Value


Free is great but time is money

I’ve been thinking about this post for a while now and I finally wanted to write something about gaming freemium. What do I mean by “gaming freemium”? How much effort will you go to in order to avoid paying for something? Most free services place a limit on the usage that you can get for nothing, the clever ones give you enough to make the service really useful and make their money from a small […]


Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde consider a new Geospatial Commission 6

It’s November, it’s budget time, it’s that moment when geo-geeks and OpenData enthusiasts scour the hundreds of pages of budget pronouncements searching for phrases like “Ordnance Survey”, “Land Registry” and “Open Data”. It’s amazing how often we have got a mention in the budget or spending review publications over the past decade, you’d think that with all of the challenges that the country has faced since the crash of 2008 that the Chancellor would have […]


Sales & Marketing 101 at FOSS4G

For almost a year now, Marc Vloemans (Eclipse Foundation) and I have been thinking/talking/planning a workshop on Sales & Marketing for SMEs that we are presenting at FOSS4G in Boston in August. It is coming together well, or at least we think so, and we are excited about it’s first airing. We both have a background in sales and marketing and have spent the last decade or more in geospatial, however the workshop is not […]


The next PSMA may reshape Ordnance Survey 3

This advert recruiting for a “Head of Public Sector Mapping & Addressing Agreements Team” reminded me that the current Public Sector Mapping Agreement (PSMA for OS geeks and followers) is coming up for renegotiation with a deadline of end 2017 (presumably the new renegotiated agreement will come into effect on 1st April 2018). This a 2 year contract at a fairly senior level: We are looking for someone with strong commercials skills and ideally experience […]


Esri isn’t evil 9

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 […]


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 […]


QGIS 2.14 LTR – how Open Source works

Monday was an exciting day for open source geo geeks. The QGIS community announced the release of QGIS 2.14 LTR the latest and hopefully greatest QGIS release. You can get a sense of what the release contains by looking at the comprehensive Change Log. When I started to look through the change log I couldn’t help but smile, it illustrated perfectly how the collaborative open source development and business model worked for the whole community. Let […]


Dear Chancellor 2

The Right Honourable George Osborne 11 Down in the Street London Dear Chancellor I hope you are well. You must be looking forward to putting your feet up and sipping a nice single malt over the weekend after a the excitement of the budget. It’s been a pretty damn good week. Those nice people at OBR found you £27bn which came in pretty handy when you needed to ‘fine tune’ the austerity timetable. Then that amusing John […]


‘All you can eat’ may leave you with indigestion

It doesn’t matter whether you work in the public or private sector, everyone is looking to do more with less which includes pressure on software costs. Recently I have been looking at pricing models with clients in the private and public sectors and on both sides of procurement which has prompted some musings on software pricing and how it compares with the pricing of other products. The more you buy the less you pay Go into […]


OpenData – APIs vs data dumps, it’s economics innit? 2

  I spotted a tweet from Owen Boswarva a few days ago “We need to move away from government’s reliance on bulk data sharing and create an economy of APIs.” 100% wrong. #opendata #ODIsummit — Owen Boswarva (@owenboswarva) November 3, 2015 BTW, it wasn’t Owen suggesting we need to move to an economy of APIs, that quote was from Matt Hancock’s address to the Open Data Instate Summit. I replied It isn’t govt’s job to […]


Ooooh – a round thing with spokes! 5

I picked up on the twitter conversation between my friend James Rutter and folk at CycleStreets about an application to Ordnance Survey’s GeoVation program for “a modern interface to UK wide planning application data“- note that OS is offering a share of £101,000 to the winners of this challenge, that’s quite a lot of taxpayer dosh. There was a tooing and froing about whether yet another initiative was needed to aggregate planning information. I have written before […]


There is no such thing as a free lunch 11

This might be a bit of a long and windy road type post, so bare with me as I try to work my way through this topic. If you are impatient, skip the intro and jump into the meat of it. Go back 4 years and I wrote a post called “Cocktails on the Titanic” based on a couple of talks I had given about future business models within the geo space. I said “Open Source software […]