Saturday, January 7, 2012
The Open Source Software Initiative Comes to NGA
Faced with the dual reality that the American taxpayer's pockets are empty, and that the open source software community has come a long way in the past decade, several efforts to promote the use of open source software in the Federal government have taken root. Two of the most notable are:
Recently, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) decided to change its policies to allow the use of open source geospatial software at the agency. Given NGA is the primary provider of remote sensing and mapping products to federal and state agencies during disasters, this development opens the door on deployment of a variety of geospatial products that have not been previously used in the official world of response. For more on this topic, please see "The NGA Turns to Open Source", recently penned by Mark Lucas in LBx Journal.
Comment: The EPC is no stranger to open source geospatial software. Indeed, through its spin-off technical arm, SharedGeo, it has been promoting use of the Minnesota developed open source geospatial product GeoMoose. Used successfully as a Common Operating Picture platform during both the 2008 Republican National Convention in the Twin Cities and Red River Valley floods of 2009, GeoMoose has recently entered the final phase of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation's (OSGeo) sanctioning process. The other free Minnesota product to have completed this process is the exceptionally successful MapServer software.