[Freegis-list] gis meeting
arnulf.christl at ccgis.de
Wed Jun 1 14:20:56 CEST 2005
Steven Bowden wrote:
> On Wednesday 01 June 2005 04:22, Daniel Calvelo Aros wrote:
>>there is no commmercial major GIS for linux;
> There is GenaMap produced by GenaWare http://www.genaware.com/
> We have been running it on Linux for about 4 years now. Prior to that we have
> run it on DEC Alpha and HPUX.
> As far as I know they are the only commercial GIS that actively supports the
> use of some open source tools, ie linux and Postgersql. As far as I know
> none of the other major GIS players actively support Postgresql as a db
In the realm of spatial data infrastructures support and use of Free
Software by proprietary producers is a lot more common than in the
traditional GIS context.
i have heard of rumors that ESRI SDE will support PostGIS in one of the
next versions. Should be difficult not to as it supports all relevant
The German GIS vendor ibR also "promised" to support PostGIS, but i did
not see it in cold print yet.
Further off the Free Software concept (this is not new) people talk
about Oracle "being" Open Source because it runs on Linux.
Proprietay vendors already make heavy use of Free Software, especially
operating systems (GNU/Linux) and web servers (Apache) though no GIS as
Somewhat belated but maybe still of interest:
The attitude of proprietary vendors regarding Open Source GIS
(components) have been verbalized by Intergraph, ESRI, Autodesk, Oracle,
GE Smallworld and c-plan in a press conference in Munich 2004/07/20. A
report including some statements can be found here: (German language):
The expert group was supposed to shed light on the terms Open, Open
Source, Open GIS (former OGC; now Open Geospatial) and Open Software
(whatever that might be). They refused to use the term Free Software
because "we want to reach broad interest and nobody would understand
what is meant by Free Software. Open Source is better known".
my short personal interpretation (not a translation!):
The main question was whether proprieatary GIS vendors (they said
commercial but meant proprietary) fear reduced turnover.
UMN MapServer, GeoServer, PostGIS, deegree, PROJ4, OGR and so on were
easily identified as not fulfilling traditional GIS design parameters
and thus to be incomparable. The only complete Open Source GIS that is
comparable to traditional proprietary products was thus identified to be
Winzenhöller (Autodesk) said that the commercial success of Autodesk is
measured by generated revenue, not by providing Open Source software.
The GIS market itself is a minor market for Autodesk. Open Source
components make up an even lesser share, therefore it is not important
for Autodesks revenue.
Interesting: If users ever would request Open Source (which they did not
until that day) Autodesk would provide it!
Markus (c-plan; then a swiss based reseller of Autodesk software and
producer of TOPOBASE, a spatial and GIS extension for Oracle) said that
they already ship some OS components if requested by users. The mayor
point of criticism was that all "Open Source licenses" supposedly still
were legally arguable.
btw: c-plan has been bought by Autodesk a few weeks ago.
Alisch (Intergraph) repeated the will to cooperate with the Open Source
community as soon as all open legal issues are clarified.
i do not remember which legal issues he meant and the report does not
state either. But i do remember that they said that they recognize Open
Source GIS components as a challenge and will scrutinize possibilities
of how to integrate the OS software and communities (does that mean
Buziek (ESRI Germany) stated that the mosst important issue really is
the geo data and therefore should be the center of discussion. Not a
word about their own plans, fears, or anything.
Our suggestion that ESRI will have to Free its software in order to stay
market leader produced a "maybe sometime" and a weak smile.
Schlageter (GE Smallworld) supports the idea to integrate Open Source -
but only after all legal questions have been resolved.
Seiwerth (Oracle) pronounced the importance of Open Source regarding
Linux as an operating system for Oracle databases. To compete with
PotgreSQL/PostGIS Oracle will simply always have to be better.
Most interestingly one mayor point of criticism by all proprietary
vendors was that development of Open Source GIS software supposedly is
developer centric and not user centric like it should be.
My feeling was that the GIS industry in the US has not yet recongized
the full potential of Free Software which causes problems for the
marketing strategies in Europe. Maybe perception is already slowly
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