Icelab

Corley Collection Explorer

We worked with the State Library of Queensland and the ANU to build an API for exploring, categorising and annotating the Corley Collection — more than 60,000 photographs of Queensland homes.

Client:State Library of QueenslandVisit the website

The Corley Explorer allows visitors to explore, tag and append their own personal stories and images to the more than 60,000 photographs taken by Frank and Eunice Corley of Queensland homes in the 1960s and 1970s.

Icelab was approached by Mitchell Whitelaw and Geoff Hinchcliffe from the Data Design Lab at the ANU School of Art and Design to construct an API for the collection. After formulating a data model and interface design, we built the API in an iterative and collaborative fashion, adding and adjusting features as required to support the Corley Explorer and other future API consumers.

Among other features the API today allows users to:

  • view the details of all photographs in a location or spool
  • tag a photograph as showing a house with particular types of tags, such as roof type, wall material, or architectural feature
  • geolocate a photograph
  • search for photographs matching a particular tag, criteria or query
  • create a contributor account to submit stories and images related to a particular home.

Data model

The APIs data model includes photographs, spools, geolocations, tags, contributed stories and more.
Data modelling

API endpoints

17 different API endpoints provide ways to explore, tag, and contribute to the collection.
Data modelling

Robust technology

Ruby, Postgres and Elasticsearch hosted on the Heroku platform allow changes to be tested, reviewed and continuously deployed to both staging and production environments.
Robust technology
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