This is just a quick post to gather together some pointers and links that were shared in answer to a question I asked on twitter yesterday:
I want to try out a bunch of different services to explore how easy it is for people to contribute to open data project. Because I’m interested in how we can contribute as individuals, then I’m ruling out things like government open data portals. They’re not typically places where mere punters like you or I can contribute.
I’m also interested in sites that generate open data. Not public data. There needs to be an open licence on the results. Or, at very least a note along the lines of: “do whatever you want with this”.
I’m thinking more of places where we can collaborate around creating open data.
The short list
Here’s a quick list of the suggestions, along with a few I’d already turned up. I’m sure there are a lot more. Please leave a comment or ping me on twitter if you have suggestions. And yes, I’ll turn this into data at some point.
- OpenStreetMap was the starter for ten. I’ve already written about a number of ways to can contribute to the effort
- Discogs, contribute to their public domain database
- Wikipedia, content in infoboxes is presented as data via dbpedia and wikidata
- You can also contribute directly to Wikidata
- MusicBrainz, is completely crowd-sourced
- You can contribute company information to OpenCorporates
- Questions you answer on Stackoverflow end up as open data
- DemocracyClub are doing an awesome job of co-ordinating crowd-sourced data collection that the UK government should just be doing itself
- The product data you add to OpenFoodFacts is open
- It looks like you can contribute Creative Commons licensed content and data to the Encylopedia of Life
- OpenPlaques is open to contributions
- The Quick, Draw with Google data is actually open. Google seem to be opening up more of their research data
- ESRI are building some crowdsourcing apps, which generate open data
- If you’re in Germany and have some sensor data, you can feed it into OpenSenseMap. Their data dumps are in the public domain
What else should be on this list?
There were also a number of sites that were suggested, or which I considered, but had to be rejected. Mostly because they’re not actually publishing open data. They either have restrictions on usage, or the licensing is very unclear. If you can clarify any of these then let me know.
- GalaxyZoo is one of the archetypal citizen science projects. But, while they publish a lot of data. I’m unclear as to how its licensed. Any ideas? Most research datasets these days are openly published but I can’t find a statement
- I had the same issue with other Zooniverse projects. It’s often not clear what is happening to the data. I’d like to know if the data will be open
- Flickr lets me publish Creative Commons licensed photos, but I’m unclear about what licensing applies to the data and metadata returned from their API. The terms of service doesn’t say. Anyone know?
- EdibleGiving is a small app that is looking for data contributions and may soon be publishing open data.
- eBird is a crowd-sourced database of bird sightings. But I can’t find a license on the data
- OpenLibrary is a fantastic resource, but the licensing page left me sad
- If you’ve got a weather station you can contribute to the MetOffice WOW service. But the terms of reuse of the data is this “Registered Content Licence“. Which isn’t open
- EveryPolitician has a great mission but no licence
- Crunchbase lets you help maintain their commercial database, at no cost to yourself
- Owler too is keen to accept your free labour
- And MakeLoveland encourage you to help them source data which goes into their commercial product.
Clearly there are hundreds of non-open databases, but do let me know if I’m wrong about any of the above, and I’ll amend the article accordingly.