Federal Computer Week: Open-Source Movement Hits GIS Market

Thanks to Ernest
for this link.

“Following the lead of the open-source stalwarts who made the
Linux operating system and the Mozilla World Wide Web browser
respected, real-world products, developers of geographic
information system (GIS) software are providing open-source tools
that could become a valuable resource for state and local IT

“Open-source distribution provides access to free, modifiable
source code without the technical support common to commercial

“Until recently, deciding which route to take for GIS has been
fairly easy. For a hefty price, commercial vendors will provide
robust tools and good support, enabling urban planners, zoning and
tax departments, and emergency service providers to access detailed
photos from satellites and high-altitude airplanes.”

“The high cost of commercial software, however, has put such
graphic data out of the reach of many state and local users, while
in-house programmers have had few resources available to help them
write their own code. The advent of open-source GIS and
remote-sensing tools promises to tip the balance in the
programmers’ favor.”