The Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G) Conference Wrap Up

[From the article: Open source software made the leap into mainstream productization many
years ago with products like Linux. And while the timeline is shorter by some
years, open source geospatial software is already a viable alternative
technology to commercial software, to the dismay of several commercial software
suppliers. With over 15,000,000 lines of code in the OSGeo library, there is a
wealth of contributed intellectual property to make a corporate lawyer drool
with envy.  While there is the realization that open source products are
viable, this is still just a small community of companies that are making a go
of it selling value-added solutions based on open source code. The evidence is
in the small number of exhibitors at FOSS4G (and many of those were commercial
providers like Esri, Safe Software, MapQuest and DigitalGlobe, the latter two
being locally headquartered) and even fewer large corporate sponsors to OSGeo.
Arnulf Christ, president of OSGeo, admitted it has not made a very good pitch
to companies looking for a return on their investment in the open source
movement. Even Autodesk, a long-time investor in open source that placed Map
Guide into the public domain several years ago, is now missing in action as a
major participant from FOSS4G 2011.]

Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G

‎You +1’d this publicly. Undo
Joe Francica – 8 hours ago

open source technology is often seen as more cost-effective because ….
With over 15000000 lines of code in the OSGeo library, there is a
wealth of


To Defeat Terrorists, Start Using the Library: Scott Helfstein

[From the article: The revolution in information
technology has opened a new vein of intelligence collection and analysis that
in many instances can prove more useful than traditional forms of spycraft. In
the world of espionage, information and the clandestine means of gathering it
are both treasured. “Open source” intelligence, by contrast, is a commodity
with little inherent value. Instead, the capacity to organize and analyze these
public streams of information becomes a key asset. This represents a drastic
shift, with far-reaching implications for intelligence agencies. …In another
recent effort, the Combating Terrorism Center used Google Trends — hardly a
cloak-and-dagger operation — to assess the popularity of the Muslim
Brotherhood in the midst of the Egyptian uprisings. In the U.S., fears of the
Brotherhood’s Islamist agenda dominated public discussion. Not so in Egypt,
where Google Trends indicated that during the revolution, Internet searches for
non-Brotherhood political figures dwarfed those for the Brotherhood. Do such
open-source data provide scientific proof of public consciousness? No, but they
challenge hard-baked conventional wisdom and provide a corrective to guesswork.
By tapping the open source of Google Trends, we threw light on a complex mass
phenomenon for which traditional intelligence gathering was ill- suited.]

Defeat Terrorists, Start Using the Library: Scott Helfstein

By Scott Helfstein

August 30, 2011