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Kann Freie Software auch Umweltschutz?

Zum heutigen I love Free Software Day möchte ich quasi einmal “über den Tellerrand hinausschauen” und dabei die Bedeutung Freier Software für die Reparierbarkeit sowie die Wieder- und Weiterverwendung (die “Nachhaltigkeit”) von Hardware beleuchten. Da Software kritisch ist für einen erfolgreichen Betrieb und der Weiternutzung von Hardware, kann Freie Software einen entscheidenden Beitrag zu Umwelt- und Verbraucherschutz leisten.

Immer deutlicher tritt in Erscheinung, dass proprietäre Software, dahinter stehende Geschäftsmodelle und geplante Obsoleszenzen von Software sich negativ auf die Reparierbarkeit, Wiederverwertbarkeit und die allgemeine Produktlebensdauer von Hardware auswirken. Nachdem bereits das Umweltbundesamt und das Europäische Parlament diese Gefahren erkannt haben, hat im Januar auch der Runde Tisch Reparatur (RTR) ein dazu passendes Diskussionspapier “Softwareobsoleszenz als Herausforderung für die Reparatur” veröffentlicht.

Der RTR ist ein Zusammenschluss verschiedener Zivilvertreter und -verbände und die Veröffentlichung greift direkt und indirekt die Bedeutung Freier Software zur Vermeidung von Produktobsoleszenz durch Software auf. Die dazu konsequent ausgeführten Argumente möchte ich in diesem Blogpost ausbreiten.

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How to batch geotag your photos using Free Software and OpenStreetMap

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:

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Free Software Ergo Sum

Today is “I love Free Software”-day and I made some graphics to say thank you to everyone in and around Free Software. All pictures CC0.

If Rene Descartes would think about the secure foundation of knowledge in the digital communication, then this must be in Free Software. “Free Software Ergo Sum”.

Oil on Canvas:

René Descartes (1596 – 1650)


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How to edit OpenStreetMap “to go” in Osmand

ilovefs-osmandI am a traveller, a person who spents his money and spare time to leave home and see the world. That is why I am in need of a good Free Software navigation system. For IloveFS Day 2016 I like to thank all Free Software contributors and highlight my personal favorite OpenStreetMap-based navigation app: Osmand

For me, Osmand is the perfect match between simplicity and complexity. You can choose to use it for a simple map illustrator or as an offline navigation system including voice directions. Also, you can choose to see a simple map or show multiple layers to also see transportation systems, points of interests, hillshades, wikipedia entries and much more. Or you can enable a variety of plugins to customize your application or to enable advanced features. One of them is to edit and contribute to the source of OpenStreetMap.

Since this makes contributes anytime spontaneously to OpenStreetMap very easy, on #IloveFS, I like to thank the people behind Osmand by sharing a how-to add locations to OpenStreetMap with Android (or an Android custom-ROM). It is fun, easy and free.
This way I also hope to inspire other people to take their mobile once in a while and to map the world together.

Please note: this is an updated How to for Osmand version 2.2+. Please read my former Howto, if you run Osmand 2.0 or 2.1.

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I love Free Software: OsmAnd

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!

FSFE First European Coordinators Meeting

Ten days ago, on September 27 to 29, FSFE held its first European Coordinators Meeting (#ECM) in Berlin. Therefore, the FSFE invited Fellowship Coordinators from all over Europe to come for a weekend to exchange knowledge and visions between FSFE staff and the Fellowship. In total, we have been 22 people from 10 different countries which served as a good base for a lot of input. As the main organiser of the weekend, I would like to give you a report and feedback of the weekend.

Group Picture of FSFE's first European Coordinators Meeting

On Friday evening, all attendees were gathering inside FSFE’s new office in Berlin for a warm-up meeting. As the office is pretty small, shortly the room became very crowded with so many people. On the other hand, this was a good way to directly get in first contact with most people, as everybody was just standing next to each other. And, standing in the office, was also a good chance for everyone to directly grab FSFE’s promotion material.

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#ilovefs everywhere

Today is the day to show your love for Free Software. Here is my message:

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:

European Parliament celebrating #IloveFS

Description: The European Parliament celebrating and promoting Free Software – for a Free Society. Licensed under CC 3.0 BY-SA