Use this tool to generate a collage of the photos from 2012 with the highest “interestingness” ratings. Not necessarily the same as “best,” but it’ll have to do. This is of course Flickr’s signature algorithm based on a photo’s views, faves, comments, and such. It’s nice at least to have some algorithm use the same ranking systems for all of the photos out there. Step 1 for finding The Best Photos of 2012 is going to the Configuration Panel, where you can enter a user or group to search (or leave blank for all of Flickr), or search by tags, or regions. And the program lets you pick the number of photos to display per month, and the size.
Be prepared for a bit of a wait as the server script has to make twelve separate calls to the Flickr API before delivering your results. If you like, you can save the resulting HTML for faster sharing with friends. To go further back in time, try digging up The Best Photos of 2011.