Creative Commons has long been known as a resource for free and legal images to use on the web. The non-profit organization has now launched the beta version of a new search engine called CC Search, which is designed to make it even easier to find those images and attribute them to the copyright holder.
Search engines like Google, Pixabay, and Flickr also offer tools for finding free-to-use images. Creative Commons acts as a hub for searching multiple resources from one place. While the original Creative Commons allows people to search for images, audio, and video, the new CC Search focuses on images only.
“The new CC Search harnesses the power of open repositories, allowing users to search across a variety of open content through a single interface. The prototype of this tool focuses on photos as its first media and uses open APIs in order to index the available works.”
New additions to the beta version of CC Search lets users find images within 500px, as well as cultural works from Rijksmuseum, the New York Public Library and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. At the time of this writing, there are roughly 9,477,000 images to search through in total.
The new version also features a more modern design, as well as the ability to search for images by title, creator, and tags. Users can create lists of their favorite images and save searches for easy access at a later time. With a new one-click copy and paste feature, publishers can easily apply the correct attribution when using images found in CC Search.
As a beta version, further development will based upon feedback from its initial users. The company hints at future plans in the announcement on its blog:
“Our goal is to cover the whole commons, but we wanted to develop something people could test and react to that would be useful at launch. To build our beta, we settled on a goal to represent one percent of the known Commons, or about 10 million works, and we chose a vertical slice of images only, to fully explore a purpose-built interface that represented one type but many providers.”
CC Search also wants to create a more social experience by allowing users to share their curated lists as well as add tags and favorites to images found in the commons.
The organization emphasizes this is a “significant moment” for Creative Commons, but by no means is it the final product. The beta version is being released as early as possible in order to create the conversations and discussions necessary to guide further improvement.