Linnaeus Tripe’s Photography

April 12, 2018 - All

For my project, I used the Victoria & Albert Museum’s API ( I found the API to be more usable than other museum APIs because it offers a Query Builder, which allowed me to build a URL; the Builder made it clear which parameters I needed to use when writing my script. I chose to work with the V&A’s collection of Linnaeus Tripe’s photography of South India and Burma (Myanmar) because it offered latitude and longitude metadata, and my plan was to visually map where each photograph was taken. Unfortunately, after mapping my data in CartoDB, the photographs were concentrated in only a few areas and weren’t visually appealing. The first coding difficulty I had was determining how to view all records. After experimenting with the range function, I found that I needed to start at 0, stop at 129 (total records), and “step” in increments of 45 (the maximum amount of records that the V&A; museum allows to be viewed at once). After defining the range function, I kept getting inaccurate results when I first ran the script; I wasn’t getting the 129 photograph records I knew existed in return. I then realized “‘images’ : 1” needed to be added as a parameter in order to indicate I was only interested in images. The most difficulty I had was writing my results to a .csv file. Once the script finally wrote to the csv, the columns were a mess, there wasn’t much spacing. Using “row = [str(x).replace(“n”, “”) for x in row” allowed for spaces. For my visualization, I chose to work with Northwestern University Knight Lab’s Timeline JS, a tool for creating interactive timelines.

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