Using the Flickr API to retrieve a list of photosets

[Edit: 7 years later, flickr’s changed their API to SSL only, so you may have to change all http references to https]

[Edit: 9 years later, here’s some simpler code: ]

Lots of good work has been done on the Flickr API with ColdFusion already: specifically, CFlickr – see

However, for my uses, I didn’t need anything near as complicated: All I wanted to do was to pull a list of photosets, their titles, primary thumbnail and description.

Thankfully, this is quite easy due to the Flickr API.

Part One: Making the request to Flickr

I’m assuming you have an API code, and know your userID:

<!---Flickr Params-->

<!---url.reinit used to manually refresh-->

<!--- Do we have this value? -->

<!---Send my Request to Flickr: this will get an XML doc with all my public photosets-->

<!---parse the XML doc-->

<!---Is XML request returned properly?-->


<!---Set the time this was done-->

<!---Parse/narrow down the info I need into an Array-->

Part Two: Output: I’ve got my XML data, and now just need to loop over the Array.

<!--XML last cached #application.FlickrXmlstarted#--></pre>
<div id="photoset" class="clear">
<!---Output primary image--> <img class="left" src="http://farm#photosets[i].XmlAttributes['farm'][i].XmlAttributes['server']#/#photosets[i].XmlAttributes['primary']#_#photosets[i].XmlAttributes['secret']#_s.jpg" /> <!---output title-->
<h4><a href="[i].XmlAttributes['id']#/">#photosets[i].title.xmltext#</a></h4>

<!---If description exists, show--> #photosets[i].description.xmltext#</div>

And that’s it: I’ve cached the XML data in the Application scope for speed, and I’m looping over the XML data object. If a description exists for the set, it’s output.