Evaluation of OpenSource Software

OpenSource programs are increasingly becoming used by small non-profit and government agencies who simply don't have funding for expensive corporate software packages.  I'd like to hear from users of OpenSource software to find out what thier experiences are and how useful these programs might be to other small organizations looking to save money but still have capacity.



From the uDig website:

"The User-friendly Desktop Internet GIS (uDig) is both a GeoSpatial application and a platform through which developers can create new, derived applications. uDig is a core element in an internet aware Geographic Information System.

uDig has been developed with a strong emphasis on supporting the public standards being developed by the Open Geospatial Consortium, and with a special focus on the Web Map Server and Web Feature Server standards."


AMN UserMap upgrade - your feedback is needed

Hello Everyone;

As hosts of the Aboriginal Mapping Network we are always interested in learning how the web-based resources AMN provides can improve your local work. We are currently seeking funding to expand upon the geospatial functionality of the UserMap - both to improve the social (professional) networking capabilities of the tool, and connect a mapping/basic analysis functionality.  We would really appreciate your feedback, especially if you have explored uDIG or other existing Open Source GIS applications.

The social networking function of the UserMap could better connect the growing population of global users by enabling geographic and attribute queries to be asked of a database, returning results narrowing individuals or websites doing the same work. For example where in the world of AMN users are practioners working on mapping of subsurface Indigenous burial grounds?

The basic mapping functionality might draw upon and expand uDIG,  an Open Source GIS application, to specifically address the needs of Indigenous practioners (with or without GIS experience) who need a ready-to-use tool to make maps efficiently. The key goal is to protect local knowledge,by having the user maintain control over those data, while mainatining the flexibility to tap into publicly accesible geospatial data.

Please let us know what your needs at the local community level are so that this potential new tool for the AMN is best designed to meet your needs.



Greg Kehm, Manager GIS & Information Services

Ecotrust Canada/AMN, Vancouver BC   gregk@ecotrustcan.org  604-682-4141 x31


From the GRASS website:

"Commonly referred to as GRASS, this is a Geographic Information System (GIS) used for geospatial data management and analysis, image processing, graphics/maps production, spatial modeling, and visualization. GRASS is currently used in academic and commercial settings around the world, as well as by many governmental agencies and environmental consulting companies."


MapGuide Open Source

Autodesk MapGuide is a widely used Web Mapping product which has had quite a bit of success with Regional and Municipal Government Applications.  In mid 2006 Autodesk announced that it would be utilizing MapServer scripting to create and Open Source version of MapGuide, the result is MapGuide Open Source (also referred to as MapGuide Server).

As Open Source software, MapGuide is now available for free download and can be installed on any machine running IMS, Apache or a variety of other web service programs.  We downloaded the package and installed it along with the free preview version of MapGuide Studio and were able to get up and running with a simple web mapping application in less than 2 hours.  The instructions were clear and easy to follow and the application is quick and quite robust. 

Unfortunately our test application is running internally so it cannot be shared with you, however several simple applications are available on the MapGuide Open Source website at https://mapguide.osgeo.org/livegallery.html 

For more information about MapGuide Open Source and the software downloads, visit thewebsite at https://mapguide.osgeo.org/