New website – but what is Open Geospatial?


This is a “sign-of-life-post” as my last blog was in 2013. After too many years, I created a new website for which also integrates my barren blog. These days, making a website is a breeze thanks to WordPress (WP) and responsive design themes. WP provides an ideal dynamic platform (just update regularly and minimize plugins). I hope to regularly publish here about some of the Open Geospatial projects I am working on plus other events in the OSGeo arena and my personal thoughts on “Open Geospatial”.

Huh, “Open Geospatial”? Ok, one of the main issues I am struggling with is how to call my/our working domain. I often try to explain this as a combination of two domains:

  1. what is known as “GIS” , “Geospatial”, or better “Spatial IT” (watch this Paul Ramsey Video!).
  2. the world of Free Software , Open Source Software (OSS) and Free and Open Source Software (FOSS)

Both have definition issues. How to even name the combination of these two, so that your family, friends and even IT-folks immediately know what you are doing (another recommended Paul Ramsey video)? A challenge. I sometimes call it the intersection of the two, but set-theory gets too far for some. The abbreviation FOSS4G appeals, but gives confusion with the great conferences by that name.

And then I would even like to include Open Standards and Open Data into the mix. So, for convenience, I have dubbed the domain here as Open Geospatial, maybe Open Spatial would be better, at least the term summarizes reference to the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) .

Ok, probably I should not bother, but if someone comes up with a crisp definition, I am Open (sic!).