Open Data

Open Data for the network are (typically digital) data made available under an open license. They are the perfect partners of Free/open source software to provide “open products” and “open services”. They are best acknowledged and used by “open people“.

The mantra: “free/open source software” or “data under a free/open license” does not mean services or consulting provided based on them not requiring a value exchange (some like to recall that “free” in this context is referred to freedom and not to, e.g. free beer).

Is this a free/open space? (Southern Tuscany, 2016)

Writing this page in January 2022, and having started to use free/open source software in 1994, and open data shortly after that, I am realizing that the ambiguity on “free” is generated by English language, since most other languages we deal with in the network use two different words (e.g. libero vs. gratuito, libre vs. gratuit, frei vs. kostenlos, etc.). This leads me to think that, had “free software” been conceived in a non-English speaking country, the free/open source and open data market might have been a bit more mature that it is at the time of writing, considering the amount of energy required by humanity to explain (or to understand, depending on which side of the game you play) the concept.

In the header picture: Simon Littlesaunders and Darius Canal watching a tutorial on free/open people in Milan, Italy, during the Dec. 2021 geotour