[OSGeo-Discuss] Top ten myths for open source in geo?

Eduardo Kanegae ekanegae at gmail.com
Sun Jan 25 09:56:10 EST 2009

In 2008 I worked on a project all based on ESRI 9.2 family. At that
point I didn´t know much of ESRI products and had only worked with
foss products. Now I feel more confortable to give an opinion for

# myth monopoly : every only remember the (supposed) 30% esri market
share. Remember there´s also very nice commercial products like Safe
FME, CadCorp, ManiFold, PCI, ERDAS, ENVI and others ( and sometimes
most of these are embed on ESRI packs - eg.: raster support on AG
family )

# sustainability : while every major release of ESRI will force you to
re-develop your customizations, FOSS products keep release more
compatible. Example: a MapServer 3.x developer will use the same
principles and concepts on MapServer 5.x version. But, an ArcIMS
developer had to change its base when upgrading to ArcGIS Server 9.1,
recode for adapting to ArcGIS Server 9.2 API´s and now all this
concepts will change again with 9.3 version.

# maintenance : foss product will run more closer to open standards (
eg.: OGC´s ). So, you change foss parts without re-coding your entire
solution. The cost of training a new human resource on
insert/update/delete geo-feature using ArcObjects/ArcSDE is so much
higher when compared to OGC-SFS, per example.

# support : while on FOSS communities you can have a reply on minutes,
on 'esri forum' you can your topic open for months (
http://forums.esri.com/Thread.asp?c=158&f=2284&t=251001 ,
http://forums.esri.com/Thread.asp?c=158&f=2290&t=253698 ,
http://forums.esri.com/Thread.asp?c=93&f=985&t=270205&g=1 ) and NEVER
get a solution. In my sample, we discover a bug on ArcSDE/ArcMap
9.2sp4 but this will certainly NEVER be fixed because sp6 didn´t fixed
and ESRI will probably only look for 9.3 developments for now and on.
Because non-US customers CAN´T contact ESRI directly, we can only keep
suffering with poor local support.

best regards,

Eduardo Kanegae

On Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 1:53 PM, Michael P. Gerlek <mpg at lizardtech.com> wrote:
> Gentlepersons:
> I'm doing an article addressing the top ~10 myths/misperceptions about open source for geo.  There are a number of such pieces already out there about open source in general, from which I'll borrow heavily, but I'd like to have half the list be myths specific to the geo and GIS world we're playing in.
> Do you have any nominations?  Which issues are not well understood?  What questions do you most frequently get asked?
> Thanks in advance -
> -mpg
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