Last week there was some great news from Flickr:
We are releasing all of the Flickr shapefiles as a single download, available for use under the Creative Commons Zero Waiver. Thatâ€™s fancy-talk for â€œpublic domainâ€.
They gave the following reasons for their decision:
- We want people (developers, researchers and anyone else who wants to play) to find new and interesting ways to use the shapefiles and we recognize that, in many cases, this means having access to the entire dataset.
- We want people to feel both comfortable and confident using this data in their projects and so we opted for a public domain license so no one would have to spend their time wondering about the issue of licensing. We also think the work that the Creative Commons crew is doing is valuable and important and so we chose to release the shapefiles under the CC0 waiver as a show of support.
- We want people to create their own shapefiles and to share them so that other people (including us!) can find interesting ways to use them. Weâ€™re pretty sure thereâ€™s something to this â€œshapefile stuffâ€ even if we canâ€™t always put our finger on it so if publishing the dataset will encourage others to do the same then weâ€™re happy to do so.
We hope this will encourage others to follow suit!
We’ve created a package on CKAN at:
Dr. Jonathan Gray is Lecturer in Critical Infrastructure Studies at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London, where he is currently writing a book on data worlds. He is also Cofounder of the Public Data Lab; and Research Associate at the Digital Methods Initiative (University of Amsterdam) and the médialab (Sciences Po, Paris). More about his work can be found at jonathangray.org and he tweets at @jwyg.