Happy Birthday, Open Know-Where!

Don’t you LOVE when people use tech to solve REAL problems?

Happy Birthday, Open Know-Where! /img/open-know-where.jpg

Today is the first anniversary of the launch of a great project, “Open Know-Where” that deserves way more exposure than it got so far. So, I celebrate its birthday by summarizing why everybody should know more about it.

The purpose of Open Know-Where is to help people find what they need where they’re looking for it. And no, we’re not talking “mere” information here. We’re talking manufacturing:

“Just as digital maps show us what’s near our specific locations, Open Know-Where will allow users to map manufacturing capabilities so they “know where” something can be made."

Technically speaking, the real potential of Open Know-Where is to define a standard, semi-automatic way to enable consistent documentation and information sharing about who can make what, and where, among those who use it.

Beyond DIY, Do It FOR Others

Possible uses of Open Know-Where include searching for nearby 3D printers, finding specifications of area plastics factories or checking availability of a local makerspace.

LIFESAVING uses include sharing information about, and location of, manufacturers who can produce items used in humanitarian aid and development situations.

As a concrete example, organizations like Field Ready aim to use Open Know-Where to solve problems like:

  • share data on 3D Printers in Iraq so that the makers and small companies there can find orders from nearby hospitals
  • find sewing machines in refugee settlements in northern Uganda so refugees can make face masks
  • find injection-molding factories in Bangladesh to make face shields
Happy Birthday, Open Know-Where! /img/open-know-where-2.jpg

What’s not to like here? I really wish the best to Open Know-Where, and to all its users.