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Shortcut: COM:F2C

Flickr2Commons (new oauth) is a tool written by Magnus Manske to easily upload single and multiple files from Flickr to Commons. If you have any questions you can ask for help at Commons:Batch uploading.

Wikimedia Commons is different than Flickr and only hosts images with educational value, e.g., it does not accept holiday photographs, for more information see Commons:What Commons is not.


On Flickr, you can search for images with the "Commercial use & mods allowed" license filter. You can upload images from Flickr that are available under one of the following licenses

  • Attribution License
  • Attribution-ShareAlike License
  • Public Domain Dedication (CC0)
  • Public Domain Mark, but you are required to add the appropriate PD license to the file page, for example {{PD-US-expired}} or {{PD-Portugal-URAA}}. If you don't know which PD license applies, do not upload.

To change the license on an image, a set of images or all images on a Flickr account, please see the instructions here. You can also set a default license for all future uploads.

Note: You cannot use Flickr2Commmons to upload images which use a no derivatives or noncommercial requirement.

Note: Some Flickr accounts improperly post other people's copyrighted material under open licenses, for more information see Commons:Questionable Flickr images and Template:Flickrvionote.

Uploading images[edit]

Step 1: Authorise OAuth[edit]

You must authorise OAuth (a piece of software that uploads images on your behalf) before you use Flickr2Commons. See the link at the top of the Flickr2Commons tool to do so. You must be logged into your Wikimedia account to do this.

Remember to do this every time you want to upload images from Flickr2Commons.

Step 2: Choose which images to upload[edit]

You can choose which images to upload using Flickr2Commons in one of the following ways.

All eligible images from a Flickr user[edit]

You can upload all images from a user by pasting the username or NSID into the Flickr user ID or name field; to find a user's NSID you can use the idGettr tool.

If you would like to import a very large number of images from a Flickr account, it may be helpful to upload as a series of photosets: this will reduce the risk of losing a large amount of work if your browser crashes.

A photoset[edit]

You can upload all eligible images by pasting the ID number of a photoset into the Flickr photoset ID field; to find the ID of a photoset, copy the string of numbers in the URL after albums/ when you are on the web page for that album.

A single photo[edit]

To upload a single photo, copy the photo ID into the single Flickr photo ID field by copying the last string of numbers in the URL when you are on a webpage for a photo.

Note: Alternatively you can use the Flickr Upload Wizard to upload a single file.

Step 3: Run the Flickr2Commons image finder[edit]

The next step is to click Run; if you have entered the information correctly and there are images available under a compatible licence they will appear in the tool. By default the tool will only show images not already uploaded to Wikimedia Commons.

Step 4: Name files[edit]

Make sure the file name is descriptive; names of images uploaded on Flickr can often be just a series of numbers, but Wikimedia Commons prefers some kind of descriptive name. For a series of images of one subject you can do this by adding a name prefix, so 12345.jpg becomes House of Commons 12345.jpg.

If the images already have descriptive names with a string of numbers in brackets after them, these are perfectly acceptable to leave as they are. Wikimedia Commons does not accept file names with special characters e.g @, /, \, or *, so please remove these: otherwise the upload will fail. Brackets (()[]) are accepted characters.

Step 5: Add descriptions[edit]

Every image uploaded to Wikimedia Commons needs a description to help people to understand the image. Often images on Flickr will have an existing description which will appear just below the categories box under each image, you can simply copy and paste this description into the description box.

Step 6: Add categories[edit]

All files on Wikimedia Commons need categories, which help group photos by their subject and also by who created them, e.g. all images produced by UNESCO are in Category:Photographs produced by UNESCO. Having a category for the organisation that produced the images helps to keep them organised but also allows you to measure where they are used on Wikimedia projects and how many times they were seen. If you're creating a category for your organisation a common format to use is Category:Images from NAMEOFORGANISATION . Also please make sure the category you upload to is not already in use for another purpose, e.g. for another organisation with the same name.

To find which categories are already available:

  1. Search on Wikimedia Commons for the subject you want;
  2. Chose an image that relates to that subject;
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of that page to see which categories that image is in and copy one or more of them.

Its important to check for existing categories because of differences in language around the world, e.g. US/UK spelling differences.

You can add categories to images by adding them individually to each images; make sure to use this formatting when adding a category to an image [[Category:NAMEOFCATEGORY]]. You can also add a category to all the images you want to upload by clicking the Add category just under Append everywhere (categories etc.) near the top of the page and pasting in the name of the category.

You can also use the Auto-detect categories button at the top of the page, although this often gives unexpected results.

Step 7: Import[edit]

Once you have checked your work you can upload the images to Wikimedia Commons: to do this click Transfer selected files to Commons.

Tip: Make sure you don't press the other blue button labelled Run again, as this will wipe out all your work.

Step 8: Let the upload run[edit]

Uploading files is not instantaneous; it takes time. As the files upload they will get a blue window around them. Once a file has been uploaded the window will turn green for success, or red if there was a problem and the file couldn't be uploaded.

Step 9: Check the uploads[edit]

Once you have uploaded the images please check through them; the easiest way to do this is to look at your uploaded file list, which can be reached by clicking the Uploads button in the top right hand corner of any Wikimedia Commons page (when you are logged in).

Using the images on Wikimedia projects[edit]

You can use the images you have uploaded on other Wikimedia projects, including Wikipedia: find out how to get started here.

If you have uploaded a lot of images from an organisation, or on a specific subject, you could contact a relevant Wikiproject or your local Wikimedia chapter or group who may be interested in helping get the images used on Wikimedia projects.

Measuring reach[edit]

If you would like to see where images you have uploaded are used on Wikimedia projects and how many times they are seen you can use the GLAMorgan tool to run queries.

If you want to measure the reach of images from an institution with a large number of images on Wikimedia Commons you can also request that your institution be added to BaGLAMa 2 which will provide you with a monthly report.


"Flinfo says 'bad user'."[edit]

This error message means the account whose photographs you plan to upload is blacklisted. Accounts are blacklisted because of copyright infringement, usually in the form of licence laundering. User:FlickreviewR/bad-authors is the complete blacklist. Commons:Questionable Flickr images/Users is an incomplete table of rationales behind each entry. To find a numeric Flickr ID, you may use idGettr. If you feel that a blacklist is unjustified or have any questions, please leave a message at Commons:Village pump. A blacklist is not a ban on the account owner's works. For example, if a photo is indeed taken by the account owner and released under a compatible licence, it can be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons and reviewed by trusted users.

See also[edit]