?

Now I have to figure out how to do that.

Of course, with something like Drupal you can take an RSS feed in and republish it. Or, re-blog. So one possibility is Flickr -> Yahoo Pipes -> reblog -> Drupal/WP

Heck, you probably can just dump from Flickr right to RSS, so skip the pipes step. But, pipes would make it easy to customize your EXIF data into a specific format that the blogs could read.

I'm sure this is possible a number of ways...
posted by dubitable at 7:01 PM on April 21, 2010

I have a few Tumblrs, and I haven't noticed that its scheduling function isn't working -- it's been fine for me. It is possible to back-date entries to whenever you want. (Right now I'm putting together an archive of old pictures of my kid, and I'm having each entry be the date the photo or video was made; I have new entries dated as far back as 2005.) I do have to enter the time and date by hand, though.

I agree that there isn't a good free Tumblr template with wide photo sizes as the default -- I've had to hack them a bit. It's odd that they don't have a good photo-blog template, though at least you can set your blog so there are hi-res click-throughs.
posted by lisa g at 9:35 PM on April 21, 2010

Expanding on dubitable's suggestion:

- Tumblr has an RSS feed import feature, which you might already be aware of. The two problems with using it for your case are a) it isn't customizable so you'll have to do some feed preprocessing to give it the right dates and b) Tumblr may get cranky if you never make any manual posts.

- Let's say you go with the feed pre-processing route. Good news, the Atom feed from your Flickr includes a dc:date.Taken field, which is exactly what you're looking for. Ideally, you could just use the Rename feature in Yahoo pipes to copy this date to the publish date of the RSS feed and then hand it over to Tumblr.

- Unfortunately, Yahoo Pipes is kind of crappy, and has a bug processing field names with periods in them. It looks like you can get around this by using the Flickr API to get a different RSS feed (see previous link), but this is where I gave up.

So, if you sign up for the Flickr API, I think you should be able to see this plan to completion. Hopefully this preliminary investigation will spare you some frustration.
posted by caaaaaam at 12:59 AM on April 22, 2010

Response by poster: I actually don't mind too much if the picture is small, considering most of the pictures will be little iPhone snapshots. I was not aware that Tumblr lets you set the date on your posts, so I guess in the end that's the most elegant solution after all. Thanks for the help, guys!
posted by malapropist at 1:02 AM on April 22, 2010

Good luck!

(And lisa g: there's no problem with changing the dates, or backdating posts, but there is with scheduling posts for the database to self-publish in the future.... So you can't line up a ton of posts and set them to publish once a day, as I did once... with sad results. If anyone figures an answer to this out, by the way, drop me a line!?)
posted by RJ Reynolds at 4:22 AM on April 22, 2010

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