Images in the Public Domain

I am wanting to use some beautiful/helpful images from NOAA and USGS, and they are public domain.

However, when I do not include a copyright year (public domain images are not copyrighted) the attributions for the image won’t let me click okay.


Good point. Since some intellectual property doesn’t actually have copyright, there should be a way to record that in Bloom.

Until we have a public domain option, you could use NOAA and USGS (I would spell them out) for the creator, “public domain” for copyright holder, and the publication year for the copyright year. You can click “Custom” for the license, and leave it blank. The automatic Image Credits feature won’t know how to render all that correctly, but that’s ok, you can edit what it puts out.

A bit of a tangent: a problem with just “public domain” is that it lacks the “who says?” component of normal licenses. We have problems with college students, in particular, uploading books to that are full of images they just grabbed on the internet. I fear that when we have a “public domain” option, they’ll just click that and then it will be difficult for us to notice this misuse.

You are right about there being potential for misuse with a public domain option.
However, when I grab an image from the public domain and modify it for use, I often want to send it back into the public domain. I don’t want to put even an CC BY license on it because that is more restrictive than the original.
I think it’s really important that we can give back to the public domain, especially if we are taking from it.

Related to this topic…

Where do people get images from (other than Art of Reading) that would be “safe” (i.e. public domain or available for use) in Bloom books? creative commons–may not be culturally relevant, but it seems to be working for the MLE English transition quite well (I like unsplash because they tell who is the author)

Sometimes wikimedia, depends
Anything .gov from the USA.
Fish and Wildlife Service
USGS, that kind of thing

GET LOCAL ARTISTS—I KNOW$$$$. I am using my own money for that, and it will run out, but we’ll have a lovely bank of appropriate art for our country. And it just feels RIGHT.

I KNOW$$$$

But really? Most of the countries in which people use Bloom, would it actually cost much? I know SIL folks in particular may have zero funding, but if there is any project funding, why would we not prioritize budgeting for an illustrator? Even just somebody with a pencil looks so much better to me than cobbling together things from various sources that often have only a tangential relationship to the text. It’s gotten so that I almost wish we hadn’t incorporated the Art of Reading… surely without it people would be more likely to do what to me seems like the only reasonable approach to making quality books: with an illustrator.

You are RIGHT. BEST PRACTICE IS DEFINITELY LOCAL ARTISTS for most books. Whenever possible there should be budgeting for this, even if it is just pencil drawings as you say.
John, let’s make that a new topic to pursue…it’s a song worth singing loudly and clearly.

Science/nature books are perhaps better with photos from public domain or your own photos, but I have encouraged our teams here that the TRUE power of BLOOM is in encouraging a courage of local authorship, local illustrators. Localization at its best.

But Art of Reading is still helpful; do not kick yourself for that one. I’m grateful for it. It can make a somewhat better “placeholder” as artists can take their time!

In a recent workshop, one participant created a story based on images she found in AoR that contained a rabbit. Her story and images fit together well, but I realise that is not always the case.

My question was prompted in a workshop last week where some participants started writing their stories based on an image they found in AoR. When they noticed limited images, they looked online - and that’s when they found images with watermarks and copyright restrictions.

This particular group are creating materials for visually impaired, so photos may not be suitable. With the lack of images available in Art of Reading and not being able to find suitable images online, they were discussing drawing images and then adjusting them using image editing software.

But Art of Reading is still helpful for situations where there may not be other options.

Art of Reading is also helpful as a kind of place holder–i know we have the little flower.

We have used Art of Reading as a starting place for a local artist.

Liz, pardon my ignorance; why are ANY images good for visually impaired if photos are not. Are line drawings easier to see?


@LitBeth - with the visually impaired, we are adding Image Descriptions (Bloom Enterprise feature with audio), but line drawings are better.

Resources for the Blind staff (Philippines) mentioned that it’s best if the images have dark outlines and don’t contain a lot of detail. Photos tend to have a lot of details which just appears blurry for visual impaired.

Left image would be suitable, but right is more difficult for visually impaired:

There is an Impairment Visualizer in Bloom Enterprise to show how images look for people with Cataracts or different levels of Color Blindness. But if someone is Blind, then they would rely solely on the audio of the image descriptions

Good to know!