Gardening the commons 🪴

This page holds information about open data platforms that I participate in. Text that is marked like this will update whenever this site is rebuilt.

I have submitted 3195 edits to MusicBrainz, adding 504 pieces of cover art, 331 releases and 129 artists which now exist in the database. Music is something deeply personal for me and it feels good to know that work I put into furthering information about the music I like is available in the public domain. Oftentimes these submissions are directly related to the artists and songs I listen to, of which I tracked 101445 on ListenBrainz. My listening history goes back to 2007, and I have even created a Markov-Chain based playlist generation tool by exporting it to SQLite. Maybe I'll write about that some time.

OpenStreetMap is one other place I regularly submit data to. I use different apps to navigate using OpenStreetMap data and to find my way around when I'm somewhere I don't know well. I have added 263 changes, many of which were locations of benches or water fountains — things I found useful when being outside. For this I mostly use OsmAnd (55 times). It's an Android application that has very many toggles and switches for a map application. I have also completed 190 quests in StreetComplete, which prompts you with tasks to complete map data around you. It's very fun. Common topics are questions around accessibility, lighting conditions, public transit or more generally outside amenities.

I have in the past also used the tools provided by the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, which use OpenStreetMap data to support local humanitarian aid and disaster relief efforts, but only rarely. It's mind-boggling to think that people got together and started cataloging all of the physical stuff outside your window and it actually works, with all of the idiosyncrasies that the real world readily provides (even more so when you try to fit it into a couple of gigabytes of RAM). The data in OpenStreetMap is incredibly rich, getting as fine grained as "what does the connection on the fire hydrant you find on this street corner look like", and all of it is available for third parties to do useful or silly stuff with.