Creative Commons Launches Search for Over 300 Million CC Images

Photography News

Creative Commons just launched CC Search, a search engine for CC images that has been in beta testing for years as it was being developed and polished. It’s a portal to over 300 million CC images from 19 different collections.

The newly launched search features a major redesign and a search system that’s both faster and more relevant.

“CC Search searches images across 19 collections pulled from open APIs and the Common Crawl dataset,” Creative Commons writes, “including cultural works from museums (the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum of Art), graphic designs and artworks (Behance, DeviantArt), photos from Flickr, and an initial set of CC0 3D designs from Thingiverse.”

The main search page now matches the look of the overall Creative Commons website and is cleaner with better navigation, easy-to-use filters, and streamlined attribution options.

The old search page.

“Under the hood, we improved search loading times and search phrase relevance, implemented analytics to better understand when and how the tools are used, and fixed many critical bugs our community helped us to identify,” Creative Commons says.

The non-profit organization plans to continue growing the catalog size and making it prioritize key collections such as Wikipedia Commons. An end goal with the search is to have it encompass the entire world of 1.4 billion works in the CC commons — things like textbooks and audio aren’t covered yet but are on the way.

“[W]e are initially focused on images that creators desire to reuse in meaningful ways, learning about how these images are reused in the wild, and incorporating that learning back into CC Search,” the organization says.

Features that are on the way include advanced filters, the ability to browse collections without search terms, and a better design on mobile.

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