Avoid Plagiarism: Google Goggles To The Rescue!

Have you ever needed to find the source of an original image, but you can’t remember where you found it?  Try using your iPhone to take a picture of the image on your computer using Google Goggles, to locate where the source site is located.

In my latest foray of total nerdiness, I decided to create an HTML5 widget to add to my class page and iBook that I’m building for my unit on plants.  Since I decided to go full out on this one, I wanted to be able to share the resource.  So I scoured the internet for Creative Commons licensed images (which led to a few blog posts of their own: MorgueFile, Behold, ImageAfter).  However, when I finished, and decided to license my own work, I realized I had forgotten to attribute two of my pictures.  Unfortunately, they were public domain off of the Wikimedia Commons, and I couldn’t find the originals to properly attribute them.  Since I haven’t yet built that time machine to go back and kick myself for not recording my sources better the first time, I ended up pulling my iPhone out of my pocket and using Google Goggles.  Found the first image with ease, but struggled with the second.  Luckily finding the first one jogged my memory and I was able to browse until I found the second.

I know there are searches like TinEye out there, but it didn’t work for either.  I honestly had to laugh at myself taking a picture of a picture on my computer, to search for the picture on my phone rather than on the computer.  Bit round about, but effective.  Whatever gets the job done, right?


ImageAfter: Free images and textures

ImageAfter is a good source of free to use images and textures.  While the site experience is not quite as nice as the MorgueFile.com (see my previous post), it is a pretty good go to if you’re still searching.

According to the sites Terms of Use:


  • you CAN modify our images and textures in any way you see fit
  • you CAN use our images and textures in your own work, whether it be for personal or commercial use
  • you CAN redistribute or sell our images and textures ALTERED OR UNALTERED as part of printed work (e.g. posters, cd-covers, postcards etc)


  • you CANNOT REDISTRIBUTE our images and textures as part of an online resource site like our own, i.e. use them to directly compete with us.
Definitely worth a look if you’re still searching for that perfect image to use in your worksheet!

Behold: Creative Commons photo searching made easy!

I am often looking to find good images to use for educational purposes.  Personally, I’d love to find public domain images (see my post on the MorgueFile.com), but often that’s not possible, and the next best thing is the Creative Commons.  Many of the photos are available for use with attribution.  The problem is finding the images easily.  Flickr does have an advanced search function, but it’s kind of clunky in my opinion.  Behold, is a search engine that makes the job easy.

Choose to find pictures with a variety of levels of usability.  Do make sure to read the Creative Commons licenses and make sure you are properly attributing the sources, as they may have various levels of usability.

A simple search of “polar bear” with free to use and modify checked turned up this example of super cuteness!

Photo by Mr. Theklan


Maps Galore!

I have just stumbled across the best source for high quality maps of all sorts of wacky types.  Over at Reddit there is a group that aggregates great map images.  Unfortunately it has an unfortunate name that makes it educational unfriendly, and might get stuck in your schools filter, so be warned.  The group is called Map P*rn, which is the unfortunate part, however, the site is moderated and the content is only full of sexy maps.

Tons of old maps, new maps, fantasy maps, enough to satisfy even the most fanatical map loving humanities teacher.  Below are a few examples of a few that I found in a minute of browsing.

Urban Heat vs Green Spaces

Wildlife of the United States

1635 Siege of Dutch Fortress

The MorgueFile: Free images

Modeling digital literacy is HARD.  One of the hardest parts (for me at least!) is finding good images that are free to use without copyright infringement.  Quite often I just don’t have the time to find sources and reference them properly, so I end up not using any images at all (or unfortunately, using education as an excuse to use whatever I want, even though I’d probably jump all over my students for that!).  So what are we to do?

Well, my new favorite source of great images is the MorgueFile.com.  A site with high quality images for use by anyone needing reference source material.  The description on their site at the bottom of every page is:

This morgue file contains free high resolution digital stock photographs and reference images for either corporate or public use. The purpose of this site is to provide free image reference material for illustrators, comic book artist, designers, teachers and all creative pursuits.

Most of the photos at the MorgueFile.com come with their own modified CC license that allows users to use and modify images without even needing attribution (although it’s always appreciated).  

About the only thing you’re not allowed to do is claim the photos are your own or use them in a stand alone manner.  For teachers this is great!  Grab a part of a photo, work them into a website design, or clip it to fit a worksheet, but do modify them to suit your own work.  (If you use a Mac, then masking and transparency can be a quick easy way to modify it right within the document you are creating.)

Here are a few examples of great pictures available at the MorgueFile.com:

Blue Circuit Board by ppdigital

Photo by Jane M Sawyer

Photo by Ivan Melenchon Serrano

Photo by Penywise