Showing posts with label The Commons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Commons. Show all posts

Friday, December 10, 2021

The Future of Flickr's The Commons

Flickr's The Commons has been one of my go-to resources for historical imagery since I first wrote about it nearly fourteen years ago. That's why my heart sank a little bit when I visited The Commons earlier this week and saw a note that read "learn more about the future of Flickr Commons." Whenever I see notes like that on favorite websites that have been around for a long time, I expect bad news. Fortunately, this time there was good news. 

Flickr has made a commitment to reinvigorate and revitalize The Commons. The first step in that process appears to be creating a new home for The Commons. That new home is at The Flickr Foundation found at It's there that you can read the full plan for the future of The Commons. The plan is published as a series of Google Documents and a Google Slides presentation.

The key takeaways for teachers and students who use The Commons are:

  • It's not going away. 
  • It's going to be improved with better discovery tools.
  • It's going to be improved with better descriptions (which will help with discovery).
  • Content contribution opportunities will improve (expanding the collection). 
Applications for Education
The bottomline is that Flickr's The Commons is a great resource for history teachers who want to find historical imagery to use in their lessons. It's also a great place for students to find historical imagery to use in research presentations. Over the next couple of years The Commons should improve to make it a better resource than ever before.

Monday, December 16, 2013

1,000,000+ Public Domain Images Added to Flickr's The Commons

Flickr's massive collection of public domain images called The Commons grew by more than 1,000,000 images last week. Last week The British Library released more than 1,000,000 images to The Commons. The images from The British Library cover a wide range of topics from political satire to maps and diagrams to landscapes and portraits. You can find the images from The British Library here and the entire collection of The Commons here.

Applications for Education
The Commons was already a good place for students and teachers to find public domain images (mostly of a historical nature) and the addition of The British Library's images makes it even better. I've used images from The Commons in my history classes as prompts for discussion and my students have used them in short documentary videos they've made.

To go beyond visual artifacts you may want to explore The British Library's Sound Maps.

Over the weekend many blogs have covered this news from The British Library. I first saw the announcement from a Tweet from Jen Deyenberg

Monday, August 30, 2010

Find Images from NASA in The Commons on Flickr

The Commons on Flickr is a good place to find public domain images from archiving institutions around the world. Today, NASA joined The Commons by contributing 180 photographs in three sets to the The Commons. The image sets are titled Building NASA, Launch and Takeoff, and NASA Center Namesakes. All of the images are available for reuse without any copyright restrictions.

This a photo from the Launch and Takeoff set. I saw a photo very similar to this one as an elementary school kid and was very intrigued by it.

H/T to Read Write Web for the news about NASA's additions to Flickr.

Applications for Education
The Commons on Flickr is a good resource for students in need of images for multimedia projects for history, literature, and other content areas. A requirement of contributors to The Commons is that all images are made available without copyright restrictions. Check out some of the other institutions contributing to The Commons.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
NASA Space Place - Where Science is Fun!
NASA Images - Embed Galleries of Images and Videos
Video - Space Shuttle from Hangar to Launch

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Your World in Pictures

Mashable ran a story earlier today about Life (a Time company) and Getty Images joining forces to create The site is not live yet, but when it does go live it will host all of the imagery that Life is famous for publishing. If you visit now, you can sign up to receive an email alert when the site goes live. seems like it will be similar to Flickr's Commons collection of images from the Library of Congress.

Applications for Education
If is as good as Flickr's Commons collection, Social Studies teachers around the world will have access to a great free resource. I often use the images found in Flickr's Commons collection to start conversations about events and topics in US History.

If you're looking for other image resources you may want to check out Picturing America or the Brooklyn Art Museum's Flickr collection.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Art History Via Flickr

The Brooklyn Museum seems to really embrace social media and user generated content. Last month the Brooklyn Museum hosted an online visitor curated exhibit called Click. Now the Brooklyn Museum has made available, on Flickr, thousands images from their collection. The Brooklyn Museum's Flickr photostream contains 54 albums featuring thousands of images spanning numerous aspects of art and art history.

Applications for Education
Online art collections like those from the Brooklyn Museum and other museums, art galleries, and libraries make far more material available to students than they would ever find in their school or local library.

Online art collections are useful in other content areas as well. A collection of Egyptian images is a great supplement to a history lesson as it can engage visual learners. And if you're looking for material to complement an American literature or American history course be sure to check out The Commons collection on Flickr in addition to the Brooklyn Museum's collections.