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I’ve been quiet recently as I’ve been working on various things. One of them is now public and may be helpful to educators and bloggers. Tom Goskar and I have put together the site Archaeopix. The front of the site is a clear rip-off homage to Astronomy Picture of the Day. I like that. It’s an excuse to say “Hey look at this thing!” and generally be positive.

The clever bit is the search page.

Searching Flickr can be hit ‘n’ miss. Generally if you want to use a photo for a blog or educational handout and you need it quickly, it needs to be licensed under a creative commons licence. You can search on Flickr for cc-licensed photos, but a search for “Rome” will bring up everything with Rome in it. Groups are handy because they’re themed. So you could search the Archaeology group for Rome. The problem then is that you’ll find a lot of ©opyright photos. You really need a group which is all cc-licensed. Chiron is a good example of that. However Chiron’s strength is that it focuses on the classical world, which means you won’t find prehistoric Europe in it, or anything Mayan. This is where Archaeopix search comes in.

Using this you can define what you want to use the photo for. You can specify if you want to use the photo on a commercial site or if you want to be able to mess around with the image for a poster. You can then specify which group you want to search in. The default is Archaeology, but there’s others like Chiron, or Southwestern Archaeology. The search looks at the Flickr API, so that only photos matching a suitable licence turn up in the results.

It won’t turn all Flickr groups into Chiron clones, but it makes them more useful. If you’ve any suggestions on improving the search leave me a comment below. Or you could just look at the Taj Mahal’s Evil Twin – which is today’s photo.