Introducing Archaeopix Search

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.


When he's not tired, fixing his car or caught in train delays, Alun Salt works part-time for the Annals of Botany weblog. His PhD was in ancient science at the University of Leicester, but he doesn't know Richard III.

4 Responses

  1. Brian says:

    Your new search site is a great tool. As an edu­cator, I really appre­ci­ate the abil­ity to find power­ful images I can use to illus­trate my lec­tures. You also got me to change the copy­right status of my Flickr pho­tos. I had left them as “all rights reserved” just because I hadn’t really thought about the issue. I changed to a cre­at­ive com­mons license so that my archae­ology pic­tures will show up in your search site. Thanks.

  2. Ed Darrell says:

    Wow. Just wow.

    Every teacher of his­tory should book­mark that site. PowerPoint sud­denly becomes a Really Useful Tool in the classroom, thanks to Archaeopix. Bill Gates and Steven Jobs (Keynote) owe you plenty.


  1. April 22, 2009

    […] is what Alun has to say about the search tool: The clever bit is the search […]

  2. April 22, 2009

    […] I rarely have reason to update my blog posts, but I just found out that Alun Salt at Archaeoastronomy along with Tom Goskar of Past Thinking have star­ted a new Flickr search site for archae­ology called […]