[OSGeo-Discuss] Proprietary GIS on our OSGeo website

Stephen Woodbridge woodbri at swoodbridge.com
Thu Sep 21 12:32:40 PDT 2017

I just got off the phone with a client that is interested in migrating 
to open source tools. They problem is they don't know where to start. 
They know what proprietary tools they are using, they know what features 
they are using, they know about OSGeo, but rapidly get lost in all the 
projects and what they do and how they might be used to replace what 
they have.

They need :
* a simple mapping from proprietary to FOSS tools, so they can start 
learn more about which tools to investigate.
* simple recipes and direction to get them started, ie: lower the cost 
of entrance.
* list of resources, like mailing lists, where to download, what 
tutorials and/books are available or experts in the various tools they 
are interested.

We need to make this easy for people that are not familiar with FOSS to 
easily find their way into our community. They want to educate 
themselves a little before engaging the community.

I often act as a compass and help guide them to get started, but I only 
know part of the pie.

So migration guides would be good. Some form of mapping products to 
projects would be very useful.

I like the format of Choose Open Source and I think it covers a lot of 
these needs.


On 9/21/2017 3:00 PM, Jody Garnett wrote:
> Thanks that is a great example - this is the roll I hope that 
> http://osgeo.getinteractive.nl/choose-a-project/ 
> <http://osgeo.getinteractive.nl/choose-a-project/> will play (now that 
> is actually working correctly).
> I am happy to try an experiment and see if this is sufficient, I just do 
> not want to lose track of the vision that we are helping non-community 
> members connect with open source.
> I am sorry this discussion started over links, which look to of been 
> added to the beta website by mistake. I do not mind naming competitor 
> products, in case studies, migration guides, or "even" on project pages. 
> In the case of project pages it is up to each project steering committee 
> what they want to do.
> --
> Jody Garnett
> On 21 September 2017 at 08:45, Daniel Kastl <daniel at georepublic.de 
> <mailto:daniel at georepublic.de>> wrote:
>     I think "Switch2osm" is a very good example how to help migrating to
>     non-proprietary tools: https://switch2osm.org/
>     I quickly went through their site and as far as I could see,
>     competitor names only appear in case studies.
>     Maybe we could have "switch2foss" in a similar way.
>     It's a very good idea to help new users to find open alternatives to
>     the proprietary software they're using right now.
>     I agree with many here, that this doesn't require to provide links
>     to them.
>     Best regards,
>     Daniel
>     On Thu, Sep 21, 2017 at 4:53 PM, Gert-Jan van der Weijden (OSGeo.nl)
>     <gert-jan at osgeo.nl <mailto:gert-jan at osgeo.nl>> wrote:
>         As a regular user of proprietary GIS software (ArcGIS, FME,
>         Oracle Spatial etcetera) I can assure that it is very valuable
>         to have some sort of guidance in the diversity of the FOSS
>         landscape.
>         I agree that "similar proprietary products" isn't the right
>         label. However, instead of the proposed "migratte from" (which
>         sound like a complete migration plan) I'd suggest the label
>         "comparable proprietary software".
>         Kind regards,
>         Gert-Jan
>         María Arias de Reyna schreef op 21-09-2017 8:30:
>                     On 20 September 2017 at 02:41, Helmut Kudrnovsky
>                     <hellik at web.de <mailto:hellik at web.de>> wrote:
>                         Dear OSGeo community
>                         I want to bring you a discussion on a github
>                         ticket about linking to
>                         "similar proprietary products" [1] to your
>                         attention.
>                         My comment there:
>                         "I support and concur with Venka that the item
>                         "Similar Proprietary
>                         Products" should be removed. There isn't only
>                         one proprietary GIS software
>                         out there, there are several others. IMHO such
>                         comparisons may be part of
>                         e.g. a reviewed scientific paper/elaboration,
>                         where our OSGeo projects - if
>                         they want to - may link to. I see no added value
>                         for OSGeo to serve such
>                         links. As already elsewhere mentioned by me,
>                         reciprocity is the key if such
>                         items are listed, but I can't see this happen. "
>                         I'm pretty much convinced that more effort to
>                         help our OSGeo projects
>                         improving on every level (e.g. documentation,
>                         reach out, testing, etc) is
>                         the key rather than linking to proprietary
>                         software. One of such
>                         opportunities may be the upcoming Google Code In
>                         (GCI) 2017 e.g. to produce
>                         nice screenshots for documentation, produce some
>                         fancy videos etc. based on
>                         tiny little tasks for students aged 13 to 17. A
>                         good invest in the young who
>                         will be our OSGeo's future.
>                         Kind regards
>                         Helmut
>                         OSGeo charter member
>                         [1] https://github.com/OSGeo/osgeo/issues/100
>                         <https://github.com/OSGeo/osgeo/issues/100>
>                         [2]
>                         https://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/discuss/2017-September/036217.html
>                         <https://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/discuss/2017-September/036217.html>
>                         _______________________________________________
>                         Discuss mailing list
>                         Discuss at lists.osgeo.org
>                         <mailto:Discuss at lists.osgeo.org>
>                         https://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
>                         <https://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss>
>             Hi,
>             On my opinion, it makes sense to show relation between
>             propietary and
>             free and open software. Just because we want to people to
>             migrate to
>             free and open source software, so it is good if they can
>             search for
>             the software they are currently using to know what software
>             will they
>             use. It makes sense, it makes life easier on migrations.
>             Said this, I prefer the "Migrate from" label much better.
>             And sure, no
>             link to the product, just the name. Why would we need a
>             link? If they
>             don't know what that software is, the information is useless
>             to them.
>             If they already know what that software is, the information is
>             redundant. So having a name is fine, having a link is nonsense.
>             Is "Migrate from" label aggresive? Not at all. We are OsGeo,
>             we are
>             promoting FLOSS. Promoting FLOSS means we are encouraging
>             people to
>             move from propietary to open. That is our philosophy, that
>             is our
>             motto. If propietary software feels bad because we follow
>             our goals...
>             well, then maybe they should stop promoting their own
>             software too
>             because that makes me feel bad.
>             Regards,
>             María.
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>     -- 
>     Georepublic UG & Georepublic Japan
>     eMail: daniel.kastl at georepublic.de <mailto:daniel.kastl at georepublic.de>
>     Web: https://georepublic.info
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