Smathermather's Weblog

Remote Sensing, GIS, Ecology, and Oddball Techniques

Independence– Free as in Freedom, part II

Posted by smathermather on July 21, 2012

A friend of mine read my first post “Independence– Free as in Freedom” and said this:
“awesome blog and great post. did jack respond?”

My response:

“Nooo.  I think I’m unknown in the ESRI world ….  But it was a heartfelt post.  I think Jack has changed the world, but recognize it has changed him.  I’m pulling for that organization to radically re-invent itself.  The reality is, with their hosting (ahem.  cloud) services they very well could, but only if they also let go of code control.  Then they’ll spin off a hundred little ecosystems of GIS economy and themselves grow again and thrive again.

“They should be looking to a model like CartoDB, open source software on a hosted format.  It creates competition, fosters creativity, but the risk averse will still aim to have ESRI hosting, as they are the experts, meanwhile thought leaders, risk takers, and startups will deploy their own instances and contribute code and ideas back to the ecosystem.  Right now, all the cool and really talented geospatial developers are using FOSSGIS partially or entirely, and ESRI isn’t getting those ideas and developments back into their work.

“The real value in the GIS ecosystem isn’t government contracts.  The real value is in the trade of thoughts, ideas, and methods.  Until ESRI dives into that ecosystem, they can’t recoup that value.  Which is almost unfair, as they played such a large role in creating that ecosystem in the first place.

Hmm.  That might be another post.
Best,
Peace,
smathermather”

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