Service Provider Directory

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This page is under construction and does not represent official policy of OSGeo. Find the official Service Provider Directory at http://www.osgeo.org/search_profile

Contents

Introduction

A frequent request of organizations wanting to use open source geospatial software, is for suggestions on individual consultants, or companies providing Commercial Services for the various software packages. In the past some projects have made an effort to list those offering services around the project, but a more holistic approach to this by OSGeo would be of substantial value to the projects, the service providers, and most importantly to the organizations looking to implement solutions.

However, maintaining a list of service providers is fraught with peril for OSGeo. It is important that we do so in a manner that is fair to the service providers (impartial), and aligns with the goals of the Foundation.

NOTE: See SPD Prioritization for a proposal to add contribution based prioritization to the service provider directory.

Provider Details

WebCom maintains a service provider registry on the web site with the following attributes for each service provider:

  • Organization (or individual) name.
  • URL to service providers off-site web page with service details, etc. Tiny, one person, part-time consultants can add contact information to their OSGeo Wiki user page and link to that page.
  • A list of packages/technologies the service provider provides services for (from a predefined pick list).
  • A list of (human) languages the organization can provide service in.
  • A list of office locations (later with city/country with lat/long coordinates) for the service provider.
  • An employee count for the organization.
  • An email contact for the organization (not normally displayed - used for administrative purposes)
  • The date of last information update (not normally displayed - used for administrative purposes)

Range of Services

The Range of Services topic seems to relate to additional information that we might add to service provider entries, but it is not currently active.

Service providers can select a range of services that they provide. This helps clients to better identify a potential provider and will prevent specialized providers to be asked for services they do not offer. The range of services includes any combination or all of the following:

  • Installation, administration, support
  • Bug fixing, Maintenance
  • Customization
  • Core Development
  • Consultation
  • Architecture planning, Integration
  • Performance Tuning
  • Translation
  • Other services (explain)
  • Add your own services

Vetting

SPD Prioritization may give some directions as to how vetting can be institutionalized. Meanwhile the community will have to watch out.

OSGeo is a collaborative work place and information hub. It is essentially providing a mechanism for service providers to list themselves, but makes no specific effort to determine if the information they provide is correct.

In order to protect the OSGeo brand the community might "vette" entries which can involve discussions on public mailing lists or edits in this Wiki. It is therefore in the best interest of service providers to only provide correct information. Service providers are invited to discuss questions on the WebCom (or VisCom or Advocacy) list prior to adding information about their Businesses.

It is possible that OSGeo will need an official mechanism to deal with complaints about the accuracy/appropriateness of a directory entry. Not anticipating many complaints, currently WebCom (Website Committee) is responsible for preliminary negotiation of complaints. If the complainant or service provider is not satisfied then the issue can be escalated up to the Board of Directors. If this turns out to be a frequent problem OSGeo will develop a more streamlined procedure.

Disclaimer

OSGeo does not guarantee that the information provided by this directory are correct and has no mechanism to check or control them. Information is provided as is. If you find information to be incorrect please contact us through the feedback link at the bottom of the Service Provider Search Interface.

Web Display

The web page for the service provider directory is still under development. If you are interested in helping design the page please feel free to add comments at the bottom of this page. Ultimately the directory should provide means to query based on each of the attributes (packages, languages, location), as well as the whole list. The directory can be ordered following the Prioritization.

Implementation plan:

  • Search page with all possible fields
  • Facility to see complete list
  • As a result, entries with very basic information as Name, Technology and may optional short description will be displayed
  • Each entry will lead to some more specific details on new page for the selected provider.
  • In future, we may have some comparison page for some (possibly not more than some number) selected search results on some criteria (to start with only for technology and language support).
  • Or search result will have proper pagination and search page itself will have all the details included so no need to navigate for each and every result.

Updates

Entries should be updated annually. On or near a year from the last update, the contact address should be emailed, and the service provider encouraged to update their page - even if only to save it "as is" updating the last update date. Any entry not updated for 24 months should be dropped, and the contact notified by email.

This all assumes the entries can be maintained by a logged in user to the Drupal site, and that an entry, once created, would be "owned" by a drupal user.

Implementation plan:

  • Will be implemented using the edit entry page

Note: Currently the only accounts that can edit an entry (or delegate it to another user) are "Administrator", "warmerdam" and the current owner of the entry. So ask Tyler, or Frank to help with entries otherwise lost.

Online Link

This version has been implemented by Gupteshwar Joshi on the OSGeo Drupal server. The implementation is tracked in a Trac Ticket #47 and has been switched to the production server beginning of May.

Feedback

Please use the discussion page Talk:Service Provider Directory for feedback.

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