The oil spill on Flickr

June 10, 2010 § Leave a comment

BP has done one thing right. They host high-resolution photographs and diagrams of their plans for stopping the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on a Flickr Pro account, which allows them to display images as large as 20 megabytes. (When you go to the Flickr site, choose “original” size to get the full-resolution image.)

The Deepwater Horizon response page is here:

And their Flickr page is here:

These files have served as the base material for numerous news information graphics. Below are some examples from the Wall Street Journal:


Fish and wildlife image library

August 9, 2009 § Leave a comment


Brook trout


Largemouth bass

Wild animals — as charismatic as an eagle or as plain as a toad — frequently become the subjects of news stories.

So I have consulted the Fish and Wildlife Service digital image library ( several times when I needed high-resolution files for an animal infographic.

The searchable library includes photos and drawings of birds, plants, invertebrates and endangered animals and habitats. But my favorite collection remains a series of paintings by wildlife artist Duane Raver that the government commissioned in the 1970s. Two examples are shown above.

Some of the images open in Photoshop as incredibly detailed 21-megabyte files.

Images of diseases and public health

June 22, 2009 § Leave a comment

Sometimes you have to show microscopic images of a virus or depict the symptoms of a disease. The Public Health Image Library at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a good place to start. You will find high-resolution images of the HIV, H5n1 viruses and anthrax spores. You will also see X-rays of anthrax-infected lungs and the sores of people with anthrax-infected skin. There’s some pretty gross stuff here, so be prepared.

From their image database, here is an image of a Gulf Coast tick:


The characteristic “bull’s eye” mark of someone infected with Lyme disease:


This one shows the droplets emerging from a man’s nose and mouth when he sneezes without covering his mouth:


Images of military weapon systems

June 21, 2009 § Leave a comment


The Defense Department maintains an online database of high-resolution images at I have only used the still images, but the database includes video as well. Above is an image of a Predator drone in Iraq (much higher resolution images are available than the one posted here.) Note the Hellfire missiles on its wings. This site is extremely useful for information graphics on military weapon systems, the defense budget and deployment. You can find photographs of all kinds of U.S. helicopters, armored vehicles, missiles, ships, and personnel.

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