Cooliris is one of the best ways to flip through photos, enabling you to scroll through hundreds of photos effortlessly. Flickr is one of the best sites to search for photos. Combine the two and you've got CoolFlick, a service that lays Cooliris' thumbnail scrolling on top of Flickr - all from within the browser window.
Here at ReadWriteWeb we're big fans of visualizing data and content. When it comes to photos, Cooliris is one of our favorites. We've got it plugged into Firefox and on our iPhones. But, sometimes, it would be nice to have quick access to the Cooliris scrolling without having to install a browser plugin or having to jump out of the browser environment.
That's where CoolFlick comes in handy.
To begin searching for photos with CoolFlick, you can either go directly to the CoolFlick site to enter your query or you can string it into a URL like http://www.coolflick.org/index.php?q=portland. That's it. Using the search terms, CoolFlick loads up a series of matching photos. Then you can begin panning side-to-side and zooming in for more detail just like you would with Cooliris.
But here's something even better: You can take that view with you and share it with your friends. CoolFlick provides an embed code that allows you to add Cooliris viewing functionality to any site you'd like.
We first started testing CoolFlick with an eye toward browsing for photos. But there are some drawbacks to using the service that way. First and most obvious, you can only get photos ranked by relevance, not by other parameters. Second, there is no advanced search. The team here is always on the lookout for compelling photos licensed under Creative Commons. There's no way to discern that with CoolFlick. Finally, CoolFlick only provides a limited set of photos.
It would be great to see the service improve to include some of these features - or to implement other features offered through the Flickr API.
For now, we can overlook those flaws in favor of using the service to embed Cooliris views of content we find. Think of the applications: gathering event shots, sharing trip photos, compiling images by subject, displaying only images with the "coolflick" tag... the list goes on and on.
We're sure you can come up with some creative applications of this technology. To give it a try, visit CoolFlick and enter some search terms. To embed the view of the images you've found, click on the little "