Baghdad Open Street Map.

July 7, 2007

OpenStreetMap of Baghdad At Wiki Wednesday last night Steve Coast mentioned that the OSM team had used aerial images of Baghdad to create an Open Street Map of Baghdad – now they are trying to find local bloggers and wikipedians to add street names… Reconstruction the wiki-way. Hope we can follow the example with Yellowikis. Compare and contrast with Google Maps effort:


London WikiWednesday

July 5, 2007

Under David Terrar’s excellent stewardship London’s Wiki Wednesday goes from strength to strength. I was late (cars, money, train, keys)… but was pleased to discover that Bearing Point were serving champaign and giving away mugs! No wonder 50 people signed up to come along!

The highlight of the evening had to be Steve Coast’s presentation of OpenStreetMap – good to catch up with him and to meet Nick Black. Julie, Angela, Tim S, Martin, Mark, Alek and Lars were all there – and I met Harry Wood who has written a presentation on wiki gardening (that I want to see). I wanted to connect with Guy and lots of other people… looking forward to next month’s meeting.

It was late and I was last up  – but I did manage to mention that people should download and start playing with SocialCalc… and how easy it was to install!

Got home very late and caught up with the latest Germanic rages against Mappam on OSM… whatisitwiththesepeople?


Firefox as OS

June 28, 2007

firefox3Sam Sethi‘s post on the new features being released in Firefox3 made me realise that the Mozilla foundation is well on it’s way to do a “reverse takeover” of the desktop and/or operating system. All they need to do is bundle Damn Small Linux or Debian Live in the download and bish-bash-bosh you are running a Firefox computer!


THERE IS NO VALUE IN BITS!

June 24, 2007

Michael Tiemann at the OSI has an interesting blog post on why open source should make good business sense. The last part is particularly interesting:

As for three “ideas” to avoid when building an open source business:

1) Believing that you need venture capital to start an open source business. In the same way that “Breast is Best” for rearing healthy babies, I believe that 95% of all venture capitalists will do more harm than good when it comes to investing in open source companies. I believe they will pick the wrong ideas, fund them for the wrong reasons, and then complain bitterly when their investments fail. Instead of trying to educate an industry that doesn’t understand open source (yet), look for ways to create your company organically. I would estimate that today there is 10x more money being knowingly wasted on poor proprietary solutions than is available for all software VC, and this suggests a remarkable opportunity to do well by customers who have already demonstrated a need and a willingness to pay. Convince them that you can staunch their losses with open source, and then spin out to success!

2) Per-incident support models.

3) The cynicism that making money in open source makes it proprietary. This is a toxic view for several reasons:

  • It leads one to justify creating proprietary software
  • It leads one to mingle, layer, hybridize, or otherwise infect open source with proprietary software
  • It confuses the fact that open source is a development model and making money is based on a value proposition. THERE IS NO VALUE IN BITS!

SocialCalc 1.1.0 released

June 23, 2007

Announced yesterday by Liz Henry on the Socialtext blog.


Should I stay or should I go…

June 23, 2007

Snap to Grid

June 21, 2007

Tom Gruber (who is on the Socialtext‘s board of advisors) has a great presentation called “Avoiding the Travesty of the Commons“. I like his “snap to grid” metaphor for encouraging structured and unstructured data to sit together. File under: “Things I wish I had known…”


XXX Games Logo Police

June 12, 2007

Depressing reading the 2012 rules and regulations about the use of the Olympic Logo and the words “Olympic” and “London 2012”. Interesting that they even have rules about use on websites and blogs. For example they say: “DON’T use the London 2012 logo as an icon to link to london2012.com.”

2012 logo

Isn’t it about time that the Olympic rings and other logos were put into the public domain? There are lots of really good “Open Source brands” – Irish Pubs, national flags and some City Names are all good examples of successful open source branding.

And… oooh- err-missus: I just noticed that the 2012 Olympics is also the “XXX Olympiad”… wonder if that is going to cause any problems with the “adult” entertainment industry!


USA Fedral Spending as pie chart

June 3, 2007
Federal spending 09

Federal spending 09

When I saw this pie chart here it reminded me of the Open Source Governance that Ray Archer and I imagined when we started thinking about NewAthens (broken link). All we need to do is add sliders to each segment that would allow people to adjust the size of a segment, and a slider to adjust the total size of the pie. A wiki to collect data, debate and thoughts would be important too. Double clicking on a segment would allow citizens to drill down into more detailed charts of spending… well a man can dream.


London WikiWednesday

May 25, 2007

Looking forward to seeing Julian R Harris and the rest of the London Wiki Massive next week at WikiWednesday. Looks like some interesting people are coming.