An Introduction To Open Source Geospatial

Arnulf Christl (metaspatial)

12:00 on Thursday 19th September (in Session 5, starting at noon, EMCC: Room 2)

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Description: This is a presentation focused on gently introducing the unitiated to the concepts of Open Source, Free Software licenses and the associated business models.

The first part of this presentation is about the beginnings of Open Source development and Free Software licensing. The second part of this presentation introduces OSGeo's mission, goals and the organizational structure implemented to achieve them. To make it a little more bearable all of this is wrapped up nicely and bundled with the story of how Open Source was the natural thing to do, how it was then pirated and appropriated by closed business models and how it eventually has been conquered back once the Internet came into being for real. Now - knowing that we are all geeks none of us really wants to hear this again! And why do we need to preach to the converted? Well, you don't have to. But there are still people out there who ask: * Is it really all gratis - er - free? * Who can I sue when it goes wrong? * How can this be reliable? * Do I get support? Therefore this kind introduction to Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial is still important and often gets neglected in the more geeky conference. But if we want to get anywhere we will have to help folks who still think by themselves: * This Open Source stuff is insecure and unsafe. * Open Source = unlicensed = pirated. Better stay away! * Nobody serious is using this for real. * It's all for geeks only. * I am too old to learn this. * Nobody will behead me if I stuck with the old crap and everything falls apart. And so on. In case there is no other presentation addressing these topics and the need for an introduction is seen then I am prepared to give it (yet again) with a decade of experience and trying to not look to bored by it. Cheers, your Ex-Borg