commonsExplorer is an experimental interactive browser for the Flickr Commons. It provides a "big picture" view of these collections - a rich, single screen interface that reveals structures and patterns and encourages exploration.
commonsExplorer is a Java executable, so Windows and Linux users will need to have Java installed. The application requires a network connection, and may not work from behind a firewall or proxy.
The application grabs titles and thumbnails for the whole selected collection - hundreds or thousands of images. Words in image titles are visualised in the text cloud: larger words occur in many titles. Hovering over a word highlights images with titles containing that word, and shows which other words occur in those images.
Thumbnails - or cropped "samples" of them - are shown in the tile grid. Hovering over an image in the grid shows its full thumbnail and title; clicking the thumbnail loads a larger image from Flickr. Clicking the larger image loads its page on Flickr.
The text cloud also provides an interface to refine the current image set. Clicking a word in the cloud focuses it, showing only images with titles containing that word. Right-clicking on a word blocks it, showing only images with titles that do not contain that word. Clicking on a blocked or focused word un-blocks or un-focuses it.
Feedback, questions and bug reports are welcome - contact us.