By Joe Francica

We had quite a few letters this past week regarding last week's editorial on Open Source GIS and Linux and I thought I would pass along some of those comments.It obviously struck a cord with many of you and I can foresee that future discussion may be warranted.As always, we welcome articles of any topic and please contact me if you would like to submit a more technical brief on your experiences with Linux and other open source GIS products.So, here is a recap of some of the comments by readers (The full text of each letter can be read at LETTERS:
  • Safe Supports Linux: Safe Software supported Linux as a platform for our FME product since 1994.For us, it's a fast Unix development environment, and we've always had some customers that choose to deploy FME on Linux - they tend to choose it as an inexpensive but high performance platform for pushing a lot of data around.We were amongst a small number of companies adopting Linux in those early times.Our own VP of Development even wrote a 2500-word introductory article about Linux for Canada's free monthly "The Computer Paper" (which has since been absorbed into "Canada Computes," though the article itself can still be found at FME for Linux is currently still built on an old GCC 2.91.66 running on RedHat 6.2.-- Dale Lutz, Safe Software
  • Bundaberg City Council in Queensland Australia: Here at Bundaberg City Council in Queensland Australia we are using GenaMap.Their website is We have been running our corporate GIS on Linux for about 2 years, prior to this GenaMap was running on a Digital Alpha and HP-UX.They are now pushing Linux as their preferred operating system.
  • DM Solutions: Our company now implements all of our solutions with open source technologies.We have 12 full time staff and 6 contractors who work with us on a regular basis.We are the prime developers of the open source MapServer product from the University of Minnesota, with approximately 75% of the core development of the product completed by our staff.If you are interested in information about our approach to Open Source within the GIS industry, I'd recommend having a read over a document on our web site which you can find at: -- Dave McIlhagga, DM Solutions.

  • Who will deliver a mainstream GIS product on Linux first? Maybe in the next 10 years, when GIS becomes more mainstream throughout the enterprise, we will see such animals.In the near term, I expect GIS vendors to keep their proprietary source code in the vault -- Ray Bivens, Northrop Grumman IT, TASC

Published Tuesday, April 1st, 2003

Written by Joe Francica

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