gis theory

Deciding Between FOSSGIS and Proprietary Software in the Enterprise

FOSSGIS (Free and Open Source Geographic Information Systems) is an umbrella term for Open Source GIS projects. In the following article, Tim Sutton (QGIS project chair and director at Kartoza Pty Ltd.), explains how and why FOSSGIS makes its way into an enterprise environment.

Is FOSSGIS ready for the enterprise environment or is proprietary software better?

Let’s start with the hypothesis that, as a GIS professional, you wish to ‘tool up’ with the optimal set of software and hardware needed to carry out your duties. Having good instrumentation to measure what is the ‘best’ software is thus critical. In my mind, there are two main considerations at play when measuring optimality.

The first is cost. This encompasses both the ‘sticker price’ of a given product and the attendant costs of using and deploying a product in a production environment. Hardware, training, overheads in deployment/provisioning within the enterprise, the efficiency of the toolset (as relates to worker hours needed) for carrying out tasks, and so on, all contribute to the costs of your deployment.