[okfn-coord] people for OKCon 2008

Jonathan Gray jonathan.gray at okfn.org
Mon Nov 19 20:03:57 UTC 2007

>> I am not anti-commercial, but i am anti the exploitation of insider
>> networks to commercial ends in ways that could not be done in the
>> open. I'm following Francis' blog posts about "Google OpenSocial" with
>> interests, aghast at the plausible rumours of their next year's
>> release of a non-open-service OpenStreetmap-killer, etc. Peraps this 
>> is insufficiently pragmatic of me, to not wish to give
>> such things extra promotional momentum, beyond their existing
>> association with the "rhetoric of open".
> Well I entirely agree that if people are trying to kill of truly open 
> stuff with semi-open that's bad. I'm also no Google fan, see my post 
> back in january:
> <http://blog.okfn.org/2007/01/29/an-open-search-service-regulating-search-the-open-way/> 
> However I'm not sure how this relates to AMEE -- ok they've got some 
> google widget thing but they've also got a whole bunch of interesting 
> data which they are openly licensing ...

They've been concerned to make a critical mass of their stuff as open as 
possible - starting two threads on open software/data, and asking for 
our advice on their MOU. For me (at least with my OK hat on), if the 
material is actually open (i.e. in accordance with the OKD) then it 
interests me - regardless of how they deploy it, what they do with it, 
their parapolitical intentions, ulterior motives, political/corporate 
affiliations etc. If they can do a good job at convincing other data 
producers/distributors to make their material open (not just 'open') - 
then godspeed. I think with AMEE, non-open material is largely material 
that has been passed on/provided by third parties that (for whatever 
reason) are not keen on open, and am pretty convinced that the AMEE guys 
will deploy an open license wherever they're able to.

>>> we can put him in the Open Services stream rather than 
>>> transport/environment if this is an issue ;)
>> I also missed the memo in which an "open transport" session became
>> "open transport/environment". I heard so much gushing capitalisation 
>> around
> It was mooted I think on the basis that maybe we'd have difficulties 
> with finding 3/4 speakers purely on 'open transport. If have 
> misunderstod I'm sorry really didn't mean to put your back up and hope 
> I haven't 'got your goat' :)

Also I've been increasingly interested in environmental data (as in the 
big atmospheric, oceanic, etc. datasets made available by many US 
government departments), and posited this as a session. Yet to find an 
appropriate speaker for this (though I recently met Tom Moritz of the 
Getty who is interested in biodiversity data - yet to establish whether 
or not this is open or 'open' - does anyone know anything about him?).

>> environmental "concerns" last year, and pushing action down to an
>> individual/consumer level just seems to be a mistake. What *isn't*
>> "environmental"? And why does a transport debate have to descend to
>> "buy a shiny new hybrid car to save the planet"? 
> I don't think it does and i am 100% in agreement with you that that 
> kind of thing is pretty much a waste of time.

Agreed (with qualifications). I think I think fundamentally it does all 
boil down to 'individual actions/decisions', but higher level 
legislation/policy is far more effective than shifting blame to 
citizens/consumer level. (Though, of course, the two have reciprocal 

>> back from active organising, which i have not been at all useful at
> That would be a great loss Jo. The open transport theme sounded the 
> most intriguing of all and who else is going to organize it?

Absolutely agree with Rufus. Please don't step back from this Jo! If you 
are busy you could outsource basic tasks to me. We couldn't have an open 
transport panel without you!

Perhaps its best if we sever transport from environment, and I'll pester 
my friend at the Grantham for researchers who might be able to discuss 
the virtues of open data in climate research.

Certainly not too late to alter anything at all, at all.



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