GSoC 2019: Project Ideas

This is the project idea list for the Google Summer of Code 2019 program. We have a mix of projects that are meant to be installed widely (such as plugins for other software) and projects that are more focused on improving user experience for users of Creative Commons licenses. Regardless of scope, these projects all have a broad and positive community impact.



Automated license link checking

  • Description:

    Automate testing of the links in the licenses (legal code) and the deeds (simple language descriptions of the legal code).

  • Rationale:

    Our licenses are used all over the world in many languages. When bugs or human error result broken links, the community suffers and development is slowed.

  • Resources:
  • Expected result:

    Public release of Python software that ingests the license source files and creates a configuration for existing Open Source link checking software.

  • Skills recommended: Python
  • Mentors: Alden Page (primary), Timid Robot Zehta (backup)
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Proposal tag to use: Licenses

CC Search JavaScript library

  • Description:

    A JavaScript library allows users to search for CC-licensed content using the CC Catalog API.

  • Rationale:

    Providing a JavaScript library that allows integration of searching for CC-licensed content into other websites will expand the reach of CC-licensed content.

  • Resources:
  • Expected result:

    Public release of an functional, up-to-date, and well-documented JavaScript library using the CC Catalog API.

  • Skills recommended: JavaScript
  • Mentors: Breno Ferreira (primary), Alden Page (backup)
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Proposal tag to use: Plugin

CC Search: search by use case

  • Description:

    Prototype in CC Search a way to search for specific materials to use for specific types of projects. For example: search images for slide presentations (stock photos), for printed and/or digital magazines (which might require high resolution), for educational material (use content from GLAM providers), etc..

  • Rationale:

    Addresses the following insights from our user research (see the Resources section for link to all insights):

    • People want to share and find good work, but find it difficult to navigate the abundance of content and information online.
  • Resources:
  • Expected result:

    A new feature or set of new features added to CC Search to support searching CC-licensed content for a specific purpose. You can decide what use cases you'd like to focus on.

  • Skills recommended: Python and Javascript
  • Mentors: Alden Page (primary), Breno Ferreira (backup)
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Proposal tag to use: Search

Contact content creators easily

  • Description:

    Prototype an easy way for a user to get in touch with a creator and/or vice versa that ties to a CC license or tool. This could be done in a number of ways, including a button that is chosen from a new CC chooser, a deed + platform solution that connects users to creators, or a separate “contact me” button.

  • Rationale:

    Addresses the following insights from our user research (see the Resources section for link to all insights):

    • People like seeing how their work is used, where it goes, and who it touches, but have no easy way to find this out. This insight incorporated the following two insights:
      • People care that the work they share resonates with people, especially personally, but can only know this if they are told directly by the person it resonated with.
      • People want their work to have real world or social impact, but their sense about what these impacts are are vague. However, people can identify some real or potential outcomes from sharing their work that they enjoy.
  • Resources:
  • Expected result:

    A working tool that ties into an existing CC tool that allows users to get in touch with creators of CC-licensed content. The implementation details and design are up to you.

  • Skills recommended: JavaScript, Python
  • Mentors: Timid Robot Zehta (primary), Hugo Solar (backup)
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Proposal tag to use: Usability

Creative Commons Archive

  • Description:

    Prototype a few concepts that provide creators with the choice of archiving a version of their works when CC licensing. This could be an archive we provide as a service, tied to a new chooser tool, a separate web page for preserving your work, and also in partnership with an organization like the Internet Archive.

  • Rationale:

    Addresses the following insights from our user research (see the Resources section for link to all insights):

    • People like the efficiency of sharing via centralized platforms, but are frustrated by the lack of control and ownership over their work, and increasing devaluation of individual creativity.
    • People have a desire to create work that is lasting and meaningful, that eventually has a life of its own, but don’t know what to do with a work beyond publishing it.
  • Resources:
  • Expected result:

    A working interface for users to be able to archive their CC-licensed content. The potential designs linked above are just ideas, you do not have to follow them although you can certainly build on them. Both the backend and the frontend should be functional.

  • Skills recommended: Python, JavaScript, basic understanding of databases, basic understanding of APIs
  • Mentors: Alden Page (primary), Sophine Clachar (backup)
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Proposal tag to use: Usability

Creative Commons JavaScript license chooser

  • Description:

    Our license chooser JavaScript widget has not been updated since 2015. We'd like to update it so that it is functional and follows modern coding style and best practices, including not hardcoding license information and removing its dependency on PHP.

  • Rationale:

    Providing a functional JavaScript widget that allows anyone to embed choosing a CC license on their site will widen the reach of CC licenses.

  • Resources:
  • Expected result:

    Public release of an functional, up-to-date, and well-documented JavaScript widget or library.

  • Skills recommended: JavaScript
  • Mentors: Breno Ferreira (primary), Kriti Godey (backup)
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Proposal tag to use: Plugin

Creative Commons plugin for any creation platform or tool

  • Description:

    We'd like to create plugins for other platforms to help users find CC-licensed content (using the CC Catalog API), attribute them correctly, and license their own work under CC licenses. Any creation platform or software is fair game. Some ideas: Google Docs/Slides, Microsoft Office, browser extensions, etc.

  • Rationale:

    We would like to integrate with as many content creation platforms and tools as seamlessly as possible to promote use of CC licenses and discovery of CC-licensed content.

  • Resources:
  • Expected result:

    Public release of a functional and well-documented plugin.

  • Skills recommended: depends on the project
  • Mentors: Timid Robot Zehta (primary), Kriti Godey (backup)
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Proposal tag to use: Plugin

Creative Commons WordPress plugin

  • Description:

    Our WordPress plugin has not been updated for two years. We'd like to update the plugin so that it is compatible with the latest version of WordPress and the code is in line with WordPress best practices. Add features to it that would help users find CC-licensed content, attribute them correctly, and license their own work under CC licenses.

  • Rationale:

    WordPress is one of the top platforms for creators on the internet who both produce and consume CC-licensed content. We would like to integrate with it as seamlessly as possible to promote use of CC licenses and discovery of CC-licensed content.

  • Resources:
  • Expected result:

    Public release of an functional, up-to-date, and well-documented WordPress plugin.

  • Skills recommended: PHP, WordPress, potentially JavaScript
  • Mentors: Hugo Solar (primary), Kriti Godey (backup)
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Proposal tag to use: Plugin

Visualize CC Catalog data

  • Description:

    We'd like to create visualizations of all the data that is stored in the Creative Commons catalog (over 250 million works and growing) and how they link to each other.

  • Rationale:

    We've indexed a huge amount of CC-licensed content and made it searchable via CC Search, but we don't have a way of conveying the scale of this work to the community. Being able to access visualizations of all our indexed content is a good way for the community (and us) to see how much data we have indexed and find and explore relationships between CC-licensed content on the web.

  • Resources:
  • Expected result:

    Ideally we'd like these visualizations deployed on the web and updated in near real-time as we index new CC-licensed content.

    The type of visualizations are not set in stone. We've prototyped a force-directed graph in the past and would like to have a maintainable version of that but other visualizations are up to you!

  • Skills recommended: JavaScript, data visualization tools, potentially Python
  • Mentors: Sophine Clachar (primary), Hugo Solar (backup)
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Proposal tag to use: Data Visualization

Visualize Flickr's CC license use

  • Description:

    Flickr is one of the top platforms where creative individuals share their works under a Creative Commons license. There is an estimated 400 million CC-licensed works on Flickr and the volume of data increases daily. We are looking to develop a CC license tracker which will entail:

    1. Data driven visualizations on the historical use of CC licenses (from 2004 to present)
    2. A realtime photo tracker that will keep us informed about the usage and/or popularity of CC licenses on this platform.
  • Rationale:

    There is a lot of CC-licensed content out there and we'd like to showcase that in a way that's easy for the community to understand.

  • Resources:
  • Expected result:

    Ideally we'd like these visualizations deployed on the web and updated in near real-time as we index new content.

  • Skills recommended: JavaScript, data visualization tools, basic knowledge of APIs, potentially Python
  • Mentors: Sophine Clachar (primary), Breno Ferreira (backup)
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Proposal tag to use: Data Visualization

Your idea here

  • We are open to original ideas for projects that will help increase the utility of CC-licensed content, ease the process for creators applying CC licenses to their content, or improve CC's internal tools or processes. Please talk to us on the #cc-gsoc channel on Slack or via the mailing list to find a mentor for the project before submitting your proposal.
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