Boris Mann’s Personal Blog

Jan 2021

The new Gowalla, and open data around places

I saw that Richard Eriksson shared news about the “new Gowalla”.

I replied to Richard’s tweet:

I haven’t delved into it, have you see anything about data licensing?

I’ll just come right out and say that I’d love for the basics of location data to be openly licensed, maybe synced or improved with OpenStreetMap over time. <…>

I then headed over to LinkedIn and posted there to see if I could get some mapping friends to weigh in, tagging Will Cadell of Sparkgeo of and Eric Gunderson of Mapbox:

I am completely uninterested in spending a bunch of time on a platform which doesn’t have AT LEAST non-commercial re-use of data around locations.

Do you all know anything about state of the art location (business, place, etc) licensing?

Are people syncing back to Open Street Map as a shared layer?

Can we include IndieWeb protocols like Micropub “check ins” so we can extend beyond a silo from day one?

Any info, speculation, or hard earned learnings welcome ;)

I’d be happy to participate in Gowalla-like activities – but I don’t want to do it if the links, identifiers, and data are all owned by another locked down platform.

The location of a store, what type of store it is, and user “enrichment” like photos, reviews, etc. shouldn’t be locked in one data silo.

There is more awareness around these issues, so maybe we can raise them early, and get these platforms to address this up front.