Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Flex Spatial Flickr

Some of you may be aware that the ArcGIS API for Microsoft Silverlight/WPF is now available as a public Beta. This was released on the eve of the 2009 ESRI Developer Summit. I am among the many who unfortunately couldn't attend this year due to the current economic climate.

The Silverlight API looks rather promising - very similar in form and function to the Flex API. The ArcGIS Server Development Team provided this Spatial Flickr sample in the Code Gallery. This is a pretty slick mashup for sure.

As an advocate of Flex, this sample inspired me to develop a similar sample using the Flex API. Here is the live application as well as the application source.

This sample uses the ActionScript 3.0 API for Flickr available on Google Code. This photo search method of this API was missing needed 'geo' functionality -- so I extended it accordingly.

This sample application will retrieve Flickr photos for the current map extent. Photo tags are optional, but will be included in the search if provided. The search results are added to the map as well as provided in a data panel. The map graphics and data panel respond to mouse focus and click events. My sample doesn't have all the animation provided in the Silverlight sample -- althought it could be extended to include such. There are a few noteable quirks with the map graphics particularly those near the edges of the map window. Perhaps I shall revisit this sometime.

So, Silverlight or Flex? Time will certainly tell...