25 May, 2011

Custom Photogallery with Picasa Web Albums as back-end

Homepage: www.radekhruska.com
One of my friends has recently asked me to create him a simple site to share his professional photos from concerts. There were no special requirements and restyling of any CMS (Joomla with some gallery plugin) would do the trick. But I wanted to try something new ;-)...


After some thinking I've decided to use Google Picasa Web Albums for uploading and storing pictures. It has a nice desktop application for album organization and synchronization with Picasa's storage. Google offers 1 GB of storage for free; which will be enough for a while. And of course - Picasa Web Albums Data API - the interface I used to access this data.


So the only thing I had to develop was front-end. After some research I decided to implement it in Python scripting language, because I wanted to try host it on Google's App Engine. lt’s greatly scalable and even more - it's available as a free service! There are only some quotas for CPU time, number of requests etc. (Unfortunately there are going to be some changes in pricing, but some kind of free version should be still available.)


It took only one night to get it running to fetch and display images from Google Picasa Web Albums (accessed by its API). I spent more time by styling and doing some fancy stuff with jQuery (e.g. displaying slideshow of Featured photos on homepage).
Have look on live version of Radek Hruška - The Photographer website.