Prosjektoppgave: “Use of Free and Open Source GIS in Commercial Firms”

Bedre sent enn aldri sies det, og det er jeg et bevis på nå. Jeg har fått avklart med bedriften jeg brukte som case i prosjektoppgaven min i høstsemesteret, så etter å ha anonymisert dem bort kan jeg nå legge ut oppgaven offentlig. Jeg har ikke fjernet veldig mye, det skal gå helt fint å få med seg sammenhengen.

For de som ikke orker å lese hele oppgaven (den er jo på noen sider), vil jeg anbefale å ihvertfall lese kapittel 2, der jeg beskriver hva GIS er for noe. Kapittel 3 er også spennende lesning, men de fleste av mine lesere kjenner vel til Fri Programvare i stor grad uansett..?

Hele oppgaven finner du her: fos_gis__af_sveen__web (pdf, 976 KB). Og karakteren? Absolutt brukbar 😉

EDIT: Etter oppfordring fra Martin Bekkelund har jeg satt en fri lisens på oppgaven. Nærmere bestemt Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC-BY-ND), dette står beskrevet i dokumentet. Den oppdaterte versjonen finner du på fos_gis__af_sveen__web_cc-by-nd (pdf, 980 KB)

For enkelhets skyld gjengir jeg også abstractet her, så kan dere vurdere om dere vil lese mer:

This study examines the use of FOS GIS in a commercial setting, and the objective is twofold; to provide a method for selecting a FOS GIS and to give an overview of the status of a subset of the available FOS GIS products, desktop GISes. The main GIS features are management, manipulation and analysis of spatial data. A desktop GIS differs from a Web/Internet GIS in the sense that it is installed on a PC, allowing more complex tasks to be carried out.

Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) is software released under a license ensuring the users the freedom to use, modify and redistribute the software. Access to the source code is a prerequisite for this. The later years have brough a shift from the ideological focus to commercial adoption. Companies are attracted to FOSS due to the high quality and low price. Selection of FOSS products are typically carried out without the use of any formal evaluation method.

The FOS GIS community is centered around the OSGeo foundation, which serves as a host for several projects. Both commercial companies and governmental institutions, as well as community initiatives, initiate and develop FOS GIS projects. The existing research on FOS GIS is rather limited and tends to focus on well known products such as GRASS. None of the reviewed articles on FOS GIS indicated that frameworks for selecting FOSS products where used, neither did any describe any such methods. The findings showed that FOS GIS products in general are considered mature enough to compete with the proprietary solutions.

The use of a formal method for assessing FOS GIS in a commercial setting ensures that a better choice will be made, as more candidates will be examined and the risk of evaluator prejudice is minimized. Three existing frameworks for evaluation of FOSS products are examined. The general method consists of four phases; an initial gathering of candidates, gathering of measurable data, definition of evaluation criteria and a final evaluation. The risk of using a framework that only uses scores and no human assessment is discussed, and the need for human judgment emphasized. A tailored method is constructed based on the findings from the frameworks and a study on FOSS adoption.

An example evaluation is carried out, using a real life case. The steps are covered in detail in order to serve as an example. Methods for gathering required information and deciding what criteria to use are discussed. The evaluation is concluded and the need for the utilization of test installations is emphasized. The propability that that more FOS GIS projects will emerge emphasizes the need for a method for selecting the right FOS GIS.

4 thoughts on “Prosjektoppgave: “Use of Free and Open Source GIS in Commercial Firms”

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