Where can you contribute to open data? Yes, you!

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.

  1. OpenStreetMap was the starter for ten. I’ve already written about a number of ways to can contribute to the effort
  2. Discogs, contribute to their public domain database
  3. Wikipedia, content in infoboxes is presented as data via dbpedia and wikidata
  4. You can also contribute directly to Wikidata
  5. MusicBrainz, is completely crowd-sourced
  6. You can contribute company information to OpenCorporates
  7. Questions you answer on Stackoverflow end up as open data
  8. DemocracyClub are doing an awesome job of co-ordinating crowd-sourced data collection that the UK government should just be doing itself
  9. The product data you add to OpenFoodFacts is open
  10. It looks like you can contribute Creative Commons licensed content and data to the Encylopedia of Life
  11. OpenPlaques is open to contributions
  12. The Quick, Draw with Google data is actually open. Google seem to be opening up more of their research data
  13. ESRI are building some crowdsourcing apps, which generate open data
  14. 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.

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.