Currently we are working on a brochure for our Public Money? Public Code! campaign, that we like to use as a help for politicians and decision-takers. The brochure shall help to clarify common misunderstandings about Free Software, show positive use-cases and of course the multiple benefits of using Free Software. One of these pages shall counter the claim that private actors cannot compete against Free Software published by the state, financed with public money. Find more information below or directly join the discussion in English or German on the FSFE Mailinglists.
One of the pages in our brochure about Public Money? Public Code! shall be dedicated to the topic “market distortion / anticompetition”. The point is that a main argument against publishing publicly financed software developments under a free licence is said to be “market distortion”. The argument says that private actors cannot compete against “software offered by the state free of charge” and therewith these publications are to be seen anticompetitive. On the other hand we use to argue that in fact Free Software fosters competition because there are a way less dependencies in the Free Software and Open Standards world.
If you like shooting and collecting pictures, you might be interested in geotagging your pictures. More and more software can use such geospatial metadata information for categorizing and visualizing these pictures, for example in an interactive map. Today, on I love Free Software day, I show you a way how to batch geotag your pictures with OpenStreetMap and Free Software only.
Geospatial metadata, together with time-stamps, seem to me to be the most important meta-information a picture can have. It is extremely helpful in organizing pictures, for example to cluster pictures that have been taken at the same location but at different times. Personally, I always need this data whenever I upload my pictures to Wikimedia Commons, as it asks me during the process about the geolocation of these pictures. Before, each time I had to look up the data individually on OpenStreetMap and fill in the information manually. Pretty fast, I got bored of this and I was looking for a way to write this information automatically into my pictures even before uploading.
One solution to this is a GPS-recorder built-in or attached to the camera. Unfortunately, very few cameras come with a GPS-recorder built-in and additional GPS-modules are a way too expensive for most hobby enthusiasts. Fortunately, there are software-solutions, that enable you to use just any other device which is able to capture GPS-tracks and then later merge this recorded geo-information with your pictures taken.
For sure, there are multiple ways to do this. In this blogpost, I will show you how you can do this with a smarthphone, OpenStreetMap and Free Software. All you need is:
explore and prototype new use cases in the world of connected devices as an open source project with a clear focus on the user benefit and experience.
I like to argue, that a clear benefit to the user experience would be to easily find and use Free Software inside Firefox OS and therewith support Mozilla’s idea of “Open Web”. With the upcoming “internet of things”, it will be crucial that the people are in control of the technology and the devices that surrounds them. And as one simple but effective step towards that vision, I propose that Mozilla has a clearer information policy inside the Firefox OS market place. Please, add some information or label to make finding Free Software an easy thing. Make the use and the promotion of Free Software a concept inside Firefox OS, it’s market and add-ons. This would be a true benefit for the user.
Update: After feedback from the community I updated some information using quotes.
Thanks to @ensowhat, I am now taking part in Mozillas Foxfooding program with a Sony Xperia Z3 and Firefox OS 2.6 by Mozilla. While I am testing Firefox OS, I will share my experiences in dedicated blog posts.
Here is some general feedback after my first hours:
Today, like every year on Valentine’s Day, the FSFE is running its “I love Free Software” campaign: a day to show and celebrate your love for Free Software. That is why I take my chance today to thank the developers of OsmAnd for all the work they are doing!
Last year in summer, I was doing a bicycle trip for some days through the northern part of Germany, especially through the Mecklenburgische Seenplatte and along the Baltic Sea. Generally, when I am on bicycle trips, I prefer to cycle aside from roads and motorways but along the paths, the hiking trails or even dirt tracks. That was exactly the time, when I fell in love with OsmAnd, a maps & navigation application for Android systems.
This is not just because it gives me the ability to use Free Software with really good maps for navigation. This is especially because you can download any maps of the world (as long as you have enough space to save them) whenever you like (While you are on Wifi, e.g.) and use it afterwards completely offline. For example, when you go to some foreign country, you can download the entire map of this country before and then enjoy a complete maps&navigation system without the need of having internet access or having to pay any roaming charges for internet access. Or, like in my case, when you cycle long distances through landscape (where you miss power plugs as well as network connectivity most of the time) you can stay in flight-mode all the time and keep on cycling with navigation for days. In addition, the maps are really good and detailed and you can see even tiny hiking trails to follow. You can also set your own favorite points on the map, without having to fear that these favorite points will be send to or tracked by any server – as you are using it offline.
Last, but not least, you can download OsmAnd from F-droid, the Free Software App Repository, so you can use all OsmAnd features on an Android based operating system without the need of any Google account.
In short: Dear OsmAnd developers, thank you very much for this useful app. Keep the good work going, I love you guys!
I love Free Software because it is in the very heart of a 21st century society that respects the rules of privacy, autonomy, democracy, participation and the freedom of speech.
(Just to list a few of its countless good characteristics)
I would love to see this message going out to the people that decide on our daily lives, our legal and educational framework. By promoting and using Free Software, they have the chance to set up the roots for a truly interconnected and transnational society. Hence, my message today is addressed to all of you in the European Parliament:
Description: The European Parliament celebrating and promoting Free Software – for a Free Society. Licensed under CC 3.0 BY-SA