Articles by Hugh

I am a web-guy, writer, and participant in the open movement. I started LibriVox.org, and have a little software development company.

You can find me at http://hugmcguire.net.

Open TreeMap

OpenTreeMap is open source software for collaborative, geography-enabled urban tree inventory.

Why use OpenTreeMap?

Urban street trees have myriad proven benefits for communities including providing shade, improving air quality, assisting with stormwater runoff, raising property values, decreasing utility bills, and enhancing the look and feel of communities. While tree inventories provide municipalities with vital data to consult when managing the urban forest, creating a complete inventory is a time consuming and resource intensive process.  OpenTreeMap provides an easy-to-use public inventorying platform that enables individuals, organizations, and governments to collaboratively contribute to an interactive and dynamic map of a community’s tree population. OpenTreeMap can be used in a single municipality or cover a broader geographic region with many communities.

[more...]

18th C Social Networks

I can’t recall where I found this, but it’s very very cool:

Billon Dollar Gram

From Information Is Beautiful: Infographic on various billions spent, or planned, or earned:

billion dollar gram

Open Dinosaur Project

This, I love:

The Open Dinosaur Project was founded to involve scientists and the public alike in developing a comprehensive database of dinosaur limb bone measurements, to investigate questions of dinosaur function and evolution. We have three major goals:1) do good science; 2) do this science in the most open way possible; and 3) allow anyone who is interested to participate. And by anyone, we mean anyone! We do not care about your education, geographic location, age, or previous background with paleontology. The only requirement for joining us is that you share the goals of our project and are willing to help out in the efforts.

Want to sign up? Email project head Andy Farke (andrew.farke@gmail.com), and welcome aboard!

[via datalibre]

Open Data Access & APIs

Jon Udell’s latest innovators podcast, Open Data Access with Steven Willmott:

There’s growing awareness of the need to publish data online, and to support programmatic access to that data. In this conversation, host Jon Udell talks with Steven Willmott about how his company, 3Scale, helps businesses create and manage application programming interfaces to their data.

Says Jon on his blog:

In the latest installment of my Innovators podcast, which ran while I was away on vacation, I spoke with Steven Willmott of 3scale, one of several companies in the emerging business of third-party API management. As more organizations get into the game of providing APIs to their online data, there’s a growing need for help in the design and management of those APIs.

By way of demonstration, 3scale is providing an unofficial API to some of the datasets offered by the United Nations. The UN data at http://data.un.org, while browseable and downloadable, is not programmatically accessible. If you visit 3scale’s demo at www.undata-api.org/ you can sign up for an access key, ask for available datasets — mostly, so far, from the World Health Organization (see below) — and then query them. [more...]

Beers for Canada: Visiblegovernment.ca Fundraiser

beers for canadaFor the price of a beer (or a pitcher, or a round), you can support VisibleGovernment.ca … the non-profit that promotes online tools for government transparency, openness and accessibility around government and civic data (yay!).

They’ve got a little fundraiser going, in celebration of Canada Day: Beers for Canada

How we’ll spend your money

We work on several aspects of transparency:

  • Creating new tools: We work with developers and designers to build websites that encourage citizens and governments to communicate openly.
  • Encouraging government openness: We show elected officials the benefits of open, two-way discourse, highlighting places where information is lacking and celebrating the efforts of those who want to be more transparent.
  • Public awareness: We emphasize the civic importance of transparency and open government.
  • Working with other organizations: We share and collaborate with organizations like the Sunlight Foundation, MySociety and Changecamp.

We’re also organizing Code For Canada, an application design competition that awards prizes to people who build web, facebook, and iPhone apps that provide visualization, analysis, and access to federal government data sets.

So, go support a worthy cause.

[via Boing Boing]

Command and Control –> Collaboration and Teamwork

John Chambers, CEO of CISCO on what the future holds, from MITWorld. He thinks we are about to see the most fundamental change in businesses and government that we’ve ever seen, moving from command and control to collaboration and teamwork.

Transparency Camp

From Jon Udell:

I spent last weekend in DC at Transparency Camp, which turned out to be one of the best cultural mashups I’ve attended in a long time. If we can get federal policy wonks and Silicon Valley tech geeks working together in the right ways, there’s good reason to hope that our government can become not just more transparent, but also more effective, more collaborative, more democratic. [more...]

Open Access in 2008

The Journal of Electronic Publishing has a comprehensive article by Peter Suber about the status of Open Access in 2008:

A staggering amount of energy was poured into implementing open access (OA) in 2008. This is an attempt to show its depth and breadth, while admitting that the full story can’t be captured in one article. There’s a lot of detail here, but it’s selective and I’ve tried to present just the highlights of 2008 in nine categories, with a 10th section for highlights of the highlights. To keep it within bounds, I’ve omitted some sections I’ve formerly included, such as open education, open access for public-sector information, and the universe of wikis. As always, apologies to the many projects I couldn’t include. [more...]

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