Open Drops: spreading free city culture
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Prinz April 2011.jpg

Open Drops: spreading free city culture

Open Drops was initiated by Jan-Christoph Borchardt and Edial Dekker at the Open Data Hackathon Berlin on December 4th, 2010. It is inspired by Aram Bartholl’s Dead Drops which is an anonymous, offline, peer-to-peer file sharing network consisting of USB flash drives cemented into walls. Everyone can plug their laptop in, get and share files. This project aims to extend that by filling the flash drives with useful local information, creative commons material and open data all about the city.

This is the data we collected about Berlin, working as a quick-start guide to the city.

Our Open Drop Xberg inside Moritzplatz subway station was the first Dead Drop in Berlin: It got mentioned briefly in German news:,1518,740272,00.html And Jan-Christoph was interviewed about it in the Prinz magazine from April 2011.



Tours & Places

  • Free guided tour: - 3-4 hours long, by foot, on a tips-only basis. Three tours every day (rain or shine), starting at Starbucks Paris Square next to Brandenburg Gate. 9:00, 11:00 & 13:00
  • Alternative tour: - Similar to the New Berlin Tour, starting at Starbucks next to the TV tower on Alexanderplatz. 11:00 & 13:00
  • Arthouse Tacheles at Oranienburger Straße: - An artist squat which is in danger to be taken down by law enforcement. Definitely go there and check the exhibitions in the upper floors and the steel sculptors in the backyard.
  • Otto Bock Science Center @ Potsdamer Platz: - Thursdays to Sundays, 10 AM to 6 PM, no entrance fee. Features interactive installations such as a wheelchair simulator and walking over a canyon.



Find more at


More pointers to local music

The Dead Drops Manifesto

Dead Drops is an anonymous, offline, peer to peer file-sharing network in public space. Anyone can access a Dead Drop and everyone may install a Dead Drop in their neighborhood/city. A Dead Drop must be public accessible. A Dead Drop inside closed buildings or private places with limited or temporary access is not a Dead Drop. A real Dead Drop mounts as read and writeable mass storage drive without any custom software. Dead Drops don't need to be synced or connected to each other. Each Dead Drop is singular in its existence. A very beautiful Dead Drop shows only the metal sheath enclosed type-A USB plug and is cemented into walls.You would hardly notice it. Dead Drops don't need any cables or wireless technology. Your knees on the ground or a dirty jacket on the wall is what it takes share files offline. A Dead Drop is a naked piece of passively powered Universal Serial Bus technology embedded into the city, the only true public space. In an era of growing clouds and fancy new devices without access to local files we need to rethink the freedom and distribution of data. The Dead Drops movement is on its way for change!

Free your data to the public domain in cement! Make your own Dead Drop now! Un-cloud your files today!!!

Aram Bartholl 2010