One of the highpoints of XTech last week was the presentation of Gavin Starks about AMEE (Avoiding Mass Extinction Engine). AMEE is a “a platform for collaboration on Climate Change and Energy Efficiency”. It combines together a whole bunch of CO2 emissions data (including data from the UK government) with modelling code and assumptions to provide a generic CO2 footprint calculator.
What is particularly exciting about it however, particularly from an open knowledge/data point of view, is that:
- All the code is open (GPL)
- All the data (
apparently ~70TB of it) is open (CC by-sa)
- They’ve provided a nice ‘Knowledge’ API in the form of a RESTful data service
Talking with Gavin at XTech showed just how well he understands the benefit of the open approach, particularly the many-minds principle (‘the coolest thing to do with your data will be thought of by someone else’). As he pointed out, a big reason difference between this and other similar (proprietary) projects is that all the data and calculations are there for others to check over and validate.
AMEE is an as close-to-perfect open knowledge exemplar as we are ever likely to get, on one of the most important and compelling topics in the world today. So here’s to Gavin and the rest of the AMEE team for all their work so far.