5 open source projects that make a difference

Nowadays, digital disruption is the norm in tech-centric era. And within the technology space, open source is now driving many technology innovations.

What is Open Source and Open Data ?

Open Source is a collaborative and transparent business model that facilitates sharing of ideas within the tech community. Big well-known companies like P&G, BMW, Ford, Facebook and Twitter are excellent examples of successful implementation of the open source technology. Fo example, when in software development something is referred to as “open source”, it means that people can modify and share the code because its design is publicly accessible. Anybody can modify the code to suit their own needs. For example, code can be shared among developers so they could learn from each other and advance the sector.

As for the Open data, the idea behind it is that some data should be freely available to everyone, without restrictions from copyright, patents, etc. For example, open knowledge: scientific, historical, geographic content.

Open source projects

There are thousands upon thousands of open source projects that bring about innovation. Some do so on a small scale, while others are thinking massive and global. Of the thousands of of open source projects out there, we have come up with a list of 5 that are working on very interesting useful projects.

1. OpenClinica

OpenClinica is the world’s first open source clinical trial software for electronic data capture (EDC) and clinical data management (CDM). It has been built with open standards to make clinical research possible in more than one hundred countries. A rich community of innovation has arisen around OpenClinica making it both a robust and uniquely flexible platform used across diverse types of clinical research.

2. BlindSquare

Using data from Foursquare and OpenStreetMap, this navigation app provides audio directions for visually impaired residents to move around their cities more easily.

3. City Maps from Tourists Feelings

The aim of this project is to map tourists’ perceptions of different urban areas through data retrieved from vacation rental platform Airbnb. After their stay, Airbnb guests score their feeling about the neighbourhood using a star-based rating system. The aggregated rating of each Airbnb listing is publicly accessible, and given the widespread expansion of this platform, a large amount of data is available for the most visited cities. When overlaid on a map of the city, the data reveals interesting geographic patterns and exposes subjective perceptions on safety, upkeep or convenience.

4. Museum Stat

Museum Stat is the result of a collaboration between the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Drexel University. It is an online platform to support museums, communities, and researchers across the country using open data from the Museum Universe Data File (MUDF). This is a great resource bringing together various sectors to facilitate more outreach, casemaking for grant writers, and a tool to measure the impact of the arts on individual communities as well as the nation as a whole.

5. East Coast Greenway Map

The East Coast Greenway Alliance recently launched this web app that not only facilitates tourism but also promotes environmental conservation across 15 states and more than 450 cities and towns along the United States eastern seaboard. The interactive data visualization allows visitors to map the best hiking trails and bike routes all along the greenway starting at any entry.

I hope you found these open source projects interesting! If you know other ones that deserve to be included in this list, share them in the comments section below.

Thank you!

Guest article written by: Ekaterina Novoseltseva is a CMO at Apiumhub – software development hub, which is specialized software development and software architecture.

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