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Creative Commons Search is out of beta with 300M images indexed

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Creative Commons (CC) search engine that was being tested by the company since February 2017 has now been brought out of beta and has a total of 300 million images indexed.

Although images licensed under Creative Commons can be searched via Google Images or Flickr, the non-profit felt the need to enhance their own search engine after they recorded nearly 600,000 users searching for images on their old CC tool every month.

Back when the Creative Commons search was announced in beta, CEO Ryan Merkley said, “There is no ‘front door’ to the commons, and the tools people need to curate, share, and remix works aren’t yet available. We want to make the commons more usable, and this is our next step in that direction.”

The new out-of-beta CC Search boasts of a major redesign, which includes more indexed images than before and a faster search that gets you relevant results.

The homepage of the website is also clutter-free, the navigation is seamless, better filters are available to narrow down the search, the design has been changed to match the company’s website design, attribution has been made easier and it’s easier to give feedback too. In addition, search loading time and search phrase relevance have been improved.

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Creative Commons (CC) Search is out of beta with 300M images indexed

“CC Search searches images across 19 collections pulled from open APIs and the Common Crawl dataset, 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,” says Jane Park, Director of Product and Research, Creative Commons.

CC Search will continue to index more images especially from popular image collections such as Wikimedia Commons and Europeana.

Although currently the CC Search only has indexed images, it’ll also add other CC-licensed works such a textbooks and audio later this year. The company wants to include the entire 1.4 billion works licensed under creative commons to their search.

Since Flickr’s move to a new subscription-based business model, there had been concerns that if the company decides to delete the CC-licensed photos on its platform, millions of images will be lost but now with CC Search those concerns have been addressed.

By the end of Q2, 2019, users can also expect to see advanced filters on the homepage, collections that can be browsed without the need to enter a search term and improved performance on mobile.

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