Creative Commons Creates Search Engine with Over 300 Million Free Images

Creative Commons Search Engine

While in recent years world-class institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art have made an effort to make their public domain artworks more accessible, it's not always easy to find free photos to use in creative projects. Non-profit Creative Commons is looking to change that with the introduction of their long-awaited search engine. CC Search scours the web for over 300 million images available under public domain or creative commons licenses.

The Met Museum, along with 18 other organizations like the Rijksmuseum, Flickr, Behance, and Deviant Art, have made their collections available to CC Search. Just type in a search term and the Creative Commons search engine will find imagery relevant to you. Eventually, Creative Commons is also hoping to roll out this technology to include open texts and audio, with an ultimate goal of providing access to all 1.4 billion CC licensed and public domain works on the web.

For now, CC Search is providing quality over quantity. In fact, Creative Commons wants to make its search engine a leading tool for creators. “CC will prioritize and build for users who seek to not only discover free resources in the commons, but who seek to reuse these resources with greater ease and confidence, and for whom in particular the rights status of these works may be important,” the non-profit writes.

The search engine features basic filters that allow you to sort results by usage, license, and provider. Once you've clicked into an image, there is an embed code for quick sharing and it's easy to click back to the original source in order to verify that the license is correct. As the system matures, Creative Commons plans to expand its offerings. Possible additions include different portals for specialized users—like educators looking for textbooks—and CC Search integration with third-party sites and software.

Feedback is important in this phase and Creative Commons will be paying close attention to how users interact with the program, making tweaks to ensure that it meets the needs of creators. So go ahead and get searching the next time you're looking for public domain or creative commons content.

CC Search makes finding free photos easier than ever, with over 300 million public domain and creative commons images available.

Creative Commons Search Engine

h/t: [Fstoppers]

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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