Searching Flickr directly or through the API?
June 30, 2011 1:02 PM   Subscribe

Custom searching Flickr with Boolean-style operators: is it possible?

Ever since I got my Flickr account, I have been tagging pictures in which I am seen with the tag "self" - it has been tremendously helpful over the years. Not too far back, Flickr came out with tagging - the ability to actually label individuals within a picture. This removes the need for my "self" tag, and I've been slowly switching to the new style.

I have 696 photos tagged with "self" and 892 photos in which I have tagged myself. (No one else has tagged me in any photos.) I'd like to make sure that all of the "self" photos are in fact tagged with my username - it seems likely, but I want to be sure. I'm envisioning a query like this:

photos tagged with "self" AND NOT tagged with <my username>

Does anyone know if this type of query is possible, either directly on Flickr (haven't got it working myself yet) or through the API?
posted by etoile to Technology (5 answers total)
Advanced Search.

Set to "tags only", put "self" in the "all of these words" box, and your username in the "none of these words" box.

Set Search in to "my photostream".
posted by zamboni at 1:18 PM on June 30, 2011

Zamboni has it - Flickr only supports limited Boolean searching (AND, OR, NOT expressed as "-", and phrase searching via quotes, as far as I can tell.)
posted by ryanshepard at 1:20 PM on June 30, 2011

Set Search in to "my photostream".

It's actually "your photostream", but I'm sure you got the idea.
posted by zamboni at 1:24 PM on June 30, 2011

This doesn't seem to work. My username is not a "tag" on the item, it's a "person" if you will. The "people in this photo" section isn't searched with the Advanced Search function directly on the website (even in full text mode), which is why I think an API call might be necessary. Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with the Flickr API, so I'm not sure what exactly needs to be called.
posted by etoile at 6:18 PM on June 30, 2011

This is actually quite a bit simpler than you think (assuming you are only concerned with photos that you took). There is no reason to do a boolean search in this case because you cannot tag yourself in a photo more than once. So you can simply select all of your photos tagged "self" and add yourself to all of them. Flickr will only add you to the ones you're not already tagged in.

Go to the Flickr Organizr:

In the search box at the bottom of the window, next to the dropdown menu that says "all your content", search for "self".

All of the photos tagged "self" will load in the filmstrip.

Select all of the photos in the filmstrip and drag them up into the work area.

Click the button above the work area called "Add People". From there you can add yourself to everything.

The key thing here is that you don't have to worry about adding a duplicate tag or people tag. You can only add a text tag or a people tag once to a photo, so you can add yourself to photos over and over in Organizr and Flickr will only do something if you're not already tagged.

(I work at Flickr and design how many things work.)
posted by pkingdesign at 9:35 PM on June 30, 2011

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