Friday, June 03, 2005

Using NASA RSS feeds in the CyberSpace gallery

OK, I'm cheating a bit but I'm coping this post from my other blog which talks about whats going on in Adler's CyberSpace gallery. Since this article was posted Thom has started working on a more sophistiated version of my program which will check the feed and download the images every night and load them into a MySQL datbase. A script would then query the database and create files for the Macromdia Director sideshow. Anyway, here is the post:

NASA is doing a feature story on their website about our use of their RSS feeds! The story is at http://www.nasa.gov/news/special/Adler_Planetarium.html.
It's really hard to try and keep the gallery current with more than 20 different displays, so using RSS seemed like a great solution. Turns out that it was pretty easy to parse the xml in Macromedia Director (at least once I stopped trying to use their xml parser and just wrote my own). The first thing I tried was just making a slideshow of the NASA image of the day feed. It worked pretty well, but the images it linked weren't high enough resolution to use in the gallery. I sent an email to Colin Engar at NASA about this and he was nice enough to set up a special feed with links to hi-res images. Three months later and it's finally up in the gallery. Right now we have two displays taking information from RSS feeds, and I hope we can add a couple of more soon. There is the image of the Day one which loops through the last five NASA images of the day, and our new intro screen which runs the "breaking news" feed as a ticker across the bottom.

2 Comments:

At 10:39 PM, Blogger Tony said...

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At 1:55 AM, Blogger Tony said...

I've really enjoyed reading your blog. Very interesting.

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