— Forest and the Trees

Web 2.0

Bill Scott’s presentation on designing web interfaces is great. I’ll be buying his book. (via DashboardSpy)

I just ran across datavisualization.ch. Add it to your must reads (along w/ infosthetics and flowing data. And so many more.)

Spent some time going through this flickr set.

And watched this video of Manuel Lima from Visual Complexity.

Also, there’s a Flex Data Visualization contest.

Holy shit. It appears people actually (finally, thank god) care about data visualization. For the first time, I don’t think you can keep track of all the examples (and still have time for work). I remember when Public APIs hit that point maybe 3 or 4 years ago. Exciting.

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This just came up. I’ll be giving my mashup talk again (twice in one week – really getting some good value), this time to BFPUG.

Info here…

Wednesday, March 25
The New England Institute of Art
Center Campus (Brookline Village) http://www.artinstitutes.edu/boston/AboutUs/MapsDirections.aspx
Room 1001-1002

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Here’s a link to a pdf of the mashup talk I just gave to the Harvard Flash User Group.

A special thank you to Oscar Cortes. I shamelessly stole content from the mashup talk he gave to both the Design Patterns group and the excellent Flex Camp Boston.

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I’ll be speaking at the Harvard Flash Group this Thursday. It’s open to the public (kind of), you need to be let in by Nick. So, if you have any interest in going, send me an email. You’d just have to meet at Lamont Library before the talk. I’ll talk about using Flex for creating mashups and the wonder that is Web 2.0. I’ll also walk through some code I will have written by the time of the talk.Harvard University Flash User Group March 19, 2009, 12:15 – 1:45 Lamont Library
Web 2.0 and Mashups w/ Flex

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I decided to do something that no one has thought of before – put flickr images into a Flex app. Here’s a very quick getting started guide. Here’s a link to the final app.

Get the following Adobe libraries:

Extract both folders and put into your FlexBuilder3 directory in myDocuments. I am using Flex Builder 3 Beta 2.

Change the names of the folders flickr and corelib (remove the version numbers – make sure “src” is a top level directory)

In Flex, right-click to add a new library. Use default path and name the projects flickr and corelib.

Once the projects are created, right-click on the project, choose Properties. Select FlexBuildPath. Set the main source path to “src”. Click on src to add the classes.

For the flickr library – right-click, select PropertiesClick “Flex Build Path”. Choose “Libraries”. Add the corelib library.

Then create a new project that will use the Flickr API. After creation. Right click on the project, select Properties. Click “Flex Build Path”. Choose “Libraries”. Add both flickr and corelib.

Paste this code into your app…

Actually, the formatting of this gets screwed up in the blog. Go to the app and right click to get source.

< ?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>

< ![CDATA[
import com.adobe.webapis.flickr.Photo;
import com.adobe.webapis.flickr.PagedPhotoList;
import com.adobe.webapis.flickr.events.FlickrResultEvent;
import com.adobe.webapis.flickr.methodgroups.Photos;
import com.adobe.webapis.flickr.FlickrService;
private var myFlickr:FlickrService;
public function init():void{
myFlickr=new FlickrService("5b7c5a6ff6f1863f261d55f6afc391b6");
myLabel.text='searching for dog pictures';
photos.search('', 'dog');
myFlickr.addEventListener(FlickrResultEvent.PHOTOS_SEARCH, searchComplete);
private var photos:Photos;
public function searchComplete(e:FlickrResultEvent):void{
myLabel.text='search complete';
var ppl:PagedPhotoList=e.data.photos as PagedPhotoList;
var o:Object=e.data;
var photoList:Array=ppl.photos;
var photo:Photo=photoList[0] as Photo;
var imageURL:String = "http://static.flickr.com/"+photo.server+"/"+photo.id+"_"+photo.secret+".jpg";


If you run that, you should get a picture of a dog. I included a flickr api key above. But, you should really get your own. Get it here. It’s immediate.

To do more than display a dog, below is a good example w/ source.

Flickr Flex app.

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Ok – I never blog any more, but, occasionally I read. There’s a great article in National Geographic on swarm behavior. Surowiecki’s quoted a few times. And he readily admits that wisdom of the crowds (stock market) is paralleled in the animal kingdom (ant colony). The article even includes a good dose of computer modeling.

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Digg has launched a public API – and with it, a contest. Great to see another public API – and I think this is the first public API data visualization Flash contest ever. Cool. API developed by Stamen. Looks like first place gets you all the EA Games out there and the CS3 Master Suite. Other prizes include other Adobe CS3 flavors.

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This only works for Windows – sorry.

1. Grab the files from my mashup talk here. (Also get a flickr api key if you don’t have one. There is a link on the page.)
2. Open slideShow.fla – enter your flickr api key.
3. OPTIONAL: Change the background color to black – so it matches the screensaver background in Windows.
4. Change the tags to whatever you want. (Comment out //var user=’some user here’ if you want to search all of flickr.
5. OPTIONAL: To remove the slide show controls open “class com.forestandthetrees.slideShow.SlideShowPlayer” and comment out line 74
//h -= addUserNavigation(centerX, h, slideShowDelayVars);
6. Publish and test the swf.
7. Go to flashsaver.org.
8. There are a bunch of options I ignored on the first page. Go to the second page. Name your screen saver upload your swf.
9. Click Next. Download your screensaver.

Too lazy to make your own? Here’s a screensaver that displays photos from flickr tagged with ‘dog’.

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I posted the files and links from my mashup talk last night. Included – full source for creating a mashup in Flash using flickr photos.

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Mashups in Flash

Begins: Tue, 16 Jan 2007 at 6:00 PM

Ends: Tue, 16 Jan 2007 at 8:00 PM


MIT Stata Building

Room 32-144

Cambridge, MA


Link: Building 32 on this map

I’ll be speaking about mashups in Flash on Tuesday January 16 for ABUG. I’m going to talk about what mashups are, show a bunch of mashup examples (mostly ones in Flash), and then walk through creating a mashup in Flash – a slide show grabbing pictures from flickr.

The talk is open to the public. It will be fun, you should attend. If you can make it, feel free to bring examples of your favorite mashup. After the talk we’ll check out extra mashup examples.

Tags: flash mashup speaking

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