23.7.12

Libre knowledge tourism


Mozilla Firefox is my favorite browser, I edit Wikipedia and I use the Wayback Machine to retrieve lost webpages. These three components of the "free knowledge" or, better said, "libre knowledge" movement are all hosted by non-profit organizations headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area; respectively, the Mozilla Foundation, the Wikimedia Foundation and the Internet Archive.

I wanted to see what physically lies behind these three non-profits so today I set out on a trip to their headquarters.

Internet Archive

The Archive's headquarter is awesome. It occupies an imposing bright white building that used to be a Christian Science temple. When I arrived, there was a meeting going on dedicated to brainstorming what apps one could develop if really-high-speed internet (i.e. 1 Gb per second) were widely available. It turns out that the Archive has one such connection. I could visit the whole building without any trouble and took pictures of the auditorium where some servers are located.
Front door of the Internet Archive's headquarters at 300 Funston Avenue, San Francisco.

Auditorium in 2nd floor of the building. Two sets of servers are visible in the background.

Some servers of the Internet Archive.
Computer with 1 Gbps download speed.

Wikimedia Foundation

The WMF, as it is often shortened, has its office in an anonymous building in downtown San Francisco. Today it was a Saturday so it was closed and nobody was inside. I could only peek through the front door. More pictures of this office can be found in Commons, the media-hosting project of the WMF.

The Wikimedia Foundation's office is on the third floor of this building at 149 New Montgomery St, SF.

Sneak view of the office through the main door.

Mozilla Foundation

I had planned to travel south to the headquarters of the Mozilla Foundation in Mountain View, at the heart of Silicon Valley (650 Castro St, suite 300). But I met a guy from this non-profit in the Internet Archive who kindly told me that their central office is just that, an office, with nothing to see. Thanks for sparing me the trip! I will leave you with a picture of the building that was uploaded to Commons by user Lukasblakk.

What next

There are other major "libre knowledge" places in the San Francisco Bay Area that I would like to take a look at: the Electronic Frontier Foundation, in San Francisco, and Creative Commons in Mountain View.


By the way, this entry is released under a Creative Commons CC-BY-SA 3.0 license.

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