O'Reilly Where 2.0 Conference - June 29-30, 2005 - San Francisco, CA
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InfoCommons: An Open Platform for Public Data
Josh Knauer

Date: Thursday, June 30
Time: 9:00am - 9:15am
Location: Grand Ballroom


Location-based technologies are evolving at a rapid pace, and are on the verge of opening up an exciting array of new application possibilities. But right now grass-roots innovation is being stifled. Why? Because high quality information is hard or impossible to get. Sometimes it is bound by restrictive copyrights. Sometimes it is in difficult-to-use formats. Sometimes it simply doesn't exist, because it's too expensive to create.

MAYA Design has created the Information Commons to eliminate these problems. Part of our solution is technical: providing the means to incrementally blend many different kinds of information from different sources, and to have many authors contribute and enrich the information through an open architecture. Part of the solution is social: providing a means for information that ought to be public to in fact be accessible and easy to get to.

We believe that combining the explosion of location-based technologies with the growth of a community committed to easily accessible public information is necessary to bring about a truly innovative future. Josh Knauer will present several active Information Commons projects underway at the Brookings Institution, the Heinz Endowments and other non-profit and government agencies that are taking advantage of the open, distributed architecture. These projects span many diverse fields, including neighborhood information systems, environmental health tracking, human services referral systems and outdoor recreation.

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