GIScussions


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 […]


Wanted: Old political boundary maps 1

Crowdsourcing some presentation images I need some help to find old map images for a presentation that I am preparing. In “When politics meet maps there is no right” I wrote about the challenges in representing disputed boundaries and place names for digital mappers. I will be presenting on this topic at FOSS4G in Bonn in August and the British Cartographic Society symposium in September. Do you have any images or scans of old political geography […]


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 […]


GIS is not a profession (and other less controversial observations) 5

Today I did a Q&A with the Early Careers Network of the AGI. Much of it was fairly uncontroversial stuff about career plans in GI and some trends. My main focus was on choosing a good employer that provides opportunities, career progression and growth rather than being too worried about how much GI you were going to do. Somehow I slipped in the proposition that GI was not a profession and the future would be about […]


A tale of two datasets 2

This is a tale of two datasets – an open data set and a free dataset. Last Tuesday at GeoMob, Anna Powell-Smith gave an absolutely brilliant talk about the work that she had done with Private Eye to uncover the extent of foreign company ownership of UK property. It wasn’t straight forward as the Land registry seems to be reluctant to make the data available (there is a lot more than raw Land Registry data in […]