LOSH announcement

LOSH beta launch: Take a sneak peak of what aims to become the largest collection of Open Source Hardware Designs online

After two years of groundwork, the OPEN!NEXT consortium is finally able to share a beta version of the Library of Open Source Hardware (LOSH). Come visit us and search for open source designs here. It is essentially a distributed knowledge base that gets its data from several open source hardware online platforms using a crawler. 

The main developing parties have been Fraunhofer IPKWikimedia Deutschland e.V.Konek and Open Source Ecology Germany e.V. (non-profit). The underlying metadata specification for open source hardware is based on the approach of the Open KnowHow initiative (OKH) which is also part of the project community.

To date LOSH includes data from GitHubWikifactoryAppropedia, a set of manually curated metdata for selected open source hardware projects and all projects that are using the OKHv1 specification. Further data fetchers for the OSHWA certification list and Thingiverse are currently in deployment. At this point, the resulting knowledge base serves as the largest collection of open source hardware – and is entirely free/open source. All software modules (without exception), specifications, ontologies, collected data and the knowledge base itself are available under free/open licences here.

This also applies for everything that can be found on LOSH: All open source hardware designs there are free/open source; this of course includes their commercial use. During the data extraction, all projects with non-free/open licences or mostly empty repositories were filtered out. Data is available through three distinct channels:

1. The frontend

2. The backend using SPARQL queries

3. As raw RDF which basically allows to fork the whole knowledge base

If you encounter any issues using this free service offer or have ideas for helpful features you would like to see on that platform, just hit the “Submit an issue button” on the website. Feedback is highly appreciated and please be ensured that nothing will be lost. The same applies for the underlying metadata specification and ontology, which is developed here.

The consortium is currently working on a tool to create automated statistical reports about data on LOSH. Since this will include OSHWA’s certification list, the LOSH reports will help with reviving OSHdata’s annual State of Open Hardware report ✨ But more of that soon. Stay tuned!

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