Galleries APIs

Giant Isopod

We love galleries. After all, without galleries how would you find your giant sea bugs?

This post is to quickly announce we’ve added galleries to the API.

A Rose+GUID by Any Other Name ….

Galleries in the API use “compound-ids”. Like tags. An example gallery compound id might look like 9634-72157621980433950. Unlike photos you can’t simply grab the last number off a gallery url and stick it into the API. Yeah, I’m not thrilled about it either, but there are good (read boring) reasons why it works that way.

So when an API method says it takes a gallery_id, we’re talking about the compound-id.

You can however use the flickr.urls.lookupGallery method to go from gallery url to gallery_id. Pass the method the URL for the gallery, and we’ll give you back the gallery info blob.

You can also get gallery IDs from flickr.galleries.getList and flickr.galleries.getInfo.

Behold, a gallery info blob:

<gallery id="6065-72157617483228192" 
    primary_photo_id="292882708" primary_photo_server="112" primary_photo_farm="1" primary_photo_secret="7f29861bc4" 
    date_create="1241028772" date_update="1270111667" count_photos="17" count_videos="0" >
 <title>Cat Pictures I've Sent To Kevin Collins</title>
 <description>dive dive dive</description>

The primary_photo_* attributes refer to the “cover photo” for the gallery. The owner is the Flickr user_id (aka NSID) of the member who created the gallery. The id is that compound-id we talked about.

Lists of Galleries

You can fetch all of a member’s galleries using flickr.galleries.getList, sorted from newest to oldest, returning a list of gallery info blobs.

Or you can fetch all the galleries a given photo is in with flickr.galleries.getListForPhoto.

A Bag of Photos

Perhaps most interesting, flickr.galleries.getPhotos will return a list of all the photos for a given gallery. It’s a standard photo response, with a twist.

<photos page="1" pages="1" perpage="500" total="15"> 
   <photo id="2935475111" owner="8147452@N05" secret="e20746148b" server="3068" farm="4" title="Day off from the Death Star." ispublic="1" isfriend="0" isfamily="0" is_primary="1" has_comment="1">
        <comment>best cat picture ever!</comment>
   <photo id="3078977730" owner="68779755@N00" secret="dba9d8105e" server="3229" farm="4" title="&quot;We could stuff it with Kleenex...&quot;" ispublic="1" isfriend="0" isfamily="0" is_primary="0" has_comment="0" /> 
   <photo id="3212123792" owner="10983978@N03" secret="4231501383" server="3391" farm="4" title="1-19-09: Some People Just Don't Get It" ispublic="1" isfriend="0" isfamily="0" is_primary="0" has_comment="0" /> 

In addition to standard photo response attributes, there is also a has_comment attribute which signals whether the gallery creator added a comment about why she included the photo, and whether the child comment element is present. Also is_primary, when set to 1, indicates this is the gallery’s “cover photo”.


flickr.galleries.create creates a gallery, with a title, description, and optional primary photo, and will return a gallery element with the compound-id and the URL of the gallery.

<gallery id="50736-72157623680420409" url="" />

flickr.galleries.editMeta is simply for updating the title and description. flickr.galleries.editPhoto confusingly doesn’t edit a photo, but rather the comment about a photo in a gallery.

Of course the money is all in flickr.galleries.addPhoto which allows you to actually build a gallery of photos.

Nota bene: Remember only public-safe can be added to galleries.

The Curated Life

We’ve also added the ability to restrict searches to only photos in galleries, with the in_gallery argument to

So whether you’re interested in kittens deemed cute enough for galleries, or hand selected pink photos, or Flickr Commons photos in galleries, or simply photos taken near you (assuming you’re in Brooklyn), in galleries, that’s available.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , by Kay Kremerskothen. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kay Kremerskothen

Kay is a Community Manager for Flickr and passionate about extraordinary photography. As an editor on Flickr Blog he loves to showcase the beauty and diversity of Flickr in his posts. When he's not blogging or making Flickr more awesome (in front of and behind the scenes), you can find him taking pictures with his beloved Nikon and iPhone, listening to Hans Zimmer's music or playing board games. | On Flickr you can find him at