Open Infrastructure Award


The WordPress Foundation (United States)

Openverse is a powerful tool for finding and reusing Creative Commons licensed and public domain works, currently indexing over 700 million images and audio files. As the successor to the Creative Commons Search built in 2019, Openverse is now maintained and continually developed by WordPress, who adopted the project in 2021. Ongoing development is supported by the WordPress Foundation.

Openverse’s capability is based on integration of open APIs from public collections offered by museums, Flickr, Wikimedia Commons, and more sources, as well as the Common Crawl dataset. Beyond simple search, it aggregates results from multiple public repositories into a single catalog, and facilitates reuse through features like machine-generated tags and cut and paste attribution.

The easy attribution feature, one-click copy for a full formed Creative Commons attribution, might be reason enough for an award, but the features to filter searches by source collections and other parameters, image orientation, specific license, provides seekers of open content important affordances to find clearly licensed media they can reuse.

Openverse should be the primary recommended search for OER development, as the licensing is explicitly clear, not subject to third part owners writing their own license, being of great value for projects that mix content from multiple sources. More media types will be included in the future:

Currently Openverse only searches images and audio, with search for video provided through External Sources. But we plan to add additional media types such as open texts and 3D models, with the ultimate goal of providing access to the estimated 2.5 billion CC licensed and public domain works on the web.

What is worthy of note is that Openverse is built completely on and is made available as open source (all application code housed in Github) and includes contributions from over 200 developers. “All of our code is open source (Openverse frontend, Openverse API, Openverse Catalog) and we welcome community contribution.”

For its approach to openness in development and in what it offers, Openverse is very worthy of the Open Infrastructure award. I wish more educators made use of it!

Award Nominator

This is an exceptional search engine for the open education community. The one click attribution copy for images makes attribution very straight-forward and easy, even for novice users. The design is excellent, the results are returned fast.

Award Reviewer

About Open Infrastructure Award

Open Infrastructure is the set of technologies that enables openness. It encompassess open source tools which enable the creation of open educational resources, their use in educational context, their curation, improvement and remixing, as well as sharing. The “infrastructure” is wider than just open source software, though: it also includes open hardware used in education, open standards enabling interoperability, as well as other open technologies that are instrumental for open education.