[OSGeo-Discuss] OSGeo friendly countries to live in

Richard Rupp palousegeo at gmail.com
Thu Aug 20 10:03:02 PDT 2009


This is a great thought-provoking discussion.

Thinking about the U.S. geodata released in the MrSID format. I think this
may be the best way to show the return on the taxpayers' investment in the
data. The vast majority of citizens don't want to manipulate these datasets;
they only want to view them. The MrSID format with USGS topo maps and USDA
county compressed mosaics makes them available to many more people than a
more open format would.

For those of us who want to manipulate these datasets with our geospatial
OSS, alternatives are available. Perhaps someday there will be a widely
adopted open format that can compete with MrSID but for today the MrSID
option provides for the best access for the largest number of people.

Regards, Richard

On Thu, Aug 20, 2009 at 7:36 AM, Landon Blake <lblake at ksninc.com> wrote:

> MPG,
> I didn't mean to shine a spotlight on the USDA's use of MRSID. It is one
> of several examples of an attitude I was trying to describe.
> I think you and I respectfully disagree with one another on one aspect
> of this debate. In my humble opinion sharing data acquired with tax
> payer funding in a format that is easily accessed without the use of
> proprietary software should be the most important factor in a file
> format decision by a government agency. (Well, maybe the second most
> important. The most important is the license that data is released
> under.)
> A company is well within its rights to use and promote a proprietary
> file format. I admit that file format may even have awesome benefits
> when compared to the best equivalent open file format.
> Just don't ask me to be happy when my government decides to use this
> proprietary file format. I think it short changes the citizens of the
> government and give that company an unfair advantage over its
> competitors.
> I'd much rather see the government support a company that was trying to
> build its business around open technology standards.
> In my opinion, you can't have it all. If you want to build your business
> model around a proprietary file format like DWG or MRSID you should be
> prepared to deal with a little push back from open source and open
> technology advocates, especially when their money (in the form of tax
> dollars) is involved.
> One of the greatest things ESRI ever did was publish the Shapefile
> specification. I don't doubt they have a software monopoly of sorts, but
> I will always respect them for that move. In many respects it has
> changed my view of their company. I don't know that the free software
> movement on the geospatial side of things would have been widely adopted
> without that standard way to share data.
> But alas, I am just one man and my opinion doesn't count for much in the
> greater scheme of things!
> I appreciate having an open source advocate like you at LizardTech, and
> please don't take my e-mail as a personal attack. The use of open file
> formats by our governments is just something I feel strongly about.
> Landon
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