EOL API Discussion Group

With growing interest in using the Encyclopedia of Life API (application programming interface), comes the need for an openly available place to ask and answer questions. This is the place.

The Newsfeed for this EOL Community gathers updates associated with the items belonging to its Managed Collections, including activities of its members and comments from other EOL users.

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  • Profile picture of Jonathan Ray who took this action.

    Jonathan Ray commented on "EOL API Discussion Group":

    Thanks for the suggestions. I'll look into it further, and hopefully the results will be worth it.

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Cyndy Parr who took this action.

    Cyndy Parr commented on "EOL API Discussion Group":

    @Roderic Page: People would be pretty good at the coarse matching (shrimp-like, bird, mold, flower) so I'm not sure it is helpful to have computer vision do that part. Definitely an area for research.

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Roderic Page who took this action.

    Roderic Page commented on "EOL API Discussion Group":

    If EOL already has the image then it should be straightforward to create a service to locate it (just match a hash of the image file). Google Images supports searching for images (go to http://www.google.co.uk/imghp and click on the camera icon in the search box). I've searched for EOL images and Google finds them (for example, chose an image from EOL, download it to your computer, then upload it to Google images and search for it). This answers the question "is this particular image in EOL?"). This question is obviously limited as it requires EOL to already have the image, but you could imagine that as more and more images end up in EOL (e.g., via Flicker and iNaturalist, and other contributors) the chances that an image you find on the web already exists in EOL will start to rise.

    The problem of finding an image "like" one you have is harder. Google supports this query as well, but seems to rely on matching images with similar distribution of colours, and so doesn't work terribly well. There are some useful posts on Stackoverflow about the general problem, e.g. http://stackoverflow.com/questions/843972/image-comparison-fast-algorithm and http://stackoverflow.com/questions/75891/algorithm-for-finding-similar-images.

    It strikes me that another way to tackle this question is to ask it in an other way, namely "what images would an organism generate if photographed?" For example, take a 3D model of an animal (the BBC has some which could be used as starting points), generate 2D photos of different aspects, then use something like template matching to try and classify images. Even a coarse classification (this matches a shrimp) might be a start.

    over 1 year ago • edited: over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Cyndy Parr who took this action.

    Cyndy Parr commented on "EOL API Discussion Group":

    @Jonathan Ray: Ah, we once had a Google Summer of Code student working on a way to do image finding using an image and it is a VERY VERY hard problem. LeafSnap.com is an app that does this for North American tree leaves; it is pretty specialized.

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Jonathan Ray who took this action.

    Jonathan Ray commented on "EOL API Discussion Group":

    Their wouldn't be any other data being sent, it would be based on I don't know what I'm looking at so find it for me approach. I thought it would be a long shot, but thought I'd ask.

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Jeff Holmes who took this action.

    Jeff Holmes commented on "EOL API Discussion Group":

    EOL doesn't have any image matching algorithm, if that is what you are after. Can you say more about data that might go with the image? Do you have any source or taxonomic information?

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Jonathan Ray who took this action.

    Jonathan Ray commented on "EOL API Discussion Group":

    @Jeff Holmes: yes by starting with a photo taken and trying to find that match on EOL, and in turn using that to find the species name for example. For the confusion, as I am also trying to still work out the kinks on what I'm hoping to accomplish.

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Jeff Holmes who took this action.

    Jeff Holmes commented on "EOL API Discussion Group":

    @Jonathan Ray: I'm still confused if you are starting with a photo from somewhere else and are trying to find a match on EOL or if you are trying to find a photo based on a species name or something more like that...

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Nathan Wilson who took this action.

    Nathan Wilson commented on "EOL API Discussion Group":

    How is the image getting into EOL or how are are you finding the image in question?

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Jonathan Ray who took this action.

    Jonathan Ray commented on "EOL API Discussion Group":

    This is where, I guess you could say I am having writers block. Or up for suggestions on trying to get the EOL API to be used in a way that I am hoping. I would want to match the photo, with my own identifier (or even image upload) that would match that paticular photo or return similiar options. I am hoping to learn more about your API on hopes of using it in java, for app cability. I am starting to look into this as a hobby, outside of my tech life, and any help/suggestions would be highly welcomed. Thanks.

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Cyndy Parr who took this action.

    Cyndy Parr commented on "EOL API Discussion Group":

    @Jonathan Ray: I was sloppy, what I really meant was, how would you want to match the picture. Using your own identifier? Your own image URL? Either could be consistent with the approach that Nathan is talking about.

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Jeff Holmes who took this action.

    Jeff Holmes commented on "EOL API Discussion Group":

    @Jonathan Ray: I'm interested in this topic as well. Can you say a little more about what you mean by matching? What data are you starting with?

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Nathan Wilson who took this action.

    Nathan Wilson commented on "EOL API Discussion Group":

    The only approach I've found for doing this with the current API is to use the collection API to get a list of the photos provided by a content partner. It's a bit ugly, but there's enough information there to figure out the needed calls to the data_object API call.
    I'm interested in your use case. The most important case we've come up with is providing content partners a way to get deep links into EOL. This suggest a large batch lookup for all the content for a partner would be more efficient than a picture by picture lookup using, for example, the unique id provided by a given content partner.
    In our existing ticket tracking system, I've already requested:
    - A single (possibly paginated) API call that returns all the information a content partner needs to connect their pages to the appropriate EOL pages. In this case having the returned by the data_object API call added to the collection API call would be sufficient, but having the unique id provided by the content partner would be better (parsing URLs is ugly).
    - Include in the collection API the data_object URL rather than just the EOL data_object id (gives EOL the ability to change the URL).
    - An API call for discovering a content partner's collection (currently you have to look it up by hand and hard code it).

    over 1 year ago • edited: over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Jonathan Ray who took this action.

    Jonathan Ray commented on "EOL API Discussion Group":

    Well I was thinking of matching the picture and then parsing the data, maybe not actually retrieving the photo itself but the data of the matched picture, but down the line actually rwtieving like a thumbnail of the matched picture may prove beneficial. Thanks.

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Cyndy Parr who took this action.

    Cyndy Parr commented on "EOL API Discussion Group":

    @Jonathan Ray: I think it is somewhat difficult to do this, as to use the data_objects method you need to know either the EOL DataObject version ID or a 16 character GUID, neither of which you can get without inspecting the XML for a page on which that photo appears. I could be wrong about this, but if I'm right this is a good suggestion for API improvement. How would you want to retrieve the photo?

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Jonathan Ray who took this action.

    Jonathan Ray commented on "EOL API Discussion Group":

    Is it possible to use the EOL API to match a particular photo sent in, in order to the parse xml data about said picture?

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Yan Wong who took this action.

    Yan Wong commented on "EOL API Discussion Group":

    @Bob Corrigan: Thanks Bob. If you are referring to the thumbnail sizes, I worked out that two of the "proportional" sizes are labelled _98_68 and _580_360. I'd still be interested to know what the 3rd available size is.

    over 1 year ago • edited: over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Yan Wong who took this action.

    Yan Wong commented on "EOL API Discussion Group":

    @Cyndy Parr: Thanks Cyndy. I'm absolutely sure it used to return both 12132222 and 1057290 before, but as you say, it only returns 1057290 now, so the problem has magically resolved itself! Thanks.

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Cyndy Parr who took this action.

    Cyndy Parr commented on "EOL API Discussion Group":

    @Yan Wong: Searching for Acanthodactylus bedriagae on the site finds this page: http://eol.org/pages/1057290/ . I tried the API call http://eol.org/api/search/1.0.json?q=Acanthodactylus+bedriagai and it seems to return the same thing. If there was a hiccup in the index it seems to have resolved itself.

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Bob Corrigan who took this action.

    Bob Corrigan commented on "EOL API Discussion Group":

    @Yan Wong: @Yan, did you get the answer you needed from anyone?

    over 1 year ago