Recently, OTS was asked to write a report about the GeoNode project by one of its primary sponsors, the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) a global partnership that is managed by the World Bank. GeoNode is a facility for sharing and displaying geographical information. It is “web-based, open source software that enables organizations to easily create catalogs of geospatial data, and that allows users to access, share, and visualize that data,” as we put it in our report. Continue reading “Report on GeoNode’s path to open source success”
GitHub hosted the “Wontfix Cabal” last week in San Francisco, and I was lucky enough to attend, thanks to a pointer from a friend. The organizers, led by Jess Frazelle, conceived the gathering as a chance for people maintaining open source projects to discuss their particular difficulties and some strategies for addressing them. About 100 maintainers took them up on it and convened in San Francisco. At the beginning of the day, we compiled dozens of sticky notes worth of problems that come up in our various projects. These ranged from tips for maintainers who had received the classic question “Is this project still maintained?” to “Ethics and Exploitation in Open Source.” In a common unconference pattern, attendees voted on those topics. The most popular topics were chosen to become discussion groups, and we split up for a morning session and an afternoon session. Continue reading “Attending the Wontfix Cabal”
OTS has been lucky enough to work with the Red Cross of Chicago and Northern Illinois (CNI) for the past year and a half, thanks in large part to the civic data community at Chi Hack Night. With Jim McGowan, CNI’s Director of Planning and Situational Awareness, we developed the open source Smoke Alarm Request Portal, where you can request to have a volunteer come install a smoke alarm in your home for free.
Now we’re connecting the Smoke Alarm Request Portal to allReady, an open source platform for volunteer preparedness and coordination (part of the Humanitarian Toolbox suite of disaster preparedness and prevention tools). With help from both open source communities, the two applications will share data to simplify the process of scheduling smoke alarm installations. Continue reading “Sharing data across Red Cross projects: the Smoke Alarm Portal and allReady”
When I tell people that I work at an open source consulting company, I often get puzzled glances (or those agreeable nods that mean “I have no idea what you’re talking about”). What does “open source consulting company” mean? What does OTS do, exactly? Continue reading “What OTS Does.”