The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument is one of NASA’s five Earth-observing instruments. Launched on December 18, 1999, on the Terra satellite, ASTER “images Earth to map and monitor the changing surface of our planet” by capturing high-resolution (15 to 90 square meters per pixel) images of the Earth. Since then, more than 2.95 million images were captured. The content “ranges from massive scars across the Oklahoma landscape from an EF-5 tornado and the devastating aftermath of flooding in Pakistan, to volcanic eruptions in Iceland and wildfires in California”. Users can view a fraction of the images from this website, while the rest can be accessed from a series of different tools provided.
Founded in 2002, SpaceX is an American company that “manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft”. Their Flickr account shares photographs of their rocket launches and space missions.
Kunstformen der Natur (or known in English as Art Forms in Nature) is a book of prints by German biologist, Ernst Haeckel. The geometric shapes and natural forms captured precisely by Haeckel continue to inspire artists and scientists. Via Wikimedia Commons, you may access more than 100 illustrations from the publication.
BILDGEIST is a “visual journal of scientific illustrations, illuminated manuscripts, photographs, prints and artworks from the public domain”. The images are of various themes including astronomy, alchemy, mythology, cartography, anthropology, zoology, botany, and general curiosa. Users can filter the contents by period, categories and keyword tags.
Wikimedia Commons is a “media file repository” of public domain and freely-licensed educational media content, including images, sounds and video clips. Launched on 7 September 2004 by the Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimedia Commons uses the “wiki-technology” that is the same technology used in Wikipedia. Wikmedia Commons also aggregates files from other projects, including Wikipedia, Wikibooks, Wikivoyage, Wikispecies, Wikisource, and Wikinews. As of October 2015, there are more than 28.7 million files in more than 120,000 collections. Users can conduct a keyword search or browse the content by topic, type, author, location, license and source.
The Project Apollo Archive was first created in 1999 by Kipp Teague. It contains photographs pertaining to the historic manned lunar landing program – Apollo. According to Teague, the archive is “a re-presentation of the public domain NASA-provided Apollo mission imagery as it was originally provided in its raw, high-resolution and unprocessed form by the Johnson Space Center on DVD-R and including from the center’s Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth web site”. All digital images are scanned from the original photographs taken by Hasselblad cameras.
Pixabay is a photo community that provides images on public domain. The site contains curated images contributed by photographers around the world. As of September 2015, there are more than 470,000 photographs, vectors and illustrations. Users can search by keywords or browse by various categories.
As part of the EOS Project Science Office located at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, the mission of the Earth Observatory is “to share with the public the images, stories, and discoveries about the environment, Earth systems, and climate that emerge from NASA research, including its satellite missions, in-the-field research, and models”. Users can do a keyword search or browse images by different categories. Users can also generate images of global maps to explore key parts of the Earth’s climate system. The images are based on data provided by the NASA satellites.
Since 2013, British Library released more than 1 million images to Flickr Commons. The images were obtained from the Library’s digitised collection of 65,000 books of the 17th, 18th and 19th century. The release of these images indicates the Library’s desire “to improve knowledge of and about them, to enable novel and unexpected ways of using them, and to begin working with researchers to explore and interpret large scale digital collections”. The images are arranged by different themes, such as book covers, illustrated letters, maps, flora and children book illustrations.
Vintage Printable provides images that are believed to be on public domain or out of copyright. Most of the images are focused on vintage naturalist or scientific illustrations. Users can search or browse by different categories.
Developed by The Open Knowledge Foundation, The Public Domain Review is “an online journal and not-for-profit project dedicated to promoting and celebrating the public domain in all its richness and variety”, as according to the website. Images in their collections are derived from a wide range of online archives, that are on public domain. The images are arranged by topics, where users can search or browse by time, style, genre, type, content and rights.
The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is “a consortium of natural history and botanical libraries that cooperate to digitize the legacy literature of biodiversity held in their collections and to make that literature available for open access and responsible use as a part of a global ‘biodiversity commons'”. Started in 2011, the staff of BHL began to upload illustrations from books in their collections. These illustrations were created over the past 500 years. To date, more than 98,000 of natural history and botanical illustrations have been uploaded to their Flickr account.
The NYPL Digital Gallery provides access to over 800,000 images digitized from the library’s collections, which spans across different mediums, subjects and time periods. The collections include illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints and photographs. The collections can also be browse through different categories – Arts & Literature, Cities & Buildings, Culture & Society, History & Geography, Industry & Technology, Nature & Science, and Printing & Graphics.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA in short, is an American agency that pioneers in aeronautics research, space explorations and operations, space technology and science. Their image galleries provide access to non-copyrighted up-to-date images and other multimedia files that were captured from their operations, missions and research.