Exclusive Q&A with OpenGeo

Recently OpenGeo announced that they’ve taken on funding and spun out from their not-for-profit parent organization, OpenPlans. OpenGeo is major player offering mature open source geospatial solutions based on solid software such as PostGIS, GeoServer, OpenLayers and much more, including their open source all-in-one OpenGeo Suite.  Here's our exclusive Q&A with OpenGeo.


Slashgeo: What were the real-life limitations of the not-for-profit model that OpenGeo wants to get rid?


OpenGeo:  To pursue our mission of growing open source geospatial software communities we truly need be independent. While we are very supportive of the OpenPlans’ (our incubator parent non-profit) mission, our ability to set our own course and be responsive to the needs of our customers and communities was limited until this spin-off.  There were additional, more mundane limitations, such as an inability to directly compete as a “small business” (non profits are not businesses), and the difficulty in raising capital as a not-for-profit.


Slashgeo: Does this change allow OpenGeo to become even better competitors to other commercial and open source geospatial solutions providers?

OpenGeo: It allows us to better execute our “Spatial IT” initiatives, so “yes.”  We will be hiring more staff to enhance the user experience of our software, increase documentation and build additional capabilities. We believe all aspects of our work will benefit from our independence and increased funding.



Slashgeo: Do you foresee any impact on the diversity of the solutions you're offering? Do you plan to build capacity and expertise for other currently popular open source services that OpenGeo doesn't currently offer?


OpenGeo: That is something we are looking at very seriously. Many of our customers have asked us to develop capabilities that go well beyond the web mapping and related services we’re known for now – stay tuned!



Slashgeo: Will there be any impact on your relation with the Open Geospatial Consortium and your support for modern and efficient geospatial standards?


OpenGeo: Our greater independence and funding will enable us to be even more effective in working with the OGC.  Our founder, Chris Holmes, was recently named to the OGC Board. We’re also founding members of LocationTech, with several other key OGC players, which is helping broaden adoption of location aware technologies that leverage geospatial standards.



Slashgeo: Any long term plans associated to this change that you'd like to share with our readers?


OpenGeo: Our goal remains the same: to build the highest quality software for location and mapping, available to all. This important step gives us a stronger base of resources to support the open source communities we work with. We remain committed to open source principles and look forward to continuing our develop the best geospatial tools while supporting the open source communities and our customers alike.

Full Programme released; Early Bird extended to 14th June 2013

The planning for the FOSS4G conference (17th – 21st September 2013) reaches a significant milestone with the release of the full programme for the 2013 conference ( This has been an extremely difficult process to orchestrate principally because of the desire to fit in as many of the excellent submissions that were received as possible. This has meant extending the programme to 9 continuous streams covering 200 presentations. A challenge enough of logistics, but in addition to this the Local Organising Committee have secured facilities to run additional workshops in parallel with the main conference. Community Voting for these additional workshops will be under way shortly, for which as an extra thank you to the community. These additional workshops will be run in a stream alongside the presentations and will be included in the conference fee.

Not only does your ticket now have added value, but in addition to mark the release of the programme the Early Bird deadline has been extended to the 14th June (closes midnight, British Summer Time). We hope that this gives as many of you as possible the ability to take advantage of the great reduction and confirm your place at the #geohappening of the year!

SketchUp 2013 Released

Via the GEB, I learned that last week, Trimble released SketchUp 2013. Trimble acquired SketchUp from Google over a year ago.

From the announcement: "For 2013, we built a repository of extensions—an Extension Warehouse, in our parlance—that provides a one-stop shop for anyone looking to customize their copy of SketchUp. This one new feature is actually dozens (eventually hundreds) of new features, all ready and waiting for you to discover. [...]  We decided that the free version of SketchUp needed a name and a brand of its own. Now the word “SketchUp” refers to a product family of which there are two members: SketchUp Pro and SketchUp Make. The latter is still free, international, and aimed squarely at every treehouse builder, 3D printing wizard, and pinewood derby all-star in the universe."

gvSIG 2.0 Novelties

During the last weeks several posts about the gvSIG Desktop novelties have been published at the gvSIG Blog. With them we try to make known all these novelties with more details. Until now, the posts that have been publisher are:

  • Scripting, exploit your gvSIG (III): Generate a polygon from a course
  • Symbols library “OSM”
  • “Google” symbols library
  • Scripting, exploit your gvSIG (II). Creating a buffer
  • Mirrors for downloads
  • Add-ons manager
  • How to create symbol libraries (II)
  • Raster data tile cache and WMTS
  • gvSIG 2.0 on 64 bits or Java 1.7 systems
  • Additional feature for managing CRS
  • gvSIG 2.0: Scripting, exploit your gvSIG
  • How to create symbol libraries (I)

In the last weeks new posts will be published, as well as the translation of the last ones in Spanish. Some of them will be related to the new add-ons that will be available for this version. They will be able to be installed from the Add-ons Manager.

Avenza Releases Geographic Imager 4.2 for Adobe Photoshop

- New ability to export web tiles compatible with online map services -

Toronto, ON, May 21, 2013 - Avenza Systems Inc., producers of MAPublisher® cartographic software for Adobe Illustrator® and the popular PDF Maps mobile app, is pleased to announce the release of Geographic Imager 4.2 for Adobe Photoshop. New formats are supported, including writing to the DEM TIFF format which saves raw DEM values and exporting web tiles to Google Maps or Microsoft Bing Maps format. In addition, there are a number of new and exciting product features and enhancements. This release also is also available at the Geographic Imager Basic license level which provides support for the geospatial framework in Adobe Photoshop as well as limited import and export abilities at an introductory price level. Also new in this release is the addition of the Georeference feature with the Geographic Imager Basic license.

“We've been working on some very innovative features lately, one of them being the ability to export web tiles using Geographic Imager from Adobe Photoshop,” said Ted Florence, President of Avenza. “The web tiles are compatible with several online map services which allows our users to spend less time worrying about image referencing and more time creating online mapping solutions,“ he added. “Another great feature in this release is the new ability to save to the DEM TIFF format, which is interoperable and can be reopened in Geographic Imager or in other geospatial software packages. There has been a demand for extended format support and we're continuing to listen to our users’ needs.”

Additional Geographic Imager 4.2 features

  • Available Geographic Imager Basic license
  • DEM TIFF write support, format saves raw DEM values
  • Ability to Export Web Tiles to Google Maps or Microsoft Bing Maps format
  • Geographic Imager panel improvements, including new Survey and Ruler tabs
  • Crop by Vector File Extents, use the geographic extents of a vector file to crop an image
  • Streamlined user interactions with command boxes and simpler messages
  • Various bug fixes and user experience enhancements.


More about Geographic Imager for Adobe Photoshop

Geographic Imager is software for Adobe Photoshop that leverages the superior image editing capabilities of raster-based image editing software and transforms it into a powerful geospatial imagery editing tool. Work with satellite imagery, aerial photography, orthophotos, and DEMs in GeoTIFF and other major GIS image formats using Adobe Photoshop features such as transparencies, filters, and image adjustments while maintaining georeferencing and support for hundreds of coordinate systems and projections.

Geographic Imager 4.2 is immediately available and free of charge to all Geographic Imager Maintenance Program members and at US$319 for non-maintenance upgrades. New fixed licenses start at US$699. Geographic Imager Basic licenses start at US$199. Academic and volume license pricing are also available. Geographic Imager 4.2 is compatible with Adobe Photoshop CS5, CS5.1 and CS6. Visit for more information.

More about Avenza Systems Inc.

Avenza Systems Inc. is an award-winning, privately held corporation that provides cartographers and GIS professionals with powerful software tools for making better maps and for working with spatial imagery. In addition to software offerings for Mac, Windows and Apple mobile device users, Avenza offers value-added data sets, product training and consulting services. Visit for more details.

For further information contact:
Tel: 416-487-5116
Email: [email protected]

OpenGeo Completes $3 Million Series A Financing and Launches as Independent Open Source Software Company

New York, NY, May 15, 2013 — OpenGeo, the creators of the OpenGeo Suite, the world’s leading open source geospatial software platform, announced a $3 million Series A investment from Vanedge Capital of Vancouver, British Columbia. Simultaneous with the funding event, the company has spun out from its incubator parent, OpenPlans, and is boosting OpenGeo’s product and customer-support initiatives.

"We are thrilled to be working with Vanedge.” said Eddie Pickle, OpenGeo CEO. “The Vanedge team understands the huge opportunity in the geospatial software space. Their investment is very timely given the tremendous demand for open source, Spatial IT solutions among government and commercial enterprises worldwide."

The OpenGeo Suite is widely used for managing and sharing spatial data. OpenGeo has led the industry shift toward flexible, interoperable geospatial software infrastructures and will use this Series A funding to further enhance its industry-leading product and training offerings and reach a broader array of customers.

Moe Kermani, partner at Vanedge Capital, noted, "OpenGeo has developed an impressive customer roster who are using its product offerings in mission-critical software applications. The paradigm shift toward web and mobile geospatial services is well underway and is permanently altering the Spatial IT landscape. We believe this shift heavily favors open source and the OpenGeo Suite, which is ideally situated to become the de facto geospatial platform."

The Vanedge-led investment enables OpenGeo to complete its separation from tech incubator OpenPlans, which founded OpenGeo in 2002. "We are proud that our incubation with OpenPlans has been so successful," noted Chris Holmes, OpenGeo’s founder. "We look forward to growing our contributions to open source communities as a dedicated open source geospatial software company."

About Vanedge Capital

Vanedge Capital is a Vancouver, B.C. based venture capital fund focused on investments in interactive entertainment and digital media businesses. The fund managers have extensive experience and relationships in this sector and have built and led world-class companies in video games, computer animation and enterprise software, among others. For more information, visit

About OpenGeo

OpenGeo is the world leader for commercial open source geospatial software. Our global customer base uses the OpenGeo Suite, a complete open source geospatial web services stack, to deploy solutions for web mapping, transportation, telecommunications, open government and a huge range of other solutions. The OpenGeo Suite provides the best, continually updated geo web services platform along with maintenance agreements that include support and training. These agreements provide our customers with superior value and the growing functionality of continually enhanced open source geospatial software.

OpenGeo supports open source communities by employing key developers of PostGISGeoServer, and OpenLayers. We are committed to the ideals of open source and aim to bring the best practices of open source software to organizations around the world.

Media Contact

David Dubovsky
+1 917-388-9077
[email protected]

Bringing Esri to Open Source and Open Standards

Chris Holmes shares a pretty insightful and informative letter in an entry named 'Opening Esri'. Esri's closer relationship with open source started with providing code on GitHub last September and even up to last February's official entry named going open source with Esri.

From the Chris Holmes entry: "So I wanted to give to Esri a measurable roadmap of actions to take that would signal to me a real commitment to ‘open’. [...] Each piece of Esri technology ideally could be used stand alone with other pieces. Stated another way, there should be no lock-in of anything that users create – even their cartography rules. [...] it is a business risk, since it opens up more potential competition. But it’s also a big business opportunity if done right. And reaches beyond mere business to being a real force for good in the world, becoming a truly loved company, with lots of friends."

Launch of the Open Source 'MapBox Earth' for iOS

MapBox announced their open source iOS virtual globe named MapBox Earth.

From the announcement: "We just launched MapBox Earth, a free and open source iOS app that combines the power of a 3D globe with MapBox’s beautiful maps. It’s also a great starting point to build your own 3D mapping app - we’re cracking the 3D globe software market wide open by releasing the source code and building in the open. MapBox Earth is a universal app optimized for iPhone and iPad and it includes beautiful preloaded layers based off of MapBox Streets, MapBox Terrain, and MapBox Satellite. You can switch the map layer with a single tap and feel the maps right in your hands, in gorgeous and fast 3D."

We did mention some other open source virtual globes in the past months / years, such as Glob3 Mobile, the Godzi WebGL Globe, OpenWebGlobe, WebGL Earth, and there's even the Google open source 'WebGL Globe'.

GDAL/OGR 1.10.0 Released, Now Includes Geocoding Client and Much More

I was abroad last week. I'll catch up the recent geonews in the coming days.

The open source library at the core of most open source geospatial software and numerous commercial geospatial software just got better, version 1.10.0 of GDAL/OGR has been released a week ago. The previous major version 1.9.0 was released about 16 months ago.

From the release notes: "

  • New GDAL drivers:
    • ARG: read/write support for ARG datasets (#4591)
    • CTable2: read/write support for CTable2 datum grid shift format
    • DDS: write-only support for DirectDraw Surface format (#5017)
    • IRIS: read support for products generated by the IRIS weather radar software (#4854)
    • MAP: read OziExplorer .map files (#3380)
    • MBTiles: read-only support for MBTiles rasters (needs libsqlite3)
  • New OGR drivers:
    • ElasticSearch: write-only support to write into ElasticSearch databases (needs libcurl)
    • ODS : read/write support for OpenOffice .ods (Open Document Spreadsheets) (needs libexpat)
    • OSM : read-only support for .osm / .pbf OpenStreetMap files
    • PDF: read/write support for vector/structured PDF files
    • XLSX: read/write support for MS Excel 2007 and later Open Office XML .xlsx spreadsheets (needs libexpat)
  • RFC 39: OGR Layer algebra methods :
  • Add a SQL SQLite dialect :
  • Make GDAL loadable as a SQLite3 extension (named VirtualOGR) (#4782)
  • /vsicurl_streaming/: new virtual file system handler designed to read in streaming mode dynamically generated files
  • GDAL API_PROXY mechanism to run GDAL drivers in a separate process:
  • Significantly improved drivers : PDF, SQLite, JP2OpenJPEG
  • Add a geocoding client :
  • Upgrade to EPSG 8.0 database"

pycsw enters OSGeo Incubation

The OSGeo Board is pleased to announce that it has approved the application by the pycsw project to enter the incubation process. Incubation is a stepping stone to becoming a full fledged OSGeo project.

pycsw is an OGC CSW server implementation written in Python.

pycsw fully implements the OpenGIS Catalogue Service Implementation Specification [Catalogue Service for the Web]. Initial development started in 2010 (more formally announced in 2011). The project is certified OGC Compliant, and is an OGC Reference Implementation.

pycsw allows for the publishing and discovery of geospatial metadata. Existing repositories of geospatial metadata can also be exposed via OGC:CSW 2.0.2, providing a standards-based metadata and catalogue component of spatial data infrastructures.

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