Recently OpenGeo announced that they’ve taken on funding and spun out from their not-for-profit parent organization, OpenPlans. OpenGeo is major player offering mature open source geospatial solutions based on solid software such as PostGIS, GeoServer, OpenLayers and much more, including their open source all-in-one OpenGeo Suite. Here's our exclusive Q&A with OpenGeo.
Slashgeo: What were the real-life limitations of the not-for-profit model that OpenGeo wants to get rid?
OpenGeo: To pursue our mission of growing open source geospatial software communities we truly need be independent. While we are very supportive of the OpenPlans’ (our incubator parent non-profit) mission, our ability to set our own course and be responsive to the needs of our customers and communities was limited until this spin-off. There were additional, more mundane limitations, such as an inability to directly compete as a “small business” (non profits are not businesses), and the difficulty in raising capital as a not-for-profit.
Slashgeo: Does this change allow OpenGeo to become even better competitors to other commercial and open source geospatial solutions providers?
OpenGeo: It allows us to better execute our “Spatial IT” initiatives, so “yes.” We will be hiring more staff to enhance the user experience of our software, increase documentation and build additional capabilities. We believe all aspects of our work will benefit from our independence and increased funding.
Slashgeo: Do you foresee any impact on the diversity of the solutions you're offering? Do you plan to build capacity and expertise for other currently popular open source services that OpenGeo doesn't currently offer?
OpenGeo: That is something we are looking at very seriously. Many of our customers have asked us to develop capabilities that go well beyond the web mapping and related services we’re known for now – stay tuned!
Slashgeo: Will there be any impact on your relation with the Open Geospatial Consortium and your support for modern and efficient geospatial standards?
OpenGeo: Our greater independence and funding will enable us to be even more effective in working with the OGC. Our founder, Chris Holmes, was recently named to the OGC Board. We’re also founding members of LocationTech, with several other key OGC players, which is helping broaden adoption of location aware technologies that leverage geospatial standards.
Slashgeo: Any long term plans associated to this change that you'd like to share with our readers?
OpenGeo: Our goal remains the same: to build the highest quality software for location and mapping, available to all. This important step gives us a stronger base of resources to support the open source communities we work with. We remain committed to open source principles and look forward to continuing our develop the best geospatial tools while supporting the open source communities and our customers alike.
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