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

Jeff McKenna jmckenna at gatewaygeomatics.com
Tue Jun 2 06:11:01 PDT 2015

Regarding metrics, I try to check into this for the OSGeo community 
about once a month; and oddly enough, yesterday I spent effort on 
updating our community statistics (recorded at 

But it is not easy.

And much more can be done.

So my point is that it is also difficult for the open community to 
quantify our impact.

Also related: yesterday I saw Tim Sutton tweet an interesting study 
comparing the feasibility of QGIS vs ArcGIS.  It contains some numbers. 


On 2015-06-02 8:58 AM, Suchith Anand 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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