Open Source GIS is a good and profitable alternative for closed source solutions. Even if GIS is already embedded in your organization, it might be lucrative to replace existing software by Open Source GIS, for instance to avoid high license costs or just to get more out of it.
What is Open Source software?
The use of Open Source has been growing rapidly over years. The advantages which are experienced are:
- better quality
- higher reliability
- more flexibility
- lower costs
- no vendor lock-in
Many open source software is also free software (FOSS: Free Open Source Software). Besides the open source character the license of free software offers freedom to use the software for every purpose, to distribute the software and to improve is. Therefor in practice the software is often free to download/use, but this is not by definition.
Most Free Open Source software is distributed under the GNU General Public License.
Directly related to open software are open standards. Open standards mean that the specifications of the software are publicly available. This makes it possible to make better software matches.
> Open Standards Requirements for Software (The Open Source Initiative)