Opening the possibilities APIs & Standards

“Opening” the Possibilities: APIs and Open Source Code
Gary Lang, Vice President of Engineering, Autodesk, Infrastructure Solutions Division

Two models of software dev “The Cathedral and the Bazaar” – read the book

Autodesk is a cathedral? But the strict definition of cathedral doesn’t fit

Successful closed source – (The Cathedral) look at Mac OS X

Successful open source – (The Bazaar) look at which is a collection of excellent open source (map server, geotools, mapbender, ppostGIS, Ossim)

Why does closed source software move to open source, look at the book dealing with Darwin by Geoffrey A. Moore, try to look at where the core value is as opposed to the context

Standards facilitate., drive migration

  • POSIX, unix culture > Linux
  • HTTP > Apache
  • GML, WMS, WFS > MapServer

Nobody really interested in GeoSpacial until Google came along and suddenly people are interested, then Google Earth came along “Mirror Worlds” by David Gelertner 1991

Open APIs but when will the ads appear ?

Open source geospatial software & standards

Why go open source?

  • Users wanted it (and Autodesk were too slow to provide)
  • It makes business sense for mapguide
  • It makes business sense for Map
  • It makes business sense for Topobase

Standard APIs create commodisation opportunities for web mapping


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