[OSGeo-Discuss] [Geo4All] What is Openwashing? Is there any examples in GIS Vendors?

Suchith Anand Suchith.Anand at nottingham.ac.uk
Sun Nov 4 12:04:12 PST 2018

Hi Jody,

Thank you for your mail. I agree with your inputs and observations.

We need to enjoy the humour that all these open washing vendors are  providing freely to everyone!   I am enjoying the lot of humour coming from some GIS vendors adverts in recent years .  In future, we shouldn’t be surprised if we see any GIS vendors doing wholesale marketing/sales of “The Wisdom” .... Just joking :-)

I am of the view that both open and proprietary systems have an important place and need to work together. We are all part of a big ecosystem all working for Geo.

Best wishes,


From: Jody Garnett <jody.garnett at gmail.com>
Sent: Saturday, November 3, 2018 05:05
To: Suchith Anand
Cc: GeoForAll; ML osgeo discuss
Subject: Re: [Geo4All] What is Openwashing? Is there any examples in GIS Vendors?

Just a note we can also use this opening marketing departments provide to have a good conversation about what open source communities and foundations offer beyond what even the best open washing can dress up as. We can also include the open source companies on our service providers list as examples of organizations that get what we are trying to do with the world.

Meanwhile enjoy the humour, and be careful to point out the differences lease they give “open” a bad name. Each organization that is tripped up over the difference will have a bit more experience for next time.

And if you really care about communicating these differences please join the marketing team and lend your words to improving the world. We would love to have you :)

On Fri, Nov 2, 2018 at 5:01 AM Suchith Anand <Suchith.Anand at nottingham.ac.uk<mailto:Suchith.Anand at nottingham.ac.uk>> wrote:

I came across this term OpenWashing at http://openwashing.org

Openwashing: to spin a product or company as open, although it is not. Derived from 'greenwashing.'

Openwashing: n., having an appearance of open-source and open-licensing for marketing purposes, while continuing proprietary practices.

I am trying to understand the impact of this in GIS. Is there any examples of GIS Vendors using this OpenWashing?

Best wishes,


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Jody Garnett

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