Business


Esri isn’t evil 4   Recently updated !

Yup you read it here, an open source advocate said that the leading GI proprietary vendor is not evil. Let me go one step further and say that I think Esri are pretty damn good. Now that is not to say that there are not aspects of their business model and practices that I wouldn’t criticise but more of that in another post. So what has prompted this outburst from an open source advocate? A […]


There’s no such thing as a free lunch – the movie

A couple of years back I wrote a piece on Open Source business models and how users could/should become contributors called “There’s no such thing as a free lunch“. Since then I have presented my thoughts at a couple of conferences and gradually shifted the pitch towards people working in Open Source Geo as opposed to end users. The ideas may be useful to people trying to articulate to their clients and potential clients why […]


Stretching FoI beyond a reasonable use case? 8

“The Freedom of Information Act is a good thing” – sounds like a reasonable statement that would attract a lot of support from many who read this blog or who live in the open data, open source, open whatever communities. In line with my position on the cost/benefit of Open Data, I have occasionally wondered whether some people/organisations are ‘taking the mick’ with their FoI requests. The act applies to all and any requests regardless of the […]


Size matters 1

I have been pondering (and pontificating) on the business of Open Source Geo for a while now for example “There is no such thing as a free lunch“. That has prompted a couple of questions How big is the Open Source geo industry? What economic benefit does Open Source Geo underpin? You might wonder why I think this important? I spend a fair amount of my time evangelising Open Source Geo, particularly within UK government. Despite […]


Boundless enthusiasm needs moderation 3

There is a bit of a rant coming, but before I start I want to get out a couple of disclaimer bits. There is nothing wrong with building a business on open source and nothing wrong with making profits from open source or paying peoples’ wages through it. I have written about the business of open source before. I am closely associated with Astun, a UK business that supplies products and services built on OSGeo […]


Why OS refuses an exemption request

A few weeks ago I wrote about Ordnance Survey’s response to my FoI request regarding data exemptions and I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised at the high proportion of requests that were granted. The FoI response left a gap as far as I was concerned so I asked a follow up question “You state that refusals were because OS “considered the risk of release of the dataset, to OS or our partners, outweighed the positive […]