Inactive / closed Fablabs remove from list/site?

I have created a site where all hackerspace/fablabs can be found.

https://mapall.space/

I get the (wrongly?) impression that if fablab is no longer active, it will remain on the list. My question is actually, is this actively monitored?

In my experience with hackerspaces, it appears that there are many that no longer exist after a number of years and remain on the list. This can result someone thinking that a space is still active and wanting to go there, only to find themselves in front of a closed door of a non-existent space/fab lab/etc.

I have created a script for hackerspaces that checks whether the site is still up and if it is certain that space will no longer be set to inactive. After checking, there will be spaces left that (unfortunately) must be checked manually and the status updated if necessary. This way I try to keep the hackerspacelist current.

Regards,
Dave

Hi Dave,

Interesting effort, although i am afraid you have some issues to resolve. As an example I checked Suriname. According to your map at https://mapall.space/ it has four fablabs. However, according to the official fablab register at fablabs.io, Suriname at the moment has only three: Fablab Suriname, Zaplab and IoTlabSU. The first one is missing on your site and two others you are listing in fact are located in neighbor’s countries Brazil and French Guyana.

Regarding closed fablabs. Fablabs can change their activity status to “closed”. In that case they remain on the list but flagged with “closed”. In earlier days these fablabs also could decide to remove their record definitely. I am not sure whether this is still possible.

If you are interested in the so-called Fablab SDG-profiles, a selection of 2-4 SDGs most appropriate for the lab, please let me know. They are registered in a separate administration. At the moment (8 Nov.) there are 2135 not-closed fablabs, 446 of which have prepared a SDG profile.

Best regards,
Pieter van der Hijden
coordinator WG Fablabs & SDGs

If I look at the map on fablabs.io (that use the same data that i use, https://api.fablabs.io/0/labs.json )

I see 3 fablabs, all in Paramaribo
FabLab Suriname (status is ‘null’, not known. For mapall.space I only show fablab with status ‘active’)
Zaplab
IoTLabSu

I cant place the remark that Zaplab and IoTLabSu are places in other countries. If i check the geo coordinates they are placed in Paramaribo as I expected. If this is wrong, the data on fablab.io should be changed there.

I am always interested to add information to the map, esp. if this is up-to-date active maintained data. Is this data published in a way that I can easily read and process this? (json/csv/rss feed?).

Regards,
Dave

Nice map Dave!

I also feel there are alot of labs that get abandoned or do not get updated, with profiles still up, and without users’ closing the labs in fablabs.io. I like your idea on checking the website links associated to the labs, if they have one. Though I would amend the idea, to send a reminder email to the registered managers, requesting updated information. Then maybe after some time, auto closing the labs.

There is no one really actively coding on this project anymore, we need some Ruby developers from the community to chip in some time up do changes. I have jumped in this year to do minor bug fixes and keep libraries updated as best I can, though I just started learning Ruby to help out :slight_smile:

Nice map Dave!

Thanks!

I also feel there are alot of labs that get abandoned or do not get updated […] to send a reminder email to the registered managers, requesting updated information. Then maybe after some time, auto closing the labs.

On Map all spaces - Hackerspace Censes you can see in detail what steps I make. I am a bit more aggressive, if I think space is closed (eg website is down or used for click bate) I set the space to ‘suspected inactive’. If this isn’t right, the user (or someone else) can change it back to ‘active’.

Right now I am busy with a revision, that should include alternative twitter check and added mastodon check. See GitHub - zeno4ever/map-all-spaces: Map with all hackerspaces, fablabs and makerspaces if you want to know more.

[…] though I just started learning Ruby to help out :slight_smile:

Can’t help you on this font, no experience in Ruby.

Regards,
Dave

Hi Dave,

I assume you process the data from the official fablabs.io register. I found out that many fablabs have activity_status = ‘null’. Further, there is a status “planned”, “active”, “closed”, and “corona”.

My observations as a user are:

  • New fablabs have to fill in an activity status. So I assume the fablabs without activity status originate from the past or from another system, but in fact still may be active.
  • New fablabs often start with status “planned” and stay in that state forever. So I assume they are active but simply forgot to update their status from “planned” to “active”.
  • Some fablabs have status “corona”. That was invented during the pandemic. If an active lab wanted to flag their commitment to special corona projects, they could switch their status from active to corona. Later they most of them switched back from “corona” to “active”, but some of them still have to do that.

So my approach in working with these data is: as long as a fablab has activity_status which is NOT equal “closed” I consider the fablab as Active.

Regarding the Suriname fablabs, I found out:

  • my issue does not regard Fablab Suriname nor IOTlabSU. They are correct.
  • my issue regards La Kaz lab (in Saint-Laurent, French Guyana) and FAB LAB UFV (Madrid, Spain)
  • when zooming out on your map the Suriname fablabs will be concentrated in a single dot on the map; La Kaz is part of the Suriname “dot”, although it is located in French Guyana; but when zooming in, I see the correct location of La Kaz lab. So, in fact it is OK.
  • Fablab UFV is still an issue; it is not located nearby (Spain), so why will it be added to the Suriname “dot” on zooming out?

The WG Fablabs and SDGs collects and aggregates the so-called Fablab SDG Profiles, a selection of 2-4 SDGs (out of 17) that a fablab considers as most appropriate to describe itself. These data are stored in a gitlab repository. We have Jupyter Notebook software to process fablabs.io, SDG profiles, geonames.org and more to generate our online overview of fablabs with sdg profiles and (separate concept) fabcity network members, see https://bit.ly/fablist-sdgs. Maybe you can have a look and see whether its interesting for you to re-use.

All the best,
Pieter

As WG Fablabs and SDGs we use fablabs.io as our basic fablab register. Therefore we need information in fablabs.io that is correct and complete. To get that, we send to each fablab a personalized email reminder in December of every year to ask them to review and update their fablabs.io registration.

The export file of fablabs.io only shows the actual state. To reconstruct our history our WG backups the labs.json file every 31st of December. These copies are stored in gitlab.fabcloud.org.

Best,
Pieter

So my approach in working with these data is: as long as a fablab has activity_status which is NOT equal “closed” I consider the fablab as Active.

Changed in the code (and updated the list)

Regarding the Suriname fablabs, I found out:

  • my issue regards La Kaz lab (in Saint-Laurent, French Guyana) and FAB LAB UFV (Madrid, Spain)

FAB LAB UFV didn’t had any coordinates and the code didn’t set this to 0. So on the map FAB LAB UFV and IOTlabSU were overlapping icons on the map and counted if you zoomed out. I changed code that is a fablab don’t have coordinates, it won’t be on the map any more.

The WG Fablabs and SDGs collects and aggregates the so-called Fablab SDG Profiles […]

I will email you private to check what the options are.

Regards,
Dave