The Intersection of Geospatial Open Source and Commerce
2021-09-29, 14:00–14:30, Salta

FOSS4G conferences have helped generate interest in, and adoption of free and open source geospatial tools. Whether it is the business-to-business conference events, or the support of commercial organizations sponsoring FOSS4G conferences, it is clear that commercial interests and open source communities intersect in a variety of ways. This talk aims to describe several of the different paths that commercial organizations take to leverage free and open technologies for business success. The following three real world examples will illustrate these paths:

  1. Very small organizations providing FOSS4G consulting and training services
  2. Product companies including FOSS4G tools in powering niche products
  3. Platform companies that have built their platforms upon open source frameworks

The case study examples will include further details including how my current employer utilizes open source technology. Finally, the talk will speculate on why large, commercial companies such as Google, routinely open source their own technologies such as Kubernetes and other geospatial examples.

This presentation looks plainly at the business aspects of the FOSS4G ecosystem. In short, how does free and open source software for geospatial help cultivate business success and sustain livelihoods?

Authors and Affiliations

Michael Terner, Hexagon, USA


Use cases & applications


Business powered by FOSS4G


1 - Principiants. No required specific knowledge is needed.

Language of the Presentation


Michael works at Hexagon, focusing on our Google partnership. Michael’s work spans data science and sales enablement for the Google Cloud and Maps Platforms. Michael has been in the geospatial industry since 1986 and has been actively engaged with FOSS4G since 2010, including Chairing the Global FOSS4G Boston 2017.