Access to the time / historical data

Hello, I was looking for the number of FabLabs per year in the world and per country since, let’s say 2000 :wink: , and I couldn’t find any reliable data… For one thing, exists since 2014 if I’m correct, but it gives us the data in real time. I tried to use but then again, you can only find the data for the month of june 2016 or september 2015. It is not precise enough.
I’m quite astonished that we cannot find this piece of information available anywhere on the any of the official FabLabs websites. I searched the Fab Foundation network and couldn’t find anything… As a journalist, I had some figures in my notebooks and then in other reports I found others but still, it is not precise enough.

Does anyone has the data ? Fab Foundation ? And is it possible for starters to have access to the past data from ? hat would be a good start to have the JSON files for each December 31st i.e since 2014 ?
That would actually be awesome.


Hi @Ophelia, this is an important issue that wasn’t considered at the beginning of but that we’ve been trying to address in several ways:

  • there wasn’t a field in the Lab forms for specifying the inauguration of a Lab, we added this (and more!) and when we’ll do soon a global review we will ask all the labs to fill this
  • there is a column in the database that stores when the page was created (not necessarily when the Labs was opened!) but 1) this won’t cover everything before 2014 and 2) we need to improve the APIs, but before that we need to improve the technical infrastructure, we are working on it but it will take a bit of time since it is a delicate work
  • I’d need to check the database more in depth in order to see if we have more relevant data, this is part of the several efforts I’m doing on improving the data of and analyzing and visualizing it
  • on a research level, I’ve been working on this for a while also with data from other platforms, I’ll keep you updated when I’ll have good data

Meanwhile, you can cite Neil’s latest book that shows something about this topic:

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Hello Massimo, thanks for your reply ! I checked the JSON file in RStudio and couldn’t find the “Page Created Date” column. It would have been perfect. Even if it is only the “page created date” and not the lab’s inauguration date, it gives us an idea. I saw Neil’s graphs, does he have the numbers ?
Thanks for your work Massimo.
Keep us posted,

(Omg, about the book, are they brothers/cousins ?)

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Nope, we need to improve the infrastructure and the whole APIs first…

I guess this is based on Neil’s own notes, we are improving the forms and data here because he’s also interested in this kind of data!

They are brothers :slight_smile:

I’m reopenning this thread as per a discussion on Telegram.

Post of the Telegram thread:
Looking for a Per year geographical evolution of the network. Anyone has data?
Even if it is old screenshots of the map with a timestamp

Cindy Kohtala
Looking for a Per year geographical evolution of the network. Anyone has data?
I’ve been collecting numbers (total number of labs) since about 2011 but not the geographical range, would also like to follow it. there are some snapshots from previous years on internet archive and the whole list is now available as a json file (although I’d love to have the original spreadsheet). we could move this discussion to the Discuss forum…

Ok lets do this. there is an old thread about that topic

Fran Sanchez
The Gershenfeld bros collected that data

So the question is… where is the data??

thanks, Marc Olivier - watching this topic

@Ophelia before everything migrated to the list of labs was on the wiki maintained by Iceland.
I was randomly marking down the total number of labs but no further details. would be super to have the changes geographically over time. also when labs are born and die - but I know that’s a lot more difficult.
my basic list is like this:

150 in November 2012 (Maldini, 2013)
208 on 12 March 2013 (file in EagleFiler)
300 on 25 June 2014 (my own count on FABWiki)
450 in Dec 2014 (as listed on
484 on 25 March 2015 (
556 on 17 August 2015 (
602 on 21 Jan 2016 (
638 on 28 Apr 2016 (
988 on 3 Nov 2016 (
1076 on 18 Jan 2017 (
1152 on 19 June 2017 (
1183 on 3 Oct 2017 (from web archive
1266 on 1 May 2018 (from web archive
1284 on 13 June 2018 (from web archive
1302 on 30 Aug 2018 (from web archive
1543 on 16 Oct 2018 (from web archive


@Dalia this is the discussion thread I mentioned

What I found is:

  • FAB6 2010 Amsterdam conference participants list (188) names, emails and affiliations;
  • in my archive of 2012 I found a mindmap I made based on data of the fab lab global network composed by Ton Zijlstra (NL), I guess the data is from 2010 as Peru (2011) has not been included yet
  • from 2010 - 2014 there were at least three mechanisms for registration, 1) Neil’s personal notebook, 2) Sherry’s annual list used for inviting for conferences, and 3) the Iceland Wiki (still online) for self registration and self assessment; if I remember correctly, the Iceland Wiki was an initiative of Frosti Gislaison, the list by Amy Sun and especially the self-assessment by Peter troxler;
  • at one moment i had a copy of the three lists and analysed them for differences and to think about merging them; there were major differences; the iceland wiki was most complete and accurate; as it still is online, you can reversed engineer it; i do not know whether i can find these three copies and my analysis
  • 18-8-2011 I made a print of the Iceland wiki list of that day.
  • from FAB7 2011 Peru until FAB8 2012 Wellington the International Fab Lab Association was active; we published a newsletter every month with some statistics from the iceland wiki list; i have an overview from month to month (during only one year) as a graph
  • FAB10 1014 Barcelona was the launch of the list

Some of this information I published today in Telegram HTPAA group.

If you are interested in some sources, please let me know.

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