During the production of the app Tiny Terms, I needed to create a ton of content for long lists of terms. This included both imagery and text content, and since no tool existed to generate this made one myself.

A brief overview

This page is forms the context of a tool which I will be discussing below, the page with the tool on can be found here: Creative Commons Batch Search

The general idea

The idea for this started when I was creating my app, I had a ton of different topics on everything from Italian anatomy through to star constellations which all needed in-depth background material to give depth to the field of study. In order to generate this I was pulling information down from places such as Wikipedia as well as using imagery from a variety of different creative commons sources. Ultimately I realised that filling in lists which often had hundreds of terms in would be impossible by hand so I decided to create a tool to do it for me.

Building the tool

All of the Tiny Terms lists are actually written and served from Google Sheets, so originally I used their built-in script editor to make this and add content directly to the data. This version is actually quite a slimmed down copy which I have put into a stand-alone website for ease of use. The Creative Commons Batch Search tool is built in just pure JS, and basically handles a variety of different APIs to pull results in from places such as Wikipedia. As I soon found out, the Wikipedia API is not the easiest to navigate, with plenty of variety when it comes to the structure of the returned data. Half the battle was figuring out how to manage the response from places such as Wiktionary.

How the tool works

Simply add in a list of terms to the textarea and if there is royalty free information and images to be had they will appear in the table underneath. This could be an easy way to grab a few placeholder imagery or even look up some context for an unknown word or phrase.

A screenshot of the Creative Commons Batch Search Tool

Future thoughts 

The tool currently only pulls in one result per term from each site, so it would be good to display a selection of results instead so the user can choose something more relevant. I would also like to add in a few more sources of imagery, or even things like video or music.

I hope you find it interesting (or maybe even useful!) let me know your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below.