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Wikimedia Commons had tons of images of all qualities, sorted in categories.

The best images are sometimes awarded a "featured" badge, or a "quality" or "valued" badge.
The majority of images have no badge at all.

Question: How to get the best images from a given category, including its sub-categories?

  • Users will casually enter categories such as "Butterflies", which has hundreds of sub-categories containing tens of thousands of files. Despite this, the results must come within 10 seconds.
  • The API has to be available online (95% uptime or best)
  • Picture quality is readily available through the featured/quality/vales badges, but I am open to other objective and subjective quality measurements.
  • Ideally the API should return all images from in decreasing order of quality, with paging so that the data starts to come as fast as possible.

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