15 Notable Open Source Apps

  • 15 Notable Open Source Apps

    15 Notable Open Source Apps
    These notable open source apps prove how useful open source can be, from creating your own racecourse to contributing to science. Let the downloading begin.
  • Probabilistic Programming & Bayesian Methods for Hackers

    Probabilistic Programming & Bayesian Methods for Hackers
    This is an open source book on programming written in Python. And because it's open source, anyone can contribute, and the book keeps getting updated and improved. Operating System: OS Independent
  • BlinkDB

    BlinkDB
    BlinkDB is a "massively parallel, approximate query engine for running interactive SQL queries on large volumes of data." In some tests it performed up to 200 times faster than Hive. Operating System: Windows, Linux
  • Poderopedia Plug & Play

    Poderopedia Plug & Play
    This award-winning project makes it possible to set up large semantic databases where you can visualize connections between entities. It's particularly useful for journalists and media organizations tracking the relationships between people, corporations and political entities. Operating System: Windows, Linux
  • D3.js

    D3.js
    Short for Data-Driven Documents, D3 makes full use of newer Web standards to help users create interesting graphs and diagrams, and bring data to life. It grew out of the older Protovis project. Operating System: Windows, Linux, Mac, iPad
  • InaSAFE Foundation

    InaSAFE Foundation
    Created in Indonesia and Australia, this app helps scientists and communities explore the potential impact of natural disasters in a region. To use it, you'll need Quantum GIS, an open source geographic information system. Operating System: OS Independent
  • Stringer

    Stringer
    Still looking for an alternative to Google Reader? If you're tech-savvy enough to deploy it on your own server, Stringer might be for you. It's a "self-hosted, anti-social RSS reader" with no social or sharing capabilities but plenty of keyboard shortcuts. Operating System: OS Independent
  • Font Awesome

    Font Awesome
    Developed for Bootstrap, Font Awesome is a set of icons related to Web activities. They're vector graphics (meaning they're easy to scale) and they look good on high-resolution screens. Operating System: OS Independent
  • Discourse

    Discourse
    Discourse is what a modern internet discussion forum should be. The open source software is free, but there are hosted plans as well. Operating System: OS Independent
  • Stunt Rally

    Stunt Rally
    This racing game is based on VDrift and OGRE, so it's very complete and mature. The graphics are fabulous, and it includes 172 tracks in 34 sceneries and 19 cars + 4 vehicles, plus a track editor so you can create your own racecourses. Operating System: OS Independent
  • MediaGoblin

    MediaGoblin
    Want to set up a site to share photos, videos or audio files? MediaGoblins aims to make it easy to create your own alternative to Flickr, YouTube and similar sites. Operating System: Linux
  • Elementary OS

    Elementary OS
    Based on Ubuntu, this Linux distribution emphasizes transparency, modern interfaces, speed and apps. After several beta releases, the first official release came out earlier this month.
  • Impress.js

    Impress.js
    Inspired by Prezi, this CSS3-based tool helps users create presentations that scroll, zoom and slide around the screen, instead of being bound to rectangular slides. The project also warns, "impress.js may not help you if you have nothing interesting to say." Operating System: Windows, Linux, Mac, iPad
  • Reveal.js

    Reveal.js
    Another HTML presentation creation tool, Reveal.js features an interesting three-dimensional navigation system (go up or down as well as backwards and forwards). Operating System: Windows, Linux, Mac, iPad
  • Open Source Malaria

    Open Source Malaria
    This is another example of the open source movement spreading beyond software. It's an open science effort to find a cure for malaria. It's hosted on GitHub, and anyone can contribute. Operating System: OS Independent
  • OpenWorm

    OpenWorm
    This unusual project is dedicated to building the first digital life form—a virtual version of the C. elegans nematode. They have code for several projects available through GitHub, or you can contribute simply by joining in on a Google Hangout discussion. The entire project (as well as the code) is guided by open source principles. Operating System: OS Independent
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15 Notable Open Source Apps

  • 1 of
  • 15 Notable Open Source Apps

    15 Notable Open Source Apps

    These notable open source apps prove how useful open source can be, from creating your own racecourse to contributing to science. Let the downloading begin.
  • Probabilistic Programming & Bayesian Methods for Hackers

    Probabilistic Programming & Bayesian Methods for Hackers

    This is an open source book on programming written in Python. And because it's open source, anyone can contribute, and the book keeps getting updated and improved. Operating System: OS Independent
  • BlinkDB

    BlinkDB

    BlinkDB is a "massively parallel, approximate query engine for running interactive SQL queries on large volumes of data." In some tests it performed up to 200 times faster than Hive. Operating System: Windows, Linux
  • Poderopedia Plug & Play

    Poderopedia Plug & Play

    This award-winning project makes it possible to set up large semantic databases where you can visualize connections between entities. It's particularly useful for journalists and media organizations tracking the relationships between people, corporations and political entities. Operating System: Windows, Linux
  • D3.js

    D3.js

    Short for Data-Driven Documents, D3 makes full use of newer Web standards to help users create interesting graphs and diagrams, and bring data to life. It grew out of the older Protovis project. Operating System: Windows, Linux, Mac, iPad
  • InaSAFE Foundation

    InaSAFE Foundation

    Created in Indonesia and Australia, this app helps scientists and communities explore the potential impact of natural disasters in a region. To use it, you'll need Quantum GIS, an open source geographic information system. Operating System: OS Independent
  • Stringer

    Stringer

    Still looking for an alternative to Google Reader? If you're tech-savvy enough to deploy it on your own server, Stringer might be for you. It's a "self-hosted, anti-social RSS reader" with no social or sharing capabilities but plenty of keyboard shortcuts. Operating System: OS Independent
  • Font Awesome

    Font Awesome

    Developed for Bootstrap, Font Awesome is a set of icons related to Web activities. They're vector graphics (meaning they're easy to scale) and they look good on high-resolution screens. Operating System: OS Independent
  • Discourse

    Discourse

    Discourse is what a modern internet discussion forum should be. The open source software is free, but there are hosted plans as well. Operating System: OS Independent
  • Stunt Rally

    Stunt Rally

    This racing game is based on VDrift and OGRE, so it's very complete and mature. The graphics are fabulous, and it includes 172 tracks in 34 sceneries and 19 cars + 4 vehicles, plus a track editor so you can create your own racecourses. Operating System: OS Independent
  • MediaGoblin

    MediaGoblin

    Want to set up a site to share photos, videos or audio files? MediaGoblins aims to make it easy to create your own alternative to Flickr, YouTube and similar sites. Operating System: Linux
  • Elementary OS

    Elementary OS

    Based on Ubuntu, this Linux distribution emphasizes transparency, modern interfaces, speed and apps. After several beta releases, the first official release came out earlier this month.
  • Impress.js

    Impress.js

    Inspired by Prezi, this CSS3-based tool helps users create presentations that scroll, zoom and slide around the screen, instead of being bound to rectangular slides. The project also warns, "impress.js may not help you if you have nothing interesting to say." Operating System: Windows, Linux, Mac, iPad
  • Reveal.js

    Reveal.js

    Another HTML presentation creation tool, Reveal.js features an interesting three-dimensional navigation system (go up or down as well as backwards and forwards). Operating System: Windows, Linux, Mac, iPad
  • Open Source Malaria

    Open Source Malaria

    This is another example of the open source movement spreading beyond software. It's an open science effort to find a cure for malaria. It's hosted on GitHub, and anyone can contribute. Operating System: OS Independent
  • OpenWorm

    OpenWorm

    This unusual project is dedicated to building the first digital life form—a virtual version of the C. elegans nematode. They have code for several projects available through GitHub, or you can contribute simply by joining in on a Google Hangout discussion. The entire project (as well as the code) is guided by open source principles. Operating System: OS Independent

Open source software is always in flux, and new projects are being born every day. Open Source principles are spreading beyond software to not only include code, but in some cases, code that is being used to write an open source book or to do open source science where anyone is welcome to participate. And, cross-platform or platform-independent apps that work on any operating system are becoming much more common than those designed for a particular OS. We like to shine a spotlight on those that seem particularly noteworthy, but there are plenty more that didn't get included. If you know of one, please make a note in the comments section below.