Google Translation + Flickr API = FlickrBabel

. Tuesday, July 22, 2008
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I'm actually involved in the development of a new StartUp,, a videogamers social network. As I've been "playing" with a lot of web applications APIs, I've had some ideas about integrating some of them for creating something that could be useful.

The first application I've developed for Wipley is FlickrBabel, a simple application that improves the search for photographies in Flickr by means of automated translation (Google translation API) and query expansion in order to search (by means of Flickr API) for a more general query. This method can be very useful for many people, specially non-english speakers, as Flickr (and many other web applications) is more used by English speakers than Spanish ones or, at least, there are more photographies tagged and described in English than in Spanish.

As a simple practical example, if you search "girasol" (the Spanish translation of sunflower) in Flickr, you may get over 6,200 results. If you search for "sunflower", you get more than 187,714 results. If you speak some English, you should use English instead of Spanish for performing your queries in Flickr. There are many other cases where English queries does not work as well as in the previous example. For instance, if you search for "omelette", you'll get over 11,000 results, but the Spanish translation, "tortilla", will get almost 30.000 results. FlickrBabel helps us by automatically translating our queries and performing the queries in both languages (I'll extend the functionality to other languages very soon).

Now, I'm working on several ways to relate photographies to other ones by means of contextual analysis. The application is at a beta stage but I'll appreciate any possible feedback given as a reply to this post or as a reply to the post we wrote in the official Wipley blog :D


reg said...

Great post.The importance of a technical translation being accurate and efficient can indeed not be overstated. Especially in the ever faster moving world of globalized business, successful information and technology transfer within multinational businesses can make the difference between win or lose.

Anonymous said...

Probably because tortilla in English is more likely to refer to a "tortilla chip" (like Dortitos) than it is to an omelette, you'd get the wrong results for what you are searching for.