[Incubator] Is rasdaman suitable/ready for OSGeo incubation?

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Fri Dec 3 18:40:59 EST 2010

I had the pleasure this week of meeting Peter Baumann, the primary 
author behind rasdaman [1], a dual licensed raster processing 
application. Along with Bruce Bannerman, we discussed rasdaman's 
application for OSGeo application (initiated 18 months ago).

Understandably, Peter noted some frustration by the lack of progress 
moving toward OSGeo Incubation.

Since talking to Peter, I've looked at rasdaman further, and think that 
rasdaman has some great functionality, but I'm concerned that the 
current dual license will hamper uptake from the open source community.

Radaman is provided via an open source community edition, and then has 
extensions which are in a proprietary enterprise edition. [2] My concern 
is the dual license will substantially reduce the number of developers 
prepared to grow the rasdaman developer community, as there will be a 
feeling that the prime developer will only maintain and advance the 
enterprise version.

One of the key goals for incubation is to build a robust developer 
community, with contributors from multiple organisations, and to have 
the project grow sustainably. As it stands, I think that rasdaman's 
licence model will make the project dependent upon the organisation 
offering the enterprise software, which is counter to some of OSGeo 

I understand the challenge of finding a suitable business model and 
deciding whether to go down the proprietary or open source route. Yes, 
with Open Source you do get significant marketing reach and having 
others share development costs. Alternatively, with proprietary, you can 
charge for software. If you wish to try to achieve both, then you will 
likely end up having to write most/all software yourself, which doesn't 
align with OSGeo goals of building a robust developer community.
This may be a reason why people on the incubation committee have not 
pushed rasdaman forward further.
If you wish to continue with OSGeo incubation, I would suggest 
considering adjusting your licence model.

[1] http://rasdaman.eecs.jacobs-university.de/trac/rasdaman
[2] http://rasdaman.eecs.jacobs-university.de/trac/rasdaman/wiki/Features

Cameron Shorter
Geospatial Director
Tel: +61 (0)2 8570 5050
Mob: +61 (0)419 142 254

Think Globally, Fix Locally
Geospatial Solutions enhanced with Open Standards and Open Source

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