image search

PicScout Looking for Creative Professionals to Beta Test ImageExchange

Fred Benenson, October 27th, 2009

Are you a creative professional who frequently finds yourself using Google Image search or the Flickr commons portal to discover new images? PicScout, a company specializing in image recognition software, is working on a Firefox extension called ImageExchange that they want your help to beta test. Right now the program is in closed beta, but they’ve already implemented support for recognizing images licensed with our Attibution Non-Commercial license.

What does this mean in practice? If you come across a CC BY-NC licensed photo anywhere on the web, PicScout’s ImageExchange extension will recognize it and give you what it believes is the source URL on Flickr. Here’s a screenshot to give you the idea of the results from a search for “flowers” on Google Images:

PicScout Image Exchange Screenshot

The important part to understand is that PicScout’s extension can recognize photos anywhere on the web — from Google Image Search results to a blog you stumble across. When you click the round information button at the top right of the thumbnails that it recognizes, you’ll get a dialog box with more information. If PicScout believes the photo is CC BY-NC licensed and from Flickr, it will point you to the photo’s original page on Flickr. PicScout also recognizes rights-managed and micro-stock images from various industry databases as well. This allows image re-users to get in touch directly with the owner of the photo and secure commercial rights to use it.

Recognizing commons content and identifying its original source is an important part of our community and it’s something we’ve been thinking a lot about. Take for example, the vigilant editors and administrators of Wikimedia Commons, which serves as the multimedia backend for all of the Wikipedia projects. A good portion of their time is spent weeding out copyright violations from the newly uploaded content to the project. If they had an easy way to determine whether an incoming photo was freely CC licensed, public domain, or All Rights Reserved, their jobs could be a lot easier. While PicScout’s ImageExchange is only indexing CC BY-NC licensed photos (which Wikipedia doesn’t accept anyway), we’re looking forward to seeing the database expand its reach into other domains in order to serve more and more communities.

For now, if you’re a creative professional searching the web for new images to use in your day-to-day work, sign up with Pic Scout’s ImageExchange beta program today!

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Google Image Search Implements CC License Filtering

Fred Benenson, July 9th, 2009

Google Image Logo

Today, Google officially launched the ability to filter search results using Creative Commons licenses inside their Image Search tool. It is now easy to restrict your Image Search results to find images which have been tagged with our licenses, so that you can find content from across the web that you can share, use, and even modify. Searches are also capable of returning content under other licenses, such as the GNU Free Documentation License, or images that are in the public domain.

To filter by CC search, go to Google’s advanced Image Search page and select the options you’d like in the “Usage rights” section. Your results will be restricted to images marked with CC licenses or other compatibly licensed photos.

Remember, Google can only provide search results that its algorithms find tagged with the license you specify; it is your obligation to verify the license of the image you’re using and make sure you’re conforming to its guidelines.

This is a huge step forward for the future of image search on the web, so congratulations to the Google team on another great CC implementation!

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Picasa Adds CC Search

Fred Benenson, June 12th, 2009

picasa-web-albums-cc-search
Yesterday, Google Blogoscoped picked up on Picasa’s new CC feature: Search! In case it weren’t clear, we get really excited when platforms like Picasa enable CC content exploration. Its one thing to enable your community to select a CC license for their work, but its another thing entirely to help the rest of the web discover that content. Picasa’s commons community will surely benefit from this kind of exposure, so thanks to Picasa for enabling such a valuable feature.

If you’re working on a platform that supports CC, and haven’t considered building a CC-specific license-sensitive search portal, now there’s no excuse!

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Yahoo Brings CC Filters to Image Search

Fred Benenson, May 26th, 2009

Forgive me, but a picture (screen shot) is worth a thousand words (searches):

Yahoo Image Search

Today, on Yahoo’s Search Blog, Polly Ng and Anuj Sahai announced the addition of CC license image filtering options to their image search and also explained why CC licenses are so important for finding images online:

Finding a great image online elicits a little thrill, but it can be tricky – if you’re looking for a pic to pop into a presentation or illustrate a Web page, you need to know if you’re allowed to use that photo, and how you can use it. Today, Yahoo! Image Search is launching a Creative Commons license filter that allows you to simply and quickly find images that are available for reuse.

When you use Yahoo! Image Search, you’ll now see a checkbox for Creative Commons allowing you to filter for images from Flickr that can be used commercially or that can be modified (remixed, tweaked, or built upon) with restrictions set by the image’s creator.

Congrats to the Yahoo! team for extending CC even further into their platform!

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flickrleech

Cameron Parkins, October 10th, 2008

flickrleech is a great tool for those looking to search a large number of flickr photos at once – by utilizing Flickr’s API, flickrleech is able to display 200 images per page rather than the standard 10. As pointed out by Alvin Trusty, it simply “makes scanning for a picture much quicker.”

While flickrleech has been around for a while, a new update has added the ability to search for photos by CC license. For those who scour Flickr searching for the perfect CC-licensed image, this functionality should mean less time spent searching and an immediately wider selection to choose from. Check it out for yourself here.

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Idée Multicolr Search Now Includes 10 Million CC-Licensed Flickr Images

Cameron Parkins, September 4th, 2008

Idée Labs, the “technolgy playground” for image identification and visual search software company Idée, updated their Multicolr Search today to include 10 million CC-licensed images pulled from Flickr’s interesting images pool. The simple interface allows you to search Flickr according to a specific color palette (up to 10 colors total), shooting back 50 image sets that are aesthetically stunning.

Below are two purple/yellow palette sets taken from Idée’s announcement – the first image has a greater presence of yellows while the second emphasizes purples:

Check out Idée’s post about Multicolr Search to learn more about the tool or, better yet, experiment with it yourself. It is a ton of fun and a great way to find some really beautiful CC-licensed images.

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