Creating an image search hack with PHP, YQL and YUI

Travelling from hack day to hack day I keep getting asked the same questions on how to create a "good hack". I've covered my ideas on good hacks in some presentations before but somehow a quick step-by-step tutorial seemed to be needed.

So I created a small hack at the Georgia Tech University hack day that allows me to find creative commons licensed photos on flickr and a few blogs and collect them in a simple interface called Slidefodder. Here's what it looks like:

Slide Fodder - find CC licensed photos and funpics for your slides

You can download the source code of the hack to take a closer look and I've written a long and detailed step-by-step explanation of the hack over on my blog.

You'll learn in the step by step tutorial:

  • How to retrieve flickr photos by license from flickr using YQL
  • How to get photos from blogs without an API using YQL
  • How to use PHP to pull this information of the web and create a small API to use it
  • How to use YUI to quickly create a progressively enhanced interface

I hope this will make it easier to come up with own ideas for upcoming hack events and show you the might and awesomeness of YQL when it comes to cutting down on your development and filtering tasks.

Chris Heilmann
Yahoo Developer Network