Posts Tagged ‘archive’

GeoPlanet Data Resurfaces For Download; On The Internet Archive

Although I can’t find the originator of the saying that there’s no delete button for the internet, it’s a saying that’s very true. If you put something up on a web site, be it a photo, some text or perhaps a file of geographic data there’s a very good chance that someone else has a copy, even if you subsequently take the original down. It’s a sort of digital whack-a-mole.

This is all too apparent in the story of Yahoo’s GeoPlanet Data download. When I was part of the Yahoo! Geo Technologies team, we released a public download of the Yahoo! WOEID data set, under the CC BY 3.0 license, in 2009 at Where 2.0. More about that license in a moment.

As Yahoo! continues to undergo change under the leadership of Marissa Meyer, the current data file and all earlier versions were taken offline. Visit the GeoPlanet Data page on Yahoo’s Developer Network site and instead of a set of download links, you see “We are currently making the data non-downloadable while we determine a better way to surface the data as a part of the service.“.


But the digital mole that is the WOEID data has resurfaced, and versions 7.4 through 7.10 of GeoPlanet Data can now be found on the Internet Archive.

But Yahoo! has taken down the downloads, so how can this happen? That’s where the CC BY 3.0 license comes into play. The Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license, to give CC BY 3.0 its full name, gives anyone the right to share the data, in other words to copy, to distribute or to transmit the data, providing users of the data attribute it back to Yahoo! Once issued under such a license, it can’t be revoked; you may choose to issue a new version under a different license scheme or stop issuing new versions entirely, but the earlier versions remain under the original license.

Internet Archive

I’ve always had a soft spot for the WOEID and for the GeoPlanet API and data download. Maybe this new availability of the data set will stimulate new usage of WOEIDs. Who knows, the data may even be forked and added to?

Written and posted from home (51.427051, -0.333344)

Of Digital “Stuff” And Making Your Personal Interweb History

Back in July, I wrote about Big (Location) Data vs. My (Location) Data, which was the theme for a talk I gave at the AGI Northern Conference. The TL;DR premise behind the talk was that the location trail we generate on today’s interweb is part of our own digital history and that there’s a very one sided relationship between the people who generate this digital stuff and the organisations that aim to make money out of our digital stuff.

Once I’d given that talk, done the usual blog write up and posted it, I considered the topic done and dusted and I moved onto the next theme. But as it turns out, the topic was neither done, nor dusted.

Firstly Eric van Rees from Geoinformatics magazine mailed me to say he’d liked the write up and would I consider crunching down 60 odd slides and 3000 odd words into a 750 word maximum column for the next issue of the magazine.

And then a conversation on Twitter ensued where some people immediately saw the inherent value in their personal location history whilst some people … didn’t.

That conversation was enough to make me go back and revisit the theme and the talk morphed and expanded considerably. Fast forward to this week and I’ve given the talk in its’ new form twice, once at Nottingham University’s GeoSpatial faculty and once at the Edinburgh Earth Observatory EOO-AGI(S) seminar series at Edinburgh University.

Maybe now this topic and this talk is finished and it’s time to move on. But somehow, I think this will be a recurring theme in talks to come over the next few years.

The slides from the talk are below and the notes accompanying those slides are after the break.

Read On…