Creative Commons is already quite popular for providing openly licensed and public domain images on the web. If an image is licensed under CC, it means you have the right to edit, share, use that image for any purpose.
Creative Common’s Search Engine
Recently, Creative Commons announced that its official search engine is now available in the beta version. It has currently more than 300 million indexed images from multiple sources to provide relevant search results.
According to Jane Park, Director of Product and Research, “Aesthetically, you’ll see some key changes — a cleaner home page, better navigation and filters, design alignment with creativecommons.org, streamlined attribution options and clear channels for providing feedback on both the overall function of the site and on specific image reuses.”
The CC search engine was initially launched in 2017. At that time, its database was very limited. After being in the beta phase for almost two years, this is capable of finding images across 19 collections from open APIs and the Common Crawl dataset, an open web crawl data repository that can be accessed by anyone.
The main goal of Creative Common’s search engine is to make it easier to find images and attributing them to the copyright holder. The search loading time and phrase relevance algorithm are now improved. The CC search engine also allows reusing images through features like machine-generated tags and one-click attribution.
Future Plans for Creative Commons’ Search Engine
Talking about the future of this search engine, Jane Park wrote, “We will continue to grow the number of images in our catalogue, prioritizing key image collections such as Europeana and Wikimedia Commons.”
Besides images, the CC Search team also has plans to include other content types as well. As a short term goal, the team aims to index other types of CC-licensed works such as audio and textbooks.
All the features coming to a search engine this year are specified in CC Search’s 2019 Roadmap. It includes the ability to browse collections without entering search terms, advanced filters on the home page and improved accessibility and UX on mobile.
The Creative Commons’ search engine is open source with all the source code available on GitHub (CC Search, CC Catalog API, CC Catalog). If you want to contribute to the project, you can send your pull requests and proposals on GitHub.
The team is also presenting the State of CC Search at the CC Global Summit next month in Lisbon, Portugal. They will discuss and try to find the desired features and collections with a global community for CC Search.