As of today, photo-encyclopedia startup Fotopedia and its apps are resting in peace. But don’t fret, because pictures sporting Creative Commons licenses are not getting thrown in the Dumpster along with the Fotopedia service.

The service had 17 million users, according to CrunchBase, with 1 million photos of various locations around the world as of 2011. The company shut down yesterday, saying that it was unable to find a “suitable business in the idea.”

But it’s not all going to waste, even if the active community is disappearing. The nonprofit organization behind Creative Commons licenses — called, aptly, Creative Commons — is now in the process of rescuing images from Fotopedia, according to a blog post from the organization over the weekend.


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“When Creative Commons heard the news, we contacted Fotopedia to ask if there were some way that we could help save all of the Creative Commons–licensed photos on the site,” Creative Commons’ Elliot Harmon wrote in the post. “Now, we’re working together with the staff at Fotopedia to create a new archive of all of that content.”

And so the content will live on. That, right there, makes the Fotopedia’s closure better than the shuttering of the average content startup.

For that, you can go elsewhere to learn about places through photos.

For those of you seeking photos of exotic locations around the world, Bonjournal, Exposure, Maptia, and Storehouse, among others, are still alive and healthy. But the startups behind those apps ought to consider themselves warned: This might not be the most lucrative business.

Fotopedia’s investors included Banexi Ventures Partners, Ron Conway, Reid Hoffman, Ignition Partners, and Joi Ito.


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