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Dr Mike J Smith
Kingston University

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AGI Open Source in GIS SIG

Thu, 27 Apr 2006

I was at an AGI organised SIG on open source software in GIS today. This was an excellent low key event that was (sadly) primarily attended by representatives from commercial GIS companies, with a smattering from academia. A shame then that there were not more end-users there.

When you speak about open source and GIS, most people would probably think of GRASS or MapServer. The surprise then, was that there was absolutely nothing about GRASS. To be fair, map servers are where much of the development (particularly in OSS) is going at the moment.

What was interesting is that commercial developers see OSS as complimentary to commercial software, not as competitive. They work in tandem. And commercial developers appear happy to feedback work in to the OSS movement (Note: Martin Daly from cadcorp gave a very good, and amusing ["yes, another programmer's joke!"], presentation outlining OSS). What is therefore surprising is that there appear to be no commercial entities in the UK solely working on OSS in GIS in a manner similar to DM Solutions. Maybe a gap in the market!

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