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IDS 101: Taming the Beast, Climate Solutions: Finding Images

Why Legal is Important

Not everyone has the time, resources, or talent to make their own graphics.  So for those of us who fall into this group, below is a list of some incredible tools that will help you locate millions of free images that can be used legally.  You may not know that an artist who takes a photo or creates a graphic has the legal right to share or distribute copies of their work.  This legal right is known as copyright, and permission must be granted by the artist to legally use the image.

It is important to note that there are some limits to copyright, such as the Fair Use guidelines (details at  Nonprofit educational purpose is probably the most common copyright exception.  For example, students may use images for a class paper and instructors are in most cases allowed to use images for class instruction since it is for educational purposes.  Just make sure to cite where you found it so you don’t plagiarize!

Suggested Image Sites

Other Image Sites

Note: Always check the license for each image to find out if the work can be freely used and whether you need to attribute the creator.

Climate and Earth Images

Drought.  Image source:

"Dust Storm Clouds Gathering." Image source:

"Hurricane Isabel from ISS." Image source:

"Forest Fire." Image source:

"Flood water." Image source:

"Stranded Cars, Chicago Snow Sotrm." Image source: