Free and Open Source Software for Geomatics Conference FOSS4G 2010 Barcelona

Selected Presentations

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The world of open source business and the geo sector in particular is crowded with professionals with technical back grounds. Not surprisingly, when tracing back its origins to the early hackers and communities. The technical development needed to take precedence before anything salable was to emerge. However, while the acceptance for solutions with open source in the market place increases, more non-technical people are involved in the purchase process. More traditional marketing and sales processes are called for. This requires a new approach for suppliers, a more corporate approach.

Traditionally software is developed, branded and licensed to end users via distribution channels such as integrators and more specialised service suppliers. New entrants into the marketplace and substitute products were kept at a safe distance through license policies and vendor lock ins. Closed source and standards were means to a competitive end.
With the emergence of open source and a drive for open standards the rules of the game have changed dramatically. Collaboration beyond technology is the name of the new game.

Technologies, products and industries move along S-curves: the so-called life cycles. From the initial stage of 'Introduction', via 'Growth' and 'Maturity' to finally 'Decline'. Open GIS moves along the same curve. Its precise location on the curve is hard to establish as it is a container for all sorts of different software components.

The above has an impact on the way the Open GIS sector has to organise itself and its service providers. Most suppliers of services around open source in general focus on one or more of 7 income generating activities. Unfortunately the sub-sector for GIS with open source is lagging behind. The pro's and con's of the various models and appropriateness for GIS will be explored, building on a case study of an unique Dutch initiative.


Marc Vloemans - BPartners