Shane O'Sullivan's technical blog… really ties the room together

Querying Flickr with Dojo!

Posted by Shane O'Sullivan on September 22, 2007

I’ve recently submitted a new data store for the Dojo Ajax Toolkit that makes it very simple to query Flickr for your and other peoples images. For those not familiar with Flickr, it is a photo sharing website, one of the most popular on the net. However, what makes it quite special is the comprehensive public APIs that it exposes.

While these APIs are extremely useful, however, they are also very complex, with a steep learning curve before you can even get started. In steps Dojo and their new Data API specification, whose stated aim is to have a single unified interface to all data sources, so that users of a data store won’t have to care if they’re reading from a database, from a XML or JSON file, or from some remote service like Flickr.

So, long story short, I’ve written an implementation of the Dojo Data APIs to query data from Flickr. It is part of the DojoX project, and is called It provides quite a few methods of querying for photos:

  • By one or more tags, matchine any or all of them
  • By user id
  • By set id
  • Full text search
  • Sorting on date taken, date published or ‘interestingness’

FlickrRestStore also performs caching of image data, so if you request the data twice it won’t make a second remote request.

The store is also designed to be accessed by multiple clients simultaneously. If two clients request the same data, only one request is made, with both clients being notified of the identical results.


I’ve put a fairly comprehensive set of examples in the Dojo book at

You can see a Demo of it running at .

The unit tests cover quite a few cases also, and you can see them at

To get the code, you can:

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3 Responses to “Querying Flickr with Dojo!”

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