[FoRK] freetable.org: Expressions of interest sought

Sean Conner sean at conman.org
Wed Dec 23 00:29:50 PST 2009

It was thus said that the Great Gordon Irlam once stated:
> Hi,

  Why, hello.  I'll bite.

> Developing a website?

  Not at the moment, but I've done a few in my time, and I have a few ideas.

> Don't know how to map zip codes to city names?

  No, but less than a minute at Google [1] brought me to

which has zipcodes for each state, along with the lattitude/longitune of the
center of each zone.  

> Unsure why IP address to geographic location data is so expensive when
> ICANN/IANA should require it and make it available for free. 

  I know why it's so expensive---because it's difficult to keep it
up-to-date for any meaningful result.  For instance, our company is based in
Boca Raton, FL [2], and for one of our /20s [3], the majority of the
addresses do indeed, map to our datacenter in Boca Raton, but we have two
/24s [4] going to Charlotte, North Carolina [5].  I'm sorry, but we're [6]
busy enough with keeping email going [7]; who's going to pay us to update
ICANN/IANA with our routing choices?

  Oh, that's right---parts of that same /20 is *also* going down to Miami,
Florida [8].

  I did, however, find free databases that map IPs to countries, so that's a

> Annoyed by the developer unfriendly nature of the list of country names
> and country codes you have just found?

  No.  There's a nice table at the Wikipedia [9].
> Some friends and I are embarking on a project called freetable.org.

  Ah, much like:


  Even more amazing, I recently learned that Google Maps lists real estate
sales, and there's even a Google Maps-mashup that allows you track
ocean-going ships:


Pretty cool stuff already.  I wish you luck.

> We aim to create a public commons for shared data in much the same way
> Wikipedia created a public commons for textual data.  That is, we seek
> to be a centralized real time repository for shared data.  Some
> examples of the broad range of data we are considering:
>    - classified, realty, job, and personal ads

  How does this differ from Craigslist?

>    - customer reviews of products and businesses

  Amazon does this for every product they sell.  And a Google search of
"product review sites" reveals a ton of ... product review sites.

>    - app data for open source applications

  Such as?  That's a prett open-ended description there.

>    - geographic, scientific, and economic data

  A lot of this already exists on the web, just a few searches away.

> So if you would use freetable, or if you have or know of an open
> dataset that you would like to make use of via freetable, could you
> please reply letting me know what that dataset is.

  Sorry for sounding rude, but if there's an open dataset, why would I get
it from freetable instead of the original site?

  -spc (Heck, the amount of information I can get from my county appraiser
	office [10] is incredible, and scary ... )

[1]	Literally "zip code database"

[2]	Located at 26°22′21″N, 80°6′23″W---according to another database
	mapping US cities to lat/long and was able to download and use for a
	proof-of-concept website I built a few years ago.

[3]	4,096 consecutive IP addresses.  I could go into technical detail
	about how this is determined, but I'll leave that as an exercise for
	the reader.

[4]	256 consecutive IP addresses, and usually the smallest unit that can
	be routed via Internet carriers.

[5]	35°11′51″N, 80°50′4″W---same website as [2]

[6]	A three-man shop

[7]	A small webhosting company

[8]	25°46′32″N, 80°12′39″W

[9]	http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_3166-1

[10]	http://www.co.palm-beach.fl.us/papa/index.htm

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