Asia Geospatial Forum Abstract
This presentation gives an introduction to Free and Open Source Software and the role of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (http://www.osgeo.org) in professionalizing geospatial information technology.
For a long time it seemed as if there were no alternatives to software produced remotely from the user by closed source proprietary vendors. But at the end of the nineties Open Source experienced a revival due to the emergence of the Internet which enabled ubiquitous, instantaneous and global communication network at very low cost. In the beginning this was only recognized by early adopters and technically versed staff. But over the past years Open Source has become much more widespread and especially for Web infrastructures like servers, virtualized operating systems and the cloud it has firmly established itself as a market leader.
In 2006 a global movement in the geospatial IT gathered to found the Open Source Geospatial Foundation with the vision to create highest quality open source geospatial software. Five years later the organization has several thousand members all around the world, runs a big annual and dozen local conferences and is recognized as the global voice for Open Source geospatial. OSGeo has attracted sponsors from public administrations, academia and even the proprietary industry - showing that Open Source is not only a viable option but already is deeply rooted in the geospatial domain.
The next step in the Open Source geospatial evolution will be the broader commercial adoption of software, technologies and the dissemination of the related know-how. The OSGeo Foundation provides the infrastructure, governance and communities to professionally exploit this innovation while at the same time providing the security needed for sustainable use of infrastructure. Especially Asia will profit from adopting Open Source geospatial technologies providing advantages and opportunities on a global market.