[OSGeo-Discuss] How to quantify the economic impact of OSGeo software? Your help needed for a research article

Newcomb, Doug doug_newcomb at fws.gov
Tue Jun 2 05:20:36 PDT 2015

I am guessing that the 1 billion dollar number is for full commercial price
with no volume or educational discounts for the ArcGIS Online services.  If
you want to make a similar claim for the OSGeo Academy simply multiply the
full retail commercial cost ( plus maintenance) , without volume or
educational discounts, of the different  proprietary software packages with
equivalent functionality to the tasks presented in the GeoAcademy MOOC ,
 times 4000.

To add a bit more honesty, list the educational discount for the
proprietary software packages , then the full commercial price.  One could
make the case that the software presented in GeoAcademy does not change in
price when leaving academia for the "real world", presenting an economic
benefit to geospatial professionals starting careers.

Do a 10 year analysis, based on ongoing licensing purchase and maintenance
costs, between the software in GeoAcademy and the proprietary software.
Multiply that times 4000.

Just a suggestion.


On Tue, Jun 2, 2015 at 7:58 AM, Suchith Anand <
Suchith.Anand at nottingham.ac.uk> wrote:

> Hi all,
> Few years ago, myself and colleagues here did a study  to help us
> understand the social history of collaborative activities within the OSGeo
> ecosystem.  The results were published as a research paper on "Mapping
> Collaboration in Open Source Geospatial Ecosystem" in Transactions in GIS
> (Volume 16, Issue 4, pages 581–597, 2012).
> Last year after OSGIS 2014, following informal discussions with some
> colleagues, i decided to do a similar study to help understand the economic
> impact of OSGeo Software on the digital economy. To do this, we need to
> understand the metrics used for calculating this. Can anyone who has done
> similar studies in other domains help me point to any relevant articles for
> helping find a framework for this. We need to know the underlying metrics
> so we can use that same framework for this study.
> For example, reading through
> http://news.aag.org/2015/05/aag-seeks-proposal-authors-reviewers-for-new-ap-course-in-gist/
> i understand that  "In 2014, Esri announced a $1 billion gift of
> cloud-based ArcGIS Online software to support the Obama Administration’s
> ConnectEd initiative. This remarkable gift is providing free ArcGIS Online
> accounts to any public or private school upon request. " I am interested to
> understand how this $1 billion gift is calculated?  Can anyone
> knowledgeable on this provide the details of these metrics use for this
> calculation?
> For example, The GeoAcademy MOOC program that our colleagues did ( i
> understand that for just the March 2015 cohert were 4000 students in thier
> program who all used QGIS), so if they all had to buy properitory software
> for thier study, how much will they have to pay? and will it be possible to
> even run a course like this ? It is important to quantify this as it will
> help us also appreciate  the great donation of the Open Source Geospatial
> Foundation and the importance of Open Principles in Education.
> Once we can get details of the metrics used for the calculation of
> properitory software donation, we can use the same metric to understand the
> impact of OSGeo software donations over many years to the Global geospatial
> education, economy and business and help us with the new research paper
> that i am planning to work on "The Economic Impacts of Open Source
> Geospatial Software". I will acknowledge all contributions/inputs recieved
> from the wider community in this planned research paper. If you done
> similar kind of study, in other domains , it will be helpful to get your
> ideas. Thanks in advance.
> Best wishes,
> Suchith
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Doug Newcomb
Raleigh, NC
919-856-4520 ext. 14 doug_newcomb at fws.gov
The opinions I express are my own and are not representative of the
official policy of the U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service or Dept. of the
Interior.   Life is too short for undocumented, proprietary data formats.
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