The creation of Seabo
17 December 2015
In celebration of Trove Manager Tim’s last day with the Trove team, we decided to have a hack day, using the Trove API and the combined skills of the Trove team to create a new thing.
Working in Trove we want to be able to easily find and browse images in Trove to spruce up our presentations and social media posts. We wanted a way to find: out of copyright, open access and reusable images. Fortunately we had created a list of searches highlighting open access images for the 2015 GIF IT UP competition. Using this as a starting point we scribbled down thoughts on what we wanted this new thing to be able to do.
A common theme soon emerged. We wanted the ability to serendipitously find images through browsing or via a random generator. Once an image was found we wanted to be able to browse similar images by subject, creator or collection. A wish list of features was beginning to take shape.
We divided up into teams. Tim handled the coding; Mark, Julia and Chris looked after the metadata; Catriona and Tighearnan worked on a wireframe (a visual guide for the layout of a webpage) while Jess pondered communications for the project.
We decided ‘Serendipitously Exploring And Browsing Open Access Images In Trove’ was a bit too long for an application name, after several attempts to come up with a name we stumbled across the helpful acronym ‘Seabo’.
Fun fact: According to Google Translate, seabo is Sesotho for participation. The name stuck.
While searching, we found the largest numbers of images by contributor were provided by the State Library of Queensland and the State Library of Victoria. Both organisations are quite large so it’s fair to say they have a lot more images, but we also discovered they appeared more often because they had taken the time to add an open access rights statement to their records. This meant we could easily identify their openly licensed and out of copyright images.
With some wireframes created for pages within the application, Tim, acting as our developer, started work on the homepage with the intent of getting some random images to appear from the collection of a random contributor.
By the end of the day we had Seabo’s homepage sorted, we also had text on the ‘About’ page and photographs were coming in from the ’Collections’ to fill Seabo’s random image generator.
It was a very successful day, which goes to show how an idea can transform into a working prototype with some coding skills and a Trove API key.
Anyone can do it, so to find out more, head to our help page Building with Trove.
We’d love to hear from you about Seabo, so please leave us a comment and tell us what you think.