I'm trying to find an alternative to "walled garden" to help people to visualise the long-term storage of data in a software system I'm building. Although this is in a software/IT environment, I'm specifically looking for a non-technical, visual description.
"Walled garden" is very nearly the best description, but looking at wikipedia's definition (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Closed_platform), the software does not restrict access to data inside our "walled garden", rather, it encourages access.
The concept I'm attempting to describe is more about loss of control over the data: the software receives new information, processes it in various ways, then "releases" it into a "space" where the data is readily accessible to anyone. However, once the data is in that "space", we are unable (more precisely, un-willing) to make any kind of change to that data; it "roams free". Yes, it is tracked and visualised, but is NEVER changed. Nor can it ever be removed from that "space" (except in unusual circumstances).
Would much appreciate any thoughts to help me get this right! Thank you.
In response to comments and answers so far, the idea of an ecosystem is a useful starting point.