At its simplest level CulturePics is rather like placehold.it or placekittens.com - you type in a specially formatted url and it gives you an image the size you want. But the difference here is that the images are sourced from thousands of the best images from the world's leading public collections. You also get to explore by collection and filter by tag, so if you happen to want lots of pictures of dogs from the National Media Museum or soldiers from the Australian War Memorial collection they're all just a few clicks away. Or maybe you're after a wide banner or a square picture to fill a particular spot?
Once you've found what you're looking for there are options to get the link for the image, download it, or copy the html code to embed it into your website or blog*, either in simple form or with a title and source as a caption
Right now it's just images from Flickr Commons, but the plan is to also include the likes of Europeana, DPLA and Trove, and any other easily accessible collections anyone can think of.
* please note that although these images have all been categorised as 'No known copyright restrictions' it is important that users read the Rights Statement on Flickr.
CulturePics taps into the library of thousands of images on Flickr Commons thanks to their API. When you give it some dimensions, and optionally a specific collection or tag, it finds the image that most closely matches the proportions (aspect ratio) and makes a special copy just for you.
Here are a few examples:
Unlike other services, all the images served up have embedded metadata attributing the original source and so on. Or at least they will when I get that bit finished!