Beginners' Guide

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Beginner's Guide

Zenbu is a collaboratively edited directory of businesses, places or real-world things.

Anyone is welcome to add information. You do not need specialized qualifications to contribute since Zenbu's primary aim is to capture basic factual information that would be available to anyone walking down the street in the real world.

It is simple, and non-technical, to get involved and any information contribution, large or small, will be appreciated by all Zenbu users. Sign up for a Zenbu account to get started

Zenbu needs you!

  • to add new or missing businesses - Add a new entry now
  • to correct any wrong or changed details - Click the Edit link on any listing
  • to spread the word about Zenbu - use it and tell your friends

You can rest assured that your efforts will be valued by and available to others, as all the information in Zenbu is usable free under license.

If everyone adds the things they want, then soon we will all be able to find everything!

Your first edit

You can read a walk-through of making Your First Edit, or just jump right in. Zenbu has a very intuitive editing system and don't worry, every change is recorded so you can't destroy anything.

Ideas for helping

  • Save a receipt or grab a business card from the places you shop and eat then make sure they are in Zenbu.
  • Do a Find Nearest search for anything (leave the 'what' field blank) nearest your house or work. What is Zenbu missing that you can add?
  • Fix entries that are not 100% correctly placed on the map. See the Map Fixer page.

What needs adding?

Whatever you can't find that should be in Zenbu. You can take a look at the Projects page to find large scale projects that you can get involved with.

Content & style

See the Content And Style page for guidelines and suggestions.


All data in Zenbu is free to use for whatever you like under the liberal terms of our license. Most other sites do not share this freedom.

Copyright is a serious matter which lawyers gleefully describe as a 'grey area'. Zenbu will not tolerate violation of anyone's copyrighted material. Zenbu only tries to capture the same factual details that would be publicly available on a street-side sign.

A key point to understand is that there is a clear distinction between facts, which cannot be copyrighted, and the representation of facts, which may be copyrightable.

  • It is OK to look at a copyrighted directory to understand the fact that a business is contactable at an address or phone number.
  • Rote copying that information into Zenbu is not OK.
  • Contact that business to verify those details are fact and you can do what you like with those facts.
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