Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] Re: FOSS4GIS business models

2008-01-07 Thread Bruce . Bannerman
IMO.



Gilberto,

 
 In 2003, I did a F00S4G market survey and published the
 results as a chapter of a US National Academy of Sciences book:
 Open Source GIS Software: Myths and Realities
 www.dpi.inpe.br/gilberto/papers/camara_open_source_myths.pdf.
 
 We analysed 70 FOSS4G software projects taken from the
 FreeGIS list, and divided them into three categories:
 networked products (e.g. GRASS), corporate products (e.g., PostGIS)
 and individual products (e.g., CAVOR). From each product,
 we assessed its maturity, level of support and functionality.
 


This is an interesting read.

Are you aware of any follow up work?

I'm particularly interested in perceptions of the impact that OSGeo may be 
having as an umbrella organisation.


wrt Government involvement:

- as Frank suggests, I suspect that governments would have more impact 
supporting a central group of applications rather than each one rolling 
their own. The problem is assessing and picking the appropriate 
applications and projects to support.

- governments often have a tender process that they need to follow when 
implementing new systems. If OS products aren't proposed or well 
supported, they often don't get looked at.

- many governments also have a large investment (in time, training, money, 
processes and data) in existing proprietary products and can't easily 
switch arbitrarily to a new product. 

- Having said this, I'm aware of many organisations that are disatisfied 
with the status quo and looking to the longer term to reduce vendor 
lock-in. One way that people are looking to do this is to specify support 
for Open Standards (e.g. ISO 19100 series and OGC) as a key requirement. 
Currently OSGeo projects offer some of the better support for these 
standards. I hope that this continues (though I have noticed some derisive 
comments about standards w).


wrt the Brazillian TerraLib toolkit mentioned in your paper:

- I've had a quick look at the web site. The product appears to be quite 
mature and functional.

- Has anyone from this list had a technical look at the products and like 
to share their observations? Can they be integrated with OSGeo apps? Do 
they support OGC standards etc?


Bruce Bannerman




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[OSGeo-Discuss] Re: FOSS4GIS business models

2008-01-07 Thread Gilberto Camara

Dear Markus, Frank, and all

I will try to dwell a bit further on some
issues raised by Frank and Markus. Sorry
for the long message. Certain issues deserve it...


Message from Frank Warmerdam
Comments from Gilberto


(Frank)
(...)  But, I am left with the impression that the same model applied
widely by many national or state governments would result in a lot of
duplication.  I'd like to explore models where governments at
different levels cooperate and contribute to joint development.


Good point. Governments have a propensity to fund local
development, since they are creating jobs. The risk, as you
point out, is duplication. To avoid this trend, we need
a coordination board at the international level, that
can assure national governments that their
interests are taken into account.

The ideal would be a UN-supported effort. However, developed
nations have blocked attempts for United Nations agencies to
coordinate widespread adoption of FOSS
(e.g., at the World Summit on the Information Society).

Currently, OSGEO and OSC play an important international role.
OSGEO allows us to connect (as we´re doing right now).
OSC gives users hope of avoiding the lock-in effect and thus
reduces some of the FUD effect. But we should recognize that
national government institutions are not present at either
OSGEO or OSC.

Thus, I´m hoping that GSDI might be able to increase its
role as a place where FOSS can be promoted and presented
to an international audience. GSDI´s president, Harlan
Onsrud, is extremely serious, open-minded and supportive of FOSS.
I will be at GSDI 2008 at Trindad and promise to give you
a report from the trenches.


(Frank)
...Perhaps due to the relentless propaganda of the anti government
right in North America, I have some concerns about governments
throwing large amounts of money into FOSS development without clear
thinking about how to make that money work efficiently.  It is easy
to imagine boondoggles that could suck up lots of money with little
in the way of useful products.


Relax... Lord Keynes, Roosevelt´s New Deal, the Marshall Plan,
NASA´s Apollo Program and other examples show that efficiency
is not a prerequisite for successful use of public money.

Efficient use of public money is not about achieving feasible
products in the most cost-effective way. It is about achieving
goals that would be impossible for the private sector.
Putting a man on the moon, developing health care solutions for
the poor, and saving the planet from disastrous climate change
are tasks for governments. They cannot be measured by how much
money you put into them, but by their results.


Message from Markus Lupp 

 Responses by Gilberto



 (Markus)

I would like to give some comments on this from the perspective of a
GIS company with an Open Source business model. 

 (...) Now to the question of government intervention.
 After reading Gilberto's mail I asked myself what is
meant by this term? 

 (...) In Germany  (...)there is a growing support

from people in governmental agencies who decided by themselves that
they want to use more open source software 

 (Gilberto - is this what you mean by indirect support?).




Government intervention can be direct or indirect.
In the first case, public funds directly support FOSS4G
projects (as in the case of gvSIG).
In the second, there is a consensus that it is in
the public interest to consider FOSS as a serious alternative
to proprietary software and thus public managers are
not afraid of FUD tactics (as it happens in Europe currently).

Europe is taking FOSS very seriously. For those who haven´t seen
it yet, take a look at the EC´s Open Source Observatory
(http://ec.europa.eu/idabc/en/chapter/452).
This is a very good example of indirect support for FOSS.

 (Markus)
So from my point of view it is possible to compete in the GIS market 
using an open source business model without any high-level government 
intervention (although it surely helps)


I respectfully disagree. I doubt you could achieve the same
success in the USA, where there is no active public policy
in support of FOSS. I stand by my earlier assessment that
successful long-term FOSS needs government support (direct
or indirect).


Best
Gilberto


--
===
Dr.Gilberto Camara
Director General
National Institute for Space Research (INPE)
Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil

voice: +55-12-3945-6035
fax:   +55-12-3921-6455
web:   http://www.dpi.inpe.br/gilberto
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Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] Re: FOSS4GIS business models

2008-01-07 Thread Dr. Markus Lupp

Hi Gilberto,

Gilberto Camara schrieb:

 (Markus)
So from my point of view it is possible to compete in the GIS market 
using an open source business model without any high-level government 
intervention (although it surely helps)


I respectfully disagree. I doubt you could achieve the same
success in the USA, where there is no active public policy
in support of FOSS. I stand by my earlier assessment that
successful long-term FOSS needs government support (direct
or indirect).
Well, this is interesting and I now understand your point of view 
better. I was really not aware that the indirect support that I can see 
and feel in Europe already is so much stronger than it is in the US.


BTW, in South-East Asia (where I currently live and work) many countries 
have an official initiative that calls for support and usage of Open 
Source software, e.g. http://www.igos.web.id/ in Indonesia and 
http://opensource.mampu.gov.my/ in Malaysia.



Best regards,

Markus

--
Dr. Markus Lupp
l a t / l o n  GmbH
Kupang-NTT
Indonesia
phone +62 (0)81 339 431666
http://www.lat-lon.de
http://www.deegree.org
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[OSGeo-Discuss] About OSGeo...

2008-01-07 Thread Tim Bowden
In putting together some words for the Aust-NZ chapters bid to host the
2009 FOSS4G conf, I went looking at what OSGeo stands for and how we
could answer that mission in our conf hosting bid.  I looked at
http://www.osgeo.org/content/foundation/about.html and got the distinct
impression it was quite dated.

I don't think it's reasonable to consider OSGeo a nascent organisation
anymore.  The foundations governance model has been set.  We have
already expanded to include multiple projects, with even more great
projects to come.  While the foundation provides organisational support
to the wider open source geospatial community, I don't think it's fair
to say it provides legal and financial support.  Certainly it provides
financial support (in terms of structures and processes for financial
dealings) to OSGeo projects, but even there the legal support is a very
grey area that I don't think anybody is too keen to test.  Perhaps we
should cast the net a little less far reaching (though perhaps suitably
ambiguous?) when making a statement about OSGeo's financial and legal
intentions.  Any thoughts on what we should be saying?

I also noticed (ok, so at this point I was going on the hunt for what
else we might want to revisit) that we have no media centre links from
the front page.  Do we have a place where we put all our press releases?
We do have them don't we?  Surely we have something valuable we want to
tell the world?  Address current issues?  From time to time issues fly
around the geoblogsphere, and lots of people here express strongly held
views when outrageous things are done and said, but shouldn't the
response sometimes come from OSGeo as well?  We should probably also
have an rss feed on the media content.  Well, looks like I've just
identified a job that needs doing, and it would be a little petulant of
me to complain and expect others to do all the heavy lifting.  I'm happy
to help out with such an effort, but I can't do it alone.  Any help
would be appreciated.

The faq http://www.osgeo.org/content/faq/foundation_faq.html) also needs
updating.  I suspect some of the issues may no longer need quite so much
attention, while there should be plenty of new material to add.  I'll
troll through the list archives over the next few weeks and see if I can
pick out any with some proposed answers.  Feel free to ping me on this
one if I take a little too long...

Regards,
Tim Bowden

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Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] Re: FOSS4GIS business models

2008-01-07 Thread Lucena, Ivan

Hi Bruce,

[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

wrt the Brazillian TerraLib toolkit mentioned in your paper:

- I've had a quick look at the web site. The product appears to be quite 
mature and functional.


- Has anyone from this list had a technical look at the products and 
like to share their observations? Can they be integrated with OSGeo 
apps? Do they support OGC standards etc?


Bruce Bannerman


I believe that TerraLib would deserve a better technical look than 
what I did but my initial impression was very favorable. What impress me 
the most was the raster-on-rdbms support.


I download and installed the TerraView application and imported some 
raster data files to PostgreSQL and it works like a charm, but again, 
that would deserve a performance evaluation.


The source code repository is not as open as GDAL (for example) but I 
believe that out-side contributors should be able to suggest 
modification by sending CVS patches at least.


There are very good (normally expensive) image processing algorithms 
implemented on the library, e.g. segmentation, Wavelets. There is a rich 
set of vectors algorithms too.


Talking about integration with other OSGeo projects I believe that the 
current TerraLib RC uses GDAL.


Best regards,

Ivan




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