The Business Case for Open Source GIS

1,741 views

Published on

Published in: Technology
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
1,741
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
3
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
32
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • Thanks for inviting me along today. Last time I was here, I talked informally about open source GIS, how it relates to INSPIRE, and about getting maps on the web. This time, circumstances are different. The credit crunch means that everyone is trying to get value for money, short and long term, and avoiding risk. I'm going to talk about how an open source approach might be less risky, and better value for money than a conventional approach. I'll also talk through a short case study about a local authority using open source GIS.
  • There are many open source licenses, and this does cause some confusion. However for general use, where you are not intending to develop new software yourself, the license can be seen as extremely flexible. If you ever read the EULA on a proprietary product you might have a surprise Many are based on United States export regulations, preventing people from certain prohibited countries from using the product. Some licenses prevent you from publishing the results of benchmark tests, meaning you can't properly judge the program against it's competitors. In comparison, the open source licenses are designed to promote fair use rather than restrict it.
  • There are many open source licenses, and this does cause some confusion. However for general use, where you are not intending to develop new software yourself, the license can be seen as extremely flexible. If you ever read the EULA on a proprietary product you might have a surprise Many are based on United States export regulations, preventing people from certain prohibited countries from using the product. Some licenses prevent you from publishing the results of benchmark tests, meaning you can't properly judge the program against it's competitors. In comparison, the open source licenses are designed to promote fair use rather than restrict it.
  • There are many open source licenses, and this does cause some confusion. However for general use, where you are not intending to develop new software yourself, the license can be seen as extremely flexible. If you ever read the EULA on a proprietary product you might have a surprise Many are based on United States export regulations, preventing people from certain prohibited countries from using the product. Some licenses prevent you from publishing the results of benchmark tests, meaning you can't properly judge the program against it's competitors. In comparison, the open source licenses are designed to promote fair use rather than restrict it.
  • Negative press around open source software abounds. Joking aside, “open source” is often referred to as a “movement”, with political connotations. Commonly the perceived risk of using open source software is referred to, along with the notion that it's OK for non critical use. This is interesting when you consider the number of web servers running apache.
  • Negative press around open source software abounds. Joking aside, “open source” is often referred to as a “movement”, with political connotations. Commonly the perceived risk of using open source software is referred to, along with the notion that it's OK for non critical use. This is interesting when you consider the number of web servers running apache.
  • Joking aside, in a recent survey (Public Sector Forums: Open or Closed? A survey of Open Source software in local government, August 2009) stated that risk was the main barrier to open source adoption at local government level. Lack of awareness and organisational culture were also high on the list. Encouragingly, support and security concerns were fairly low down the list.
  • I would argue that the greater interoperability of open source software means that the barriers to entry and exit are considerably reduced. There is no commercial reason to force you to upgrade to a new version of a package, and to make you change file formats. There is no reason to lock you in to a particular software package. There is no 3-year license with penalty clause for exiting early.
  • Whitewash from proprietary companies would have you believe that the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of open source software can be higher than that of a commercial product. It is true that you may need to train your staff. It is true that you may need to upgrade your hardware. It is true that you will need to support the product and provide annual maintenance. What does the license have to do with this?
  • Whitewash from proprietary companies would have you believe that the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of open source software can be higher than that of a commercial product. It is true that you may need to train your staff. It is true that you may need to upgrade your hardware. It is true that you will need to support the product and provide annual maintenance. What does the license have to do with this?
  • Whitewash from proprietary companies would have you believe that the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of open source software can be higher than that of a commercial product. It is true that you may need to train your staff. It is true that you may need to upgrade your hardware. It is true that you will need to support the product and provide annual maintenance. What does the license have to do with this?
  • OSGeo maintains a list of service providers on a county-by-country basis for all the software they promote. Increasing numbers of training courses are now available in the UK for open source GIS software, for example at the Universities of Lancaster and Newcastle. A number of companies exist in the UK to support open source GIS, OA Digital is one, but there are others. All will come and run training courses for you, tailored to your requirements. The UK local chapter of OSGeo is also up and running, and will be happy to help you with any issues you might have.
  • Thanks again for listening, this talk is available online with notes, should you wish to replay it in the comfort of your own office.
  • The Business Case for Open Source GIS

    1. 1. The Business Case for Open Source GIS University of Newcastle, November 2010 Jo Cook Senior IT Support and Development Officer OA Digital [email_address] +44 (0)1524 880212
    2. 2. What does “Open Source” mean? 1. Free Redistribution The license shall not restrict any party from selling or giving away the software as a component of an aggregate software distribution containing programs from several different sources. The license shall not require a royalty or other fee for such sale. 2. Source Code The program must include source code, and must allow distribution in source code as well as compiled form. Where some form of a product is not distributed with source code, there must be a well-publicized means of obtaining the source code for no more than a reasonable reproduction cost preferably, downloading via the Internet without charge. The source code must be the preferred form in which a programmer would modify the program. Deliberately obfuscated source code is not allowed. Intermediate forms such as the output of a preprocessor or translator are not allowed. 3. Derived Works The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must allow them to be distributed under the same terms as the license of the original software. 4. Integrity of The Author's Source Code The license may restrict source-code from being distributed in modified form only if the license allows the distribution of "patch files" with the source code for the purpose of modifying the program at build time. The license must explicitly permit distribution of software built from modified source code. The license may require derived works to carry a different name or version number from the original software. (http://www.opensource.org/docs/definition.php)
    3. 3. ...and 5. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups The license must not discriminate against any person or group of persons. 6. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the program from being used in a business, or from being used for genetic research. 7. Distribution of License The rights attached to the program must apply to all to whom the program is redistributed without the need for execution of an additional license by those parties. 8. License Must Not Be Specific to a Product The rights attached to the program must not depend on the program's being part of a particular software distribution. If the program is extracted from that distribution and used or distributed within the terms of the program's license, all parties to whom the program is redistributed should have the same rights as those that are granted in conjunction with the original software distribution. 9. License Must Not Restrict Other Software The license must not place restrictions on other software that is distributed along with the licensed software. For example, the license must not insist that all other programs distributed on the same medium must be open-source software. 10. License Must Be Technology-Neutral No provision of the license may be predicated on any individual technology or style of interface. (http://www.opensource.org/docs/definition.php)
    4. 4. Compared to... ARTICLE 2—INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS AND RESERVATION OF OWNERSHIP Software, Data, Web Services, and Documentation are licensed and not sold . Esri and its licensors own Software, Data, Web Services, and Documentation and all copies, which are protected by United States and applicable international laws, treaties, and conventions regarding intellectual property and proprietary rights including trade secrets. Licensee agrees to use reasonable means to protect Software, Data, Web Services, and Documentation from unauthorized use, reproduction, distribution, or publication. Esri and its third-party licensors reserve all rights not specifically granted in this License Agreement including the right to change and improve Web Services. ARTICLE 3—GRANT OF LICENSE 3.1 Grant of License. Subject to the terms of this License Agreement, Esri grants to Licensee a personal, nonexclusive, nontransferable license solely to: a. Use the type and number of copies of Software, Data, and Documentation and access Web Services (i) for which the applicable license fees have been paid, (ii) for Licensee's own internal use, and (iii) in accordance with Exhibit 1 and the licensed configuration on file as authorized by Esri or its authorized distributor. ... h. Licensee shall not unbundle individual or component parts of Software or Data for independent use. i. After a reasonable transition period, Licensee shall not use an older version of the Software that Licensee has updated to a newer version. Licensee shall not use more Software licenses at any given time than the total quantity in Licensee's licensed configuration on file with Esri . (http://www.esri.com/legal/pdfs/mla_e204_e300/english.pdf my emphasis)
    5. 5. A bit of a dichotomy! “Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches” (Steve Ballmer: Microsoft, 2001) “It’s a political movement as well as a technical effort. People who buy our products don’t typically want to buy open source because they want to acquire total integrated support for their mission critical applications. Do we want ambulance dispatch running on a system that’s not as well supported?” (Jack Dangermond: ESRI, 2008)
    6. 6. Factors when making purchasing decisions Fitness for Purpose Value for Money Low Risk
    7. 7. Concerns about open source Biggest barriers to adoption of open source in local government Public Sector Forums: Open or Closed? A survey of Open Source Software in Local Government, August 2009
    8. 8. Risk Choose sustainable projects with a large user and developer community
    9. 9. Costs for Proprietary Software Training Hardware Maintenance Support Entry Costs Exit Costs Volume Licensing
    10. 10. Costs for Open Source Software Training Hardware Maintenance Support
    11. 11. Fitness for Purpose “The open source database management system (DBMS) Postgresql is the new engine for France's Caisse Nationale d'Allocations Familiales (CNAF). The organisation, responsible in 2009 for some 69 billion Euro in benefits distributed to 11 million claimants, earlier this year replaced its proprietary DBMS with the open source alternative. "This is a technically rich DBMS, that included all the features we need. It has levels of performance and reliability that meet our production goals."” (http://www.osor.eu/news/fr-open-source-database-new-engine-of-frances-social-security) “ In almost all cases, OSS meets the definition of 'commercial computer software'” (United States Department of Defence, October 2009)
    12. 12. Fitness for Purpose “The open source database management system (DBMS) Postgresql is the new engine for France's Caisse Nationale d'Allocations Familiales (CNAF). The organisation, responsible in 2009 for some 69 billion Euro in benefits distributed to 11 million claimants, earlier this year replaced its proprietary DBMS with the open source alternative. "This is a technically rich DBMS, that included all the features we need. It has levels of performance and reliability that meet our production goals."” (http://www.osor.eu/news/fr-open-source-database-new-engine-of-frances-social-security)
    13. 13. Fitness for Purpose <ul><li>Choose projects that are feature-rich and well-established
    14. 14. Read case studies
    15. 15. Ask the community
    16. 16. Get professional advice
    17. 17. Assess what you need, not what you are being sold </li></ul>http://www.osgeo.org http://www.osgeo.org/uk
    18. 18. Advantages of Open Source Interoperability Modularity Control
    19. 19. Interoperability No need to change file formats with every software release No proprietary file formats only usable with one package Will co-exist with your proprietary GIS! © OpenGeo
    20. 20. Modularity Zawinski's Law- “every programme expands until it can read email” Open Source GIS is not one monolithic package that tries to do everything Choose the packages that work for you, on your choice of platforms, and do what you want them to do
    21. 21. Modularity
    22. 22. Control You're in charge! Once you have the software, it is legally yours You're not at risk of changing software licenses You can install the software on as many computers as you like
    23. 23. So you're convinced... Where to go for help and further information?
    24. 24. Open Source Geospatial Foundation International, not-for-profit, almost entirely run by volunteers Local chapters provide focussed support Provide support, guidance, training information, approved software packages, conferences... http://www.osgeo.org http://www.osgeo.org/uk
    25. 25. Summary <ul><li>Open source software in general is mature enough to consider in commercial procurement
    26. 26. Perceived risk can be minimised by choosing sustainable, active products, commercial support and training
    27. 27. All of these things exist for open source GIS! </li></ul>
    28. 28. Thank You! This work is licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/uk/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California 94105, USA. Jo Cook OA Digital http://oadigital.net [email_address] +44 (0)1524 880212 oadigital.net www.osgeo.org/uk

    ×