Flickr Wants to Make it Easier to Contribute to Wikimedia Commons


In a win for photo accessibility, Flickr will expand its partnership with Wikimedia Commons to upgrade its Flirckr2Commons tool and make uploading Creative Commons-licensed images easier.

Photo-sharing platform Flickr has already been a big contributor to Wikimedia Commons, with the latter claiming in a release that it’s already one of the databases’ largest sources. Flickr launched the Flickr Commons program, a collection of historical photography, with the Library of Congress in 2008. The Flickr2Commons tool, which lets Wikimedia contributors upload files from Flickr, came out in 2013. Just last year, the non-profit Flickr Foundation was launched in an effort to preserve and maintain accessibility of historic and culturally significant images.

This latest update builds on the history between Flickr and Wikimedia.

“This bridge between Flickr and Wikimedia Commons—which we’ve started calling ‘Flickypedia’—is one of the flagship projects of the Flickr Foundation. Building in partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation, and supported by the Culture and Heritage team, we will be building on the utility of the Flickr2Commons tool, extending it, and then tending it for the long term,” the release says.

The project, which Wikimedia Commons’ release said actually launched this past June, will improve Flickr2Commons, making it easier to use and hopefully adding some new features.

“Flickr2Commons is great. It turned ten years old in 2023,” the project page states. “It’s helped about 5.4 million pictures make their way from Flickr to Wikimedia Commons. The reason we want to extend it is to make it even easier to use, and keep track of images that move from one place to the other, and see what we can do to incorporate the efforts behind Structured Data on Commons.”

For example, the groups hope to address “license washing,” where license change as they move from one platform to another. It also seems the plan will seek engagement from Flickr and Wikimedia’s communities. The second milestone is based around engaging the community of thinking like UI improvements and what features to prioritize. There’s a discussion page for people to share thoughts and ideas as well.

The project plan lays out the scope of what it hopes to accomplish between now and December, so anyone interested in photo preservation and accessibility should keep an eye out.

Image credits: Wikimedia commons