Interesting article by Eric Rodenbeck, the founder and creative director of Stamen, on the plans for soon to be released open source Citytracking.
Citytracking, one of this year’s Knight News Challenge winners, will present digital data about cities that journalists and the public can easily grasp and use, and provide tools to let them distribute their own conclusions. We will build a series of tools to map and visualize data that is truly Internet-native and useful. The project will be:
- Simple enough that a fairly technical reporter who understands Google Maps and basic HTML can embed something good in their article/report/blog posts.
- Beautiful enough that an interested amateur citizen will find it useful and interesting.
- Complex enough to catch the attention of developers nationwide, who we hope will contribute to the project on an ongoing basis.
This caught my eye:
There have been several attempts to turn a thriving open source ecosystem into a money-making operation (Cloudmade off the back of OpenStreetMap, EveryBlock’s acquisition by MSNBC). Generally these tend to be unsuccessful or boring. The model that Drupal uses, where an open source platform is supported by both an open source community and a thriving commercial practice around supporting it, seems like a model worth thinking about.