September 10, 2009 /

The ever-informative Twitter alerted me recently to the History Trust of South Australia’s object of the month. It made me think that it would be nice if there was some way of bringing together all those objects, photos and documents featured by our cultural institutions. Some sort of combined RSS feed perhaps?

Something like this…

Well, yes… I couldn’t resist having a go. My tool of choice for this was Yahoo Pipes which has various modules for manipulating and creating RSS feeds. Check out my script on the Yahoo Pipes site to create a badge like this, play some more or inspect its innards. If you’re feeling adventurous you can even clone the script and tinker away yourself – it’s the best way to learn. Read MorePlaying with pipes

February 9, 2009 /

There’s more 3D goodness for you to enjoy now that the Mapping our Anzacs scrapbook is Cooliris-enabled. If you have Cooliris installed, you’ll notice that the Cooliris icon on your browser toolbar lights up when you visit the site. Just click on the icon to browse all the photos posted to the scrapbook on a glorious 3D wall.

Scrapbook posts in 3D
Scrapbook posts in 3D

(If you don’t have Cooliris then go and get it. It can be used both in Internet Explorer and Firefox, though you’ll probably need to have admin rights to install for IE.)

Having given the 3D treatment to digitised files from the National Archives of Australia and portrait images from the Australian Dictionary of Biography, it wasn’t too hard to do. The scrapbook is a Tumblr site and the api makes it easy to extract all the photos. So I created a php file to gather all the details and then write them to a media-rss file. Then it was just a matter of  inserting a link to it in the scrapbook. Read MoreCooliris-enabled scrapbook

February 4, 2009 /

So I was thinking, wouldn’t it be nice if the Australian Dictionary of Biography‘s ‘born on this day‘ feature could be made available as an RSS feed. Every morning you’d get a new list of biographies delivered direct to your feed reader. And so…

[sounds of xpath wrangling and PHP coding]

here it is.

It’s pretty simple – it harvests all the links of people born on the current day, then loops through the links to gather the first paragraph of each biography. Then it’s just a matter of writing everything to an RSS file. Read MoreADB DIY RSS

January 30, 2009 /
December 17, 2008 /
All dressed up – RecordSearch has a new look
All dressed up – RecordSearch has a new look

The new version of my Greasemonkey userscript, RecordSearch Image Tools, gives RecordSearch’s digital image pages a rather new look. My previous version had done away with the tired ol ‘lemon-chiffon’ background colour, but I decided it was time to get a bit more adventurous, so I blitzed the old design and rebuilt the page from the beginning.

As you can see from the screenshot, I’ve tried to give the images as much as the screen as possible. I’ve also created a consistent set of navigation buttons, and improved the functionality in various ways. Read MoreArchives in 3D

December 8, 2008 /

BREAKING NEWS (2.00pm, Monday, 8 December): RecordSearch seems to be back on the old subdomain, so now the userscript fix is not working! To be safe, I’ve updated the userscript again so that it will work on both the old and new subdomains. I’ll do the same with the Zotero translator, though for the time being it should be working. If you updated the userscript in the last few hours, you’d better do it again – sorry… Read MoreRecordSearch tools broken!?