The title says it all. The Smithsonian Institute has just released Smithsonian Open Access, described on their front page as follows:
Welcome to Smithsonian Open Access, where you can download, share, and reuse millions of the Smithsonian’s images—right now, without asking. With new platforms and tools, you have easier access to nearly 3 million 2D and 3D digital items from our collections—with many more to come. This includes images and data from across the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives, and the National Zoo.
This is an amazingly robust depository, and all of the photos are free to use with absolutely no restrictions. Is it possible it can be integrated alongside iNat Observations, Flickr, EOL, and Wikimedia Commons as a source to pull Taxon Photos from?
There are still plenty of obscure organisms on iNaturalist that lack any observations on the site. Without a photo associated with their taxon page, it is difficult for users to verify what they have found. We do not even really have access to EOL anymore since they updated their whole site, so we can only really rely on Wikimedia Commons and Flickr for obscure taxa. These sources are usually great, but they are not always well-curated as anyone can upload photos to those sites.
The reinstatement of an accredited, institutionalized option would be beneficial, and I really think Smithsonian Open Access (SOA) would be a perfect fit.