Only a decade ago, preparing a lecture meant going to the university slide library to retrieve slides from an array of drawers and assemble them into a lecture on a light table. Today, most historians of architecture assemble digital images in presentation software and display them using digital projectors. Our first stop for gathering images is, likely as not, either Google Images or Yahoo!'s Flickr, the two search services dominating the global commons of images on the Internet.1

Although more specialized databases such as SAHARA or ARTstor exist for architectural historians, Google Images and Flickr have certain advantages. They have no barriers to entry; they allow users to restrict searches to Creative Commons––licensed images that can be legally reused and even modified; and, above all, they offer access to huge numbers of images——Google Images attempts to index the entire web...

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