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A Basic Introduction to Free and Open Source Software. Presented by John Bocan. Misnomers and misunderstandings Is it just like the other “free” software and shareware? Will it run under Windows? Do I have to learn Linux? Is there a GUI? Will I need to use only the command line?

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Misnomers and misunderstandings

  • Is it just like the other “free” software and shareware?
  • Will it run under Windows? Do I have to learn Linux?
  • Is there a GUI? Will I need to use only the command line?
  • Does it use some strange and weird filetype?
  • Do I need to compile source code before I install it?
  • I guess there is no support if I have a problem?
  • Who uses this stuff?
slide3

What is meant by free?

  • Is it free as in speech or as in beer?
    • There IS a difference!
  • We refer to philosophical ideas of freedom and not in terms of price.
slide4

Free Software Foundation

http://www.fsf.org

“Free software is a matter of the users\' freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. More precisely, it means that the program\'s users have the four essential freedoms:

●The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).

● The freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

● The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).

● The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.”

- from the Free Software Definition http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html

slide5

Open Source Software

10 criteria for being “Open Source”

  • Free Redistribution
  • Source Code
  • Derived Works
  • Integrity of the author\'s source code.
  • No discrimination against persons or groups
  • No Discrimination against fields of endeavor
  • Distribution of license
  • License must not be specific to a product
  • License must not restrict other software
  • License must be technology-neutral

http://www.opensource.org/

From the Open Source Definition http://www.opensource.org/docs/osd

slide6

Licensing

Table 1. Differences between FOSS licenses (modified after Perens 1999).

- From: Steiniger and Bocher, “An Overview on Current Free and Open Source Desktop GIS Developments”

slide7

GIS Software

  • Desktop
  • Server
  • Web Server/Applicaitons
  • Tools / Frameworks / Libraries
  • SuitesSoft
slide8

GIS Software: Desktop

  • GRASS
  • Quantum GIS (QGIS)
  • Udig
  • OpenJump (and varients)
  • gvSIG
  • SAGA
slide9

Screenshots/examples from:

Steiniger and Bocher, “An Overview on Current Free and Open Source Desktop GIS Developments”

slide11

GIS Software: Tools / Libraries / Suites

C based:

  • GDAL raster format reader/writer)
  • OGR (vector format reader/writer)
  • Proj4 (coordinate reprojection)
  • GEOS (geometry objects and functions

Java based:

  • JTS Topology Suite (OpenGIS geometries and methods)
  • GeoTools (data formats, Java GIS Toolkit)
  • WKB4J (Java Well-Known Binary reader/writer
  • GML4J (GML reader/writer)
slide12

GIS Software: Suites

  • Arramagong Live DVD
    • From OSGeo
    • Xubuntu DVD full of FOSS GIS
    • http://www.arramagong.com
  • OpenGeo Suite – Community Edition
  • Portable GIS on a Stick from Archaeogeek:

http://www.archaeogeek.com/blog/portable-gis/

http://www.osgeo.org/files/journal/v3/en-us/final_pdfs/cook.pdf

user questions for evaluation
User Questions for Evaluation
  • Can it work in a current version of MS Windows (or Mac OS X)?

e.g., OpenGeo Suite Community or Enterprise Editions

  • Is there solid, consistent, active recent development for the project/software?
  • How old is the project in relation to the software product(s)?
  • The number and type of bugs are in the bug reports?
  • Evidence of quick turnaround for bug solutions/corrections/fixes?
  • Ample technical documentation?
  • Does project have good evolutionary direction? Does project change scope?
  • Ample, accessible and active help and/or developer forums, wikis, blogs, etc?
  • Can it work with industry standard file formats including some major proprietary

(e.g., shapefile, tiff, jpeg, png, dem)? mrSid?

  • Can I open a shapfile or create new ones?
  • Who’s using this? View sample galleries/applications or see if there are links to clients.
  • Does the project have any industrial, governmental, educational contributors, sponsors, backers?

e.g., Refractions Research

  • Does the project embrace standards?

WMS, WFS, metadata

  • How “free” is the software? As in “freedom”, “beer”, “first one is free”?
  • Also licensing? Has it changed in the past?
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Resources:

An Overview on Current Free and Open Source Desktop GIS Developments

(paper,PDF) ):

http://terragis.net/docs/presentations/sstein_foss_desktop_gis_overview.pdf

OSGeo: http://www.osgeo.org/

OpenGeo Community-Edition: http://opengeo.org/community/suite/

The State of Open Source GIS – Paul Ramsey

http://www.refractions.net/expertise/whitepapers/opensourcesurvey/survey-open-source-2007-12.pdf

Free Geography Tools: http://freegeographytools.com/

Listing of Open Source GIS : http://www.opensourcegis.org/

(tries to give licensing info)

Overview of Free and Open Source Desktop GIS (charts):

http://www.spatialserver.net/osgis/

Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc (OGC) is a non-profit, international, voluntary consensus standards organization that is leading the development of standards for geospatial and location based services.

http://www.opengeospatial.org/

John Bocan bocan @ geosrv.wvnet.edu

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