A Tale of Two Companies

Last week brought big news for two companies we closely track:  GeoIQ and GitHub.

Esri deserves a big congratulations for snapping up one of the most innovative teams in the geospatial arena. Sean Gorman and Andrew Turner are both strong voices in our community and we hope their presence within Esri will accelerate the pace towards more open formats and software.

GeoIQ and GeoCommons has been a source of inspiration to us, showing us how to make spatial information more relevant to a wider audience by recreating many traditional GIS workflows on the web. We also look to companies like GitHub that are focused on leveraging the strengths of the web to develop new workflows and methods of collaboration.

OpenGeo isn’t just trying to recreate desktop GIS on the web; we’re injecting “spatial” into the broader IT ecosystem. Those of you that have seen Paul Ramsey’s “Spatial IT on the Spatial Web” talk from FOSS4G North America know that OpenGeo is moving beyond GIS. We aim to continue and extend the path that GeoIQ has shown, offering continued choice and innovation in the geospatial market.

So another story that caught our attention — but that did not get as much notice in our industry press — was that GitHub has just received a $100 million investment from Andreesen Horowitz.  Since its inception in 2007, GitHub has been a truly innovative open source company, building success from the ground up through a dedication to open source software and communities.  We see GitHub’s success to be the result of the convergence of very important attributes that we seek to mirror, including:

What GitHub understands is that open source is more than a license; it is a culture, a new way of operating. GitHub not only releases as much code as it can as open source software, it also is pioneering innovative business models to build products that enable more open source collaboration for all.

While closed source companies continue to follow strategies that reduce software options, our focus continues to be on increasing diversity and choice by fostering open source communities and building tools that enable greater collaboration — all while simultaneously standing behind what we consider the best geospatial technology out there, the OpenGeo Suite.

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