Monday, July 6, 2009

open source

The idea of open source took hold in the late 90's and I don't see it stopping anytime soon. No longer just for computer geeks coding their intellectual prowess into the web servers of the world, the idea that you'll work for free in exchange for information is ... well... it's working. And not just for non-profs like Wikipedia.

Check out www.openstreetmap.com



It's a free wiki world map and according to their community ambassador, Sarah Manley, the rules of mapping are almost totally unregulated. Anyone with the know how could, for instance, go in and erase the Golden Gate Bridge. The beauty of it is that it would certainly, or theoretically, be replaced almost immediately by everyone else.

Self-regulation? Sounds like anarchy. Will they get big enough to have to have rules? Probably. Should we start mapping? Definitely!

I wonder if there is a way to map the history of your family tree or how food from the Red Cross gets disbursed. What do you think?

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Thanks for the shout out Tirsh! There are some rules, such as how to label features, but what you want to map, add, contribute, is all open. We host events to teach people how to participate, so stop by or contact me if you are interested.

http://community.cloudmade.com/event
Sarah@cloudmade.com