Submissions/How Wikimedia and OpenStreetMap can help us build an alternative to commercial Web 2.0 services

From Wikimania 2013 • Hong Kong
See also: Submissions/Using Social Media to Increase Engagement in Your Wikimedia Project

This is a withdrawn submission for Wikimania 2013.

Submission no.
Subject no.
Title of the submission
How Wikimedia and OpenStreetMap can help us build an alternative to commercial Web 2.0 services
Type of submission
Author of the submission
Tom Morris
Country of origin
United Kingdom
E-mail address

User:Tom Morris
Personal homepage or blog

Open culture projects like Wikipedia, OpenStreetMap, Wikivoyage and Wikimedia Commons can form the basis for a community-managed, democratic alternative to commercially owned and managed Web 2.0 services like Foursquare, Flickr, Facebook and GetGlue. With a little work from both sides, we can build software that makes it easier for individuals to free themselves from corporate-owned silos and build a more vibrant and less centralised World Wide Web.

Detailed proposal

Attempts to build open source alternatives to corporate-owned social networks have mostly failed. Services like Diaspora have replicated existing social network functionality in a "distributed" fashion. But a lot of social networks have flourished because of the combination of both the presence of users and the presence of socially-shareable content objects which users can "like", "check in" to and "share".

Open culture projects have a variety of these kinds of objects. Wikipedia has articles representing millions of topics of cultural interest: paintings, video games, musicians, films, TV shows, famous people, books and so on. OpenLibrary holds bibliographic details of millions of printed books. OpenStreetMap holds the data necessary not just to draw maps but to give us details of thousands and thousands of places. Wikivoyage is contributing to this, albeit from the wiki side rather than the map side.

As an alternative to ideas like Diaspora, a small group of developers have been trying to reclaim their identity and content from commercial Web 2.0 "silos" by going down an "indie web" path: publishing on their own site first, then syndicating out to existing services. Working together as a community, they are slowly building up a new approach to web publishing built around individuals, hacking together standards as and when needed to talk to one another.

To replicate the functionality provided by commercial social networks, we're reusing data and APIs from services like OpenStreetMap, DBpedia and Wikimedia Commons. By building the option to use these kinds of services in with this "indie web" approach, we test the data provided (many eyes make all map errors or Wikipedia errors shallow, one hopes), help improve the open culture projects and weaken the grip of commercial services that sell our privacy and sometimes even our content to third parties.

In my presentation, I'll show how we are using these services and how we can work together to overcome the technical and community barriers imposed on this kind of data reuse.

Technology and Infrastructure
Length of presentation/talk
25 Minutes
Language of presentation/talk
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  1. WereSpielChequers (talk) 05:47, 23 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Varnent (talk)(COI) 22:00, 23 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Jeromy-Yu Chan, COIC (talk) 14:16, 30 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Dimi z (talk) 16:05, 30 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Asaifm (talk) 07:11, 1 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Peter Talk 19:45, 11 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  7. (Web 2.0 is a bit worn term) --Nikerabbit (talk) 10:20, 18 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  8. Danny B.
  9. OpenStreetMap is a big deal. Blue Rasberry (talk) 08:40, 19 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  10. MB-one (talk) 22:38, 21 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  11. അമിർ എ. അഹരൊനി (talk) 20:30, 5 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  12. Slashme (talk) 17:32, 7 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  13. Yarl 10:18, 9 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  14. Waldir (talk) 21:22, 11 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  15. Chuq (talk) 23:30, 11 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  16. Daniel Mietchen (talk) 21:46, 22 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  17. CT Cooper · talk 23:43, 28 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  18. Iopensa (talk) 15:34, 1 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  19. SarahStierch (talk) 04:00, 2 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  20. MarkTraceur (talk) 19:00, 2 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I have withdrawn this submission as I did not get funding from the WMF or my chapter to attend Wikimania. Tom Morris (talk) 07:26, 4 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]