Rediscovering the Obvious

…stumbling in the footsteps of greatness

Finding Creative Commons images on Flickr

without comments

I’ve greatly streamlined the process of finding images licensed in the Creative Commons for my presentations. I’d like to share the tools I use to the community. Enjoy!

Please remember that anything you find in the Commons either should or must be attributed to the original creator. I prefer to attribute everything, regardless of the actual license selection.  Also note that my selection below assumes you require things that allow commercial use; the setting change is obvious if you don’t need commercial use. I prefer to err on the side of safety because I never know when speaking at a conference may carry a stipend or when I may use a deck created for the community in one of my paid courses.

Creative Commons Searching on Flickr

This is the hard way, but paves the way to an easier path.

Go to Flickr, click Search with nothing selected.


On the empty results screen, click Advanced Search


Fill out your options. I generally prefer to include only photos (no videos) but include Photos, screenshots, and illustrations/art in my results. Regardless, the important bits are the CC options at the bottom. I rarely (if ever) modify the content once I use it, but I do desire the ability to use it commercially.


Now, click search. For reasons to become apparent, I recommend searching for the word TEST in all caps for your first search. You’ll get results something like the following. Importantly, it tells you what rules you’ve applied.


Setting up a Search Provider

Doing this repeatedly, however, is a huge pain. I’m an IE user (for better or worse), so I’m providing IE’s approach. People using FF or Chrome are smart enough to figure out their own version of these rules image (Attribution: dotbenjamin via Flickr)


In Internet explorer, click the dropdown next to the search box and select “Manage Search Providers”


At the bottom of this page, select “Find more search providers….”


At the very bottom of the new page, choose “Create your own Search Provider”.


Remember when I had you search for TEST? Take the resulting URL from that search and paste it into the URL field, and then title the Name field something like “Creative Commons non-commercial images on Flickr”.


Click Install Search Provider, and you’ll now see that option in your search drop down. This makes for VERY easy repeatable searching as part of other workflows, like building presentations.



Hope this helps!

Written by erwilleke

March 10th, 2010 at 9:55 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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