I have been using Open Source GIS software for years (mainly MapServer) and had read a few articles about the open source software business model. However I was always intrigued by it. I mean, fine if you are a lone software developer who creats a bit of code and wants to share it with his/her peers. Recognition, pride, respect by others and all these nice fuzzy feelings come with it. But what about if you are a company? How easy can it be to write a fully-featured application and then give it out to the big wide world? For free?
So what better place to answer my questions than in the Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial 2009 conference that took place in Sydney? My main question was answered right from the start by Paul Ramsey in his excellent keynote presentation. (which i will try to post here as soon as it becomes available). I also attended some very interesting technical presentations on the different open source product offerings but the highlight of the event was the WMS Performance Shootout which compared the performance of MapServer and Geoserver. ESRI and ERDAS had initially stated that they will also join at the performance testing but they both dropped out later for separate reasons. A shame… that would have been REALLY interesting!
All in all, an excellent experience and something that I will make a point of attending in the future.