About datacommons.coop

(Bhaugen) #1

http://datacommons.coop/ (the membership organization running the following pages)
http://find.coop/ (directory of economic alternatives - no unique map views. Allows for various map views according to its members interests)
http://solidarityeconomy.org/ (a map view of solidarity economy initiatives)

Looks like they are doing much the same thing as TransforMap.

2015 12 04 - 06 | Lille | Federating civic geodata
Susy-Map in action
(Matt Wallis) #2

Very interesting. The video on the home page provides a useful overview.

(Adrien Labaeye) #3

thanks @bhaugen! I had stumbled upon it a long time ago but we didn’t take any contact. Do you have direct contact?
I see on this page that the access to the data commons is not open: http://datacommons.coop/content/member-packet/
That is potentially a strong contrasting point.

(Bhaugen) #4

Hmmm, @alabaeye thanks for noticing and reporting that member policy. I had not seen it.

No, just had somebody reference them somewhere, but don’t remember who or where.

Really! If I read correctly, they have both open and closed datasets. Probably part of a business plan…?

(Adrien Labaeye) #5

I’ve added all the entry to our wiki-mapping of the mappings (data commons cooperative was already there):

Feel free to complete stuff directly in the wiki.

(Noemi Giszpenc) #6

Hello Adrien and all,

I’m Noemi Giszpenc, the person who appears in the video on the Data Commons Co-op website. I’m one of the founders and currently serving on the Board. I think it’d be rash to say we have a “business plan”. We have a strategic vision, and we are structured as a cooperative so as to stay focused on meeting the needs of our members. That said, much of the tools we create will be open-source for anyone to use. The data itself, though, as you correctly perceive, may range in openness from completely public, to available with licensing, to only available to DCC members or at the owners’ discretion. That’s just the nature of data!

I’d be happy to answer questions or set up a call. I’m excited to learn more about your project and how our two initiatives could be mutually beneficial.

All the best,

(Paul Fitzpatrick) #7

Chiming in as well, I’m a dev with the Data Commons, thanks for inviting us over @alabaeye, have heard a lot about transformap!

(Adrien Labaeye) #8

Great that you get into the discussion! Feel free when you have time to copy your entry here and add some details you want to share to the community about you in our Who’s who section.

Very much understand that. Do I understand what you’re doing well if I say that you provide data services (like membership database, maps) to member coops? Allowing them to choose what to publish and how? And publishing aggregated data on collective web apps (maps, directories…).

@Noemi_Giszpenc @paulfitz Could you give us general indication of what data is available under what terms? We also understand that contact data can often not be just left open.
Could be good to schedule a call then at some point!

(Noemi Giszpenc) #9

Yes, you could say we provide data services… we have helped several of our members with the back-end of their database/maps to improve usability and display. Our mission is to “build free and open infrastructure for members to collaboratively gather, share, maintain, display and deploy information about a generative economy”. Right now we are less than fully functional as we are still seeking adequate start-up funding.

The data is still rather scattered with unclear terms. Turns out one of the most difficult hurdles is training people to release their data with some clear licenses as to who can do what with it! That said, some data is shared with only members.

We would welcome a membership application from TransforMap!

(Thomas Kalka) #10

Hm. “transformap” has to establish some governance structure first.

(Thomas Kalka) #11

I have several questions regarding this.

  • Do you provide machine readable listings of mappings, which you helped to exist ?

  • Do you have a vocabulary / taxonomy, to describe your members ?

  • Which software stack / stacks do you use ?
    Please point us to open repositories of your software.

(Paul Fitzpatrick) #12

For software stack: it is a mixed bag. The find.coop site (and its variants e.g. http://solidarityeconomy.us) is a rails app, code at https://github.com/datacommons/stonesoup. We’ve been migrating to having members keep data in a place they are comfortable with, like google sheets, which we then pull from and render however works. http://find.manitoba.coop/ is a google sheet rendered automatically as a stone soup app, http://datacommons.coop/tap/ is a google sheet rendered automatically as a github pages jekyll site (https://github.com/datacommons/tap), http://coopdirectory.org/ is a google sheet rendered automatically as a creaky old hand-written php site (this was a rescue job), http://solidaritynyc.org/ is a csv file rendered semi-automatically as a wordpress site. The automation software uses python celery and is in the middle of a refactor, code is lurking here https://github.com/paulfitz/sheetsite/tree/celery

The code that we hear most positive feedback about is daff, https://github.com/paulfitz/daff - basically a diff+patch for tabular data. The format for diffs that it produces is documented at http://dataprotocols.org/tabular-diff-format/

So much for infrastructure. On taxonomy and licensing, we’ve hit hurdles. Our experience so far is that potential sharers view these as costs: taxonomy means they need to reorganize their stock of data and/or spend time figuring out how it maps to someone else’s stock, and licensing means they need to figure out where their data came from and what they can do with it and what are the risks of opening it. I remember a member who was gung ho for making their data open, said yes to everything, signed off on an ODBL license, then balked at the last minute when they realized that someone else might make a copy of their data that they couldn’t control. Changing the culture is going to take time. We’ve taken an intermediate step, where we help members with infrastructure, and with specific collaborations - e.g. when someone is organizing a conference, and would like the freshest possible list of all worker co-ops, we can make that happen easily (most of our members are very constrained by time and money). For the next step: A key tool we need but don’t have yet is a way to take a database and communicate with everyone in it to bootstrap clear rights to that data and what parts of it people are willing to share. If the DCC were able to handle that process, which would be too costly/complex for our individual members, we could liberate a tonne of data. (I should flag that this is my personal opinion, and not necessarily that of the DCC)

(Adrien Labaeye) #13

very enlightening insider’s story, confirming the stories we’ve collected so far about the issue around licensing:

As TransforMap isn’t even an organization at the moment it seems difficult. As for the relevance, I’m not sure. My understanding is that DCC and TransforMap act pretty much at the same level. But we should definitely see how we can connect the data we are dealin with.