|By fabric | ch
Datadroppers is a public and open data commune, it is a tool dedicated to data collection and sharing that tries to remain as simple, minimal and easy to use as possible. So to say, there are only two main actions on this online service: either you decide to drop off, or you prefer to pick up data! Data can come as feeds or be static, any type of data. That’s all about it.
The origins of the project lie in the research activities of our design-sciences collective: we’ve always been interested in the fruitful encounters of radical architecture, information flows, data processing and distributed environments. We’ve been using third party services that disappeared and live data of different sorts in our own projects at fabric | ch, for years. We’ve then naturally tried to simplify the ways we were doing things in that matter, so to not re-implement the wheel each time we would start a new work.
The tool we have tried to design and implement is therefore simply the one we were in need. We chose to release it as an open platform. This system we first develop for ourselves had to be useful, costless to maintain, connected to other public resources. This is Datadroppers. It is hosted in Switzerland, so as all the public data it holds or will hold. It is now also yours.
This service is free to use and will remain so on this site. We won’t ask for financial support as this is an open tool that will be useful for our own work as well. We won’t provide specific support though, besides the necessary explanations delivered in the downloadable libraries and later on, on the planned Github repository.
The data that are “dropped” through this (datadroppers.org) website becomes public. Anybody can search for, read or “pick” them, including the NSA or any corporate service. Once declared and as long as your feed(s) remains active, your data will be archived for your own needs, but also for anybody else’s requirements to use in its own projects, as long as datadroppers.org will be up and running.
Be aware that there will be no possibilities to erase them. As a future participant in the data commune, you should be careful about this particular point and shouldn’t publish important data if you believe they should not become public and permanent. Consider them as a gift to other participants, so as you’ll benefit from the ones of others. This is how we’ll keep this service open, simple to manage, costless and free.
There is and will be no login, so as there is and will be no logout. No terms of service and no changes in terms of service, no accounts, no profiles, no friends, no likes, no metadata. Only raw data that we don’t really care about. These “absences” should guarantee that we can’t do much on our side about these data. Alone, data are meaningless. It’s what you do, or what your projects/programs do that will matter. If you look more carefully at the command lines though, you’ll probably understand that you can nonetheless make your data private or hidden in some ways if you like to do so, by choosing very personal tags or labels for example.
There are two main actions possible on this site, either your drop off your data (declare your data), or you can also pick up (get) the dropped ones after searching for them. Data can be of any kind, static or dynamic in the form of feeds. You can become an open inputs/outputs data performer by “picking up” dropped material and combining it into new forms, visualizations and projects.
Besides these two main actions, there are several other ones that are shortly presented and documented in the We drop off and we pick up section of this website. There are also libraries (Processing, Javascipt) that can be downloaded.
The purpose of this web service is to share public data. It’s very simple nature is explained in the Open inputs/outputs performers section. You don’t need to create an account to start using the datadroppers.org service.
You can just start by searching for some data (tags, labels, units, types, locations, etc.), get info about them and then possibly pick up the chosen data feed. You can also decide to drop off one of your own.
You can also download documented libraries for you own use.
No login. No password.
This should be the place where you would be login into your personal account, but we’ve removed this functionality so to avoid the possibility of creating profiles. We don’t need your information as this place is considered “public”, horizontal citizenship. We would like to consider this project as an experiment. Almost no rules and a flat structure, only raw “dropped” data.
This “horizontal citizenship” comes with a flag, similar to a micro-nation, unless we are not and we don’t plan to become a nation. We move.
Download (right-click on link to “save as”) Datadroppers flag in svg. You’re free to use it in any ways.
Datadroppers does remind us of the commune indeed… and even so we don’t pretend to be communards, there are some obvious winks to past social experiments on this site. We range ourselves on the side of Utopia. It will be undoubtedly an interesting experiment to conduct in connection with data.
We have no plans to turn this service into a product. We’re designers and coders and we’ll also use it in our work, this way… This is our tool.
Would we change our mind, like many predecessors did or had to do… Then the good point would be that there are no terms of service to change and essentially no profiles to commodify. It would then possibly be a complementary service, on a different site, for persons who desire their data to remain private, or be able to manage them in more specific ways.
But these kind of services already exists…