Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) gives users freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change, improve and re-distribute the software that drives our computers. However, just like in other fields of science, technology and engineering, very few women (compared with the number of the opposite sex) have been involved in the development and the free software movement / campaign.
In order to raise the awareness of free software and, in particular, encourage women’s participation in free software development and movement, Sam Tuke (UK Coordinator of the Free Software Foundation Europe), and Anna Morris (Okay Computer), and I ran a workshop on Free Software and Women on Sunday 4 Sep at DIY Feminist Festival at Manchester. The three talks we gave, respectively, introduced the free software philosophy, explored why this is so relevant to women and how women can be part of this, and demonstrated a project OpenStreetMap that people could easily get involved in. After my talk on OpenStreetMap, I led a small group of participants going around and mapping the local area.
Participating in Morag Rose‘s Manchester Heroines Tour the day before gave me a good opportunity to see the local area and identified what geo info was missing on the current version of OpenStreetMap (to get an idea how we could improve the Map).
Here are some photos taken on Morag’s tour.
This is Morag Rose (below).
Here are some photos taken at the Free Software and Women workshop, in the atmospheric Platt Chapel (although it was very difficult to demonstrate this with my Panasonic LUMIX camera in a rather dark room – well, mind you the building was a chapel).
Before the mapping party, the Platt Chapel was not on the Map.
After the mapping party, the Platt Chapel has been added onto the Map, so is other geo-information (e.g., gates, toilet building and recycling place).
This mini mapping party was just a tiny step towards a better Manchester OpenStreetMap. I’m organising another mapping weekend at Manchester in conjunction with the Software Freedom Day and Hackademia week. Come to MadLab to map Manchester with us this weekend.