An avalanche of Openness will be on display in Maptember


It has been ages since I last sat down to write a post. That is because I have been massively busy working on client stuff, particularly with the great team at Astun, and chairing FOSS4G has been a lot more work than I anticipated and a lot more fun and there have been a few other projects that I am involved with including OSM-GB and Taarifa [plug for my clients and projects over]. The common theme of all these activities is the Open word, either source or data.

Avalanche – thanks to http://www.flickr.com/photos/ecb/

So what’s going on and why? In the traditional GI space the interest in open source is just exploding. I can list a dozen public sector bodies from small local authorities to the largest counties to government departments and agencies who are all now saying “we need to look at open source”. They aren’t all about to change in the next few months (although several will) but they are no longer questioning the robustness of open source software or the availability of enterprise level support (some proprietary vendors should take note). Now these organisations are starting to explore the benefits and freedom that open source offers them and of course in a time of austerity the cost savings can be massive even if open source is not free!

There is lots happening in the open data space too, interest in OSM just keeps on growing and I have recently joined the advisory board of a new venture, Open Cage Data, started by Ed Freyfogle and his team at Lokku. I’m going to write some more on this soon.

There is so much open geo goodness going on in the UK in September that we have renamed it Maptember! For starters there is State of the Map, FOSS4G, the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team’s hack week, a QGIS codesprint, OSM plus and the 1st UK QGIS User Group meeting. Have a look at the Maptember web site for more details.

So will I see you in Maptember?

Warning – Avalanches can be very disruptive