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Buster Benson

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Flickr tag downloader for Ruby on Rails
drowning polar bear
Warning: nerd post...

I searched for the exact keywords in the title of this post, and a dozen variations thereof, before giving up on the search to find something that simply downloaded images from a given tag.  I wrote a script to do it for my own purposes and thought I would share it.  To use it:
  • Install the ruby gem rflickr on your server: gem install rflickr
  • Uninstall the lame flickr gem if you happen to have it: gem uninstall flickr
  • Get a Flickr API Key.
  • Copy the instructions here on authenticating your application with Flickr and getting a working token via the frob (whatever that stands for).
  • Edit this script with your tag, API Key, Shared Secret, and directory to save the files to on your local server.
  • Put the script in the /scripts directory of your Rails app, and run it from your root directory like this: ruby script/flickr_tag_downloader.rb
That'll download 500 photos from a tag at a time.  To get more, change one of the other parameters in that ridiculous flickr.photos.search method and find out which one of them specifies the page number.

If nobody else on the Internet other than me wants to do this, at least I'll now be able to find my own script next time I try to do this...

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No I haven't. Can you use that site to download the pictures to your computer? I like that it shows a lot more images per page, but what exactly does it do?

nope, don't think it can download the actual photos. it just allows you to search Flickr by various means, and then displays the results in a larger grid than Flickr gives you.

That's cool, because I have been hacking around ways of finding the RSS feeds of people that I want to follow's favorites.

Oh man, this is awesome! I've long bemoaned flickr's lack of a batch-download tool, and this I think acts as the same thing?

Not that I'm quite smart enough to set it up, but good to know it's possible....

It's definitely possible! If you just want to download your own photos, I recommend installing FlickrFan (http://flickrfan.org/). It's main use is to make a folder of photos for a screensaver, but it has an additional use of backing up your entire flickr account and keeping the backup current. Pretty seamless.

My script is more for downloading OTHER PEOPLES photos (that have been tagged a certain thing), which I'm sure isn't totally kosher without checking for Creative Commons licenses, but I'm doing this for a one time event and figure it's intentions are good.

Yep, the other people's photos is what I've been wanting ... to do photo albums of, say, our wedding, or Meadowfabulous.

Edited at 2008-03-16 05:37 am (UTC)

Yup, then this is what you need! Just search by group_id instead of tag. I'm sure there are willing nerds out there to help you out! :)

In fact, *I* am willing to help whenever you decide you want to figure this out!

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