It’s been exactly ten years since the launch of OpenStreetMap, the largest crowd-sourced mapping project on the Internet. The project was founded by Steve Coast when he was still a student.
It took a few years for the idea of OpenStreetMap to catch on, but today, it’s among the most heavily used sources for mapping data and the project is still going strong, with new and improved data added to it every day by volunteers as well as businesses that see the value in an open project like this.
To celebrate the project’s birthday, I sat down with Coast, who now works at Telenav, to talk about OpenStreetMap’s earliest days and its future. Here is a (lightly edited) transcript of the interview.
Twitter has shifted its way of thinking about how to launch a new service thanks to the Apache Mesos project, an open source technology that brings together multiple servers into a shared pool of resources. It's an operating system for the data center.
"When is the last time you've seen the fail whale on Twitter?" said Chris Aniszczyk, Head of Open Source at Twitter.
In the 2013 edition, he looked forward to 2014 as "a defining year for the technology industry. In Whitehurst's eyes, cloud computing was ripe for production-scale deployment, and Big Data analysis would start to yield real-world results. Web-based businesses took this step a couple of years ago, but this is where more traditional industries join the cloud-based revolution.
Ancient Greece had its Great Explainers, one of whom was Plato. The open source community has its Great Explainers, one of whom is Michael Tiemann.
Several thousand feet in the air, in a conference room on the 10th floor of Red Hat's Raleigh, NC headquarters, Tiemann is prognosticating. The place affords the kind of scope he relishes: broad, sweeping, stretched to a horizon that (this morning, anyway) seems bright. As the company's VP of Open Source Affairs explains what differentiates an open source software company from other firms in a crowded market, he exhibits the idiosyncrasy that has marked his writing for decades: the tendency to pepper his exposition of open source principles with pithy maxims from a diverse range of philosophers, politicians, political economists, and popular writers. It's a habit borne, he says, of the necessity of finding something that resonates with the many skeptics he's confronted over the years—because necessity, he quips (quoting Plato, of course), is the mother of all invention.
In one week the Randa Meetings 2014 will start and this is possible because of you. You supported us (and can still support us and thanks to you we will be able to improve your beloved KDE software even more. So it's time to give you something new. Here is another interview with one of the persons who will be participating in this year's meetings (and participated since the start in 2009). And watch out for some other interviews to come in the next days and weeks.
Brescia said that Bitnami's goal is to make it as easy to deploy an application on a server as it is to install an application on an endpoint computer. Bitnami has more than 90 different open-source applications and development environments in its software library that can be deployed with one-click installer packages on desktop, virtual machine and cloud deployments.
For some time now, there has been much talk about the Raspberry Pi revolutionising the teaching of computing in schools. Linux User & Developer has devoted much space and attention to the growing number of Jamborees and the increasing attention teachers are giving to the small, £25 bare-bones machine. It is, say advocates, the perfect way to introduce children to the world of computing, allowing them to see and actually interact with the innards of the machines they are using. It is, they add, a great platform for programming and for creating all manner of electronic wonders.
But for former journalist Alex Klein, it doesn’t quite go far enough and – simple as many believe it is to use – he believes the Raspberry Pi in its vanilla state is still too confusing for some. He points to the Raspberry Pi For Dummies guide which, at 400 pages, he feels is far too long and impenetrable. This is the reason why he began a Kickstarter project called Kano: in order to produce a user-friendly computer and coding kit, asking for $100,000. By the time the project was successfully funded on December 19, 2013, 13,387 backers had pledged $1,522,160.
The complete and free “out of the box” software solution for schools, Debian Edu / Skolelinux, is used quite a lot in Germany, and one of the people involved is Bernd Zeitzen, who show up on the project mailing lists from time to time with interesting questions and tips on how to adjust the setup. I managed to interview him this summer.