Tag Galaxy is a new Flickr-based visualization web app from Germany. I gotta tell you that I find this utility simply mesmerizing.
This is how it works.
From Tag Galaxy you enter a tag to search Flickr for, it returns what looks like a star in the middle of your screen with one or many planets revolving around it. Your ‘star’ is actually a representation of the tag you searched and you’ll see the number of photo’s represented by it that used your tag.
The ‘planets’ are other popular tags (second tags) that are associated with your tag. For instance, I searched for the tag of my town’s name. The planets that showed up were things like ‘sunset’, ‘lake’, ‘park’, etc… Clicking on one of the planets zooms in and you see a new representation of the star/planet configuration again. Though each of these new planets are a third tag associated with the two tags being represented in the middle.
You can continue to hone in on more specific photos using an every growing list of tags, or click on the star in the middle at anytime.
When you click the star, it turns into a spherical object that contains up to 200+ photo thumbnails that comprise the tag list you’ve drilled down to.
You can click on any of the photos and they’ll expand to a larger version to view, you can click through to the Flickr page from here if you like. You can scroll this planet in any direction as you scan the thumbnails looking for the photo of interest.