What is Open Source?

From the Open Data Handbook we get the following definition…

Software for which the source code is available under an open license. Not only can the software be used for free, but users with the necessary technical skills can inspect the source code, modify it and run their own versions of the code, helping to fix bugs, develop new features, etc. Some large open source software projects have thousands of volunteer contributors.

What it means in the real world.

When we develop and deploy a project that makes a positive difference in the Grand Rapids, we share the source code for the project. Think of the source code like a recipe. If another city has the same issue and likes our solution, they copy our source code and build the same solution for their city. Many times as a new city deploys the shared code they will make an improvement. These improvements can be shared with everyone that has the same recipe, or all the cities that have deployed the project.

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