Thursday, April 24, 2014

Finding Images for Presentations or Web Pages

When I need images for PowerPoint presentations or for my web pages or blog, I want to make sure that I am using photos, clip art, or animated gifs that are licensed for use in these types of projects.  If you are using images for a school presentation, you are usually safe because of fair use guidelines that allow you to use images in educational settings.  Students creating movies or presentations can follow fair use guidelines to use images in their projects. 
© Hans Hillewaert / CC-BY-SA-3.0
Wikimedia Commons
However, if you have a blog or a web page that is viewed by the public, or if you have advertising on the page, you probably want to obtain images that have licensing that permits you to use them, that are "free to use, share, or modify, even commercially." One place to look for images that would fit my requirements is Wikimedia Commons . Sometime the image is free to use and share, but requires attribution as shown in the above photo.  Once you find an image, at the bottom of the page, the owner of the image will state how it can be used.  Below is an example of how the image above can be used.

  • to share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work
  • to remix – to adapt the work
Under the following conditions:

  • attribution – You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author

From Google Advanced Image Search
Google Advanced Image Search
Most of the time, now that I have discovered how easy it is to use, I go to Google Advanced Image Search first.  I can type a word or a phrase that describes that I am looking for.  An example might be "spring flowers" or "pets OR dogs OR cats" I can specify words that should not be included such as "-snakes".  I then select the size of the image, the aspect ratio (tall, wide, square, or panoramic).  I can specify colors if there is a particular color I am trying to match.  An important feature here is that I can select images that have a transparent background.  Then, I select the type of image I am looking for:  a face, a line drawing, a photograph, clipart, or an animated graphic.  If I need a specific file type for a project such as a JPG, a GIF, a PNG or other file type, I can also specify the type needed.    This is a fantastic option for web site developers.  In my opinion, the best feature of Google's Advanced Image Search is that I can specify the usage rights.  I can choose from the following:  not filtered; free to use or share; free to use or share, even commercially; free to use, share, or modify; or finally, free to use, share or modify, even commercially.  The last option is my favorite. 

Usually, when I used Google's Advanced Image Search, I actually just type in the keyword I'm looking for plus the usage rights.  At that point, I just start browsing through the results to see what's available.  I usually find what I am looking for right away.  
If you still need ideas about sources for great images for projects, Infotopia has an entire set of resources for both images and sounds.  At the top right on the image page, there is a link to all Public Domain Images.

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