Talk:Free GIS Book

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Purpose of book

Is this a GIS book that is free?

Or is it a book about Free and Open Source GIS?


The semantics of 'free' (beer/lunch/freedom) are difficult for some people.

The OGC changed its name away from 'Open GIS Consortium' to 'Geospatial'; this is the open source geospatial foundation, not a GIS foundation. This is perhaps because GIS conjurs up imagery of bearded men and mainframes and massive centralised control-oriented systems. What makes this a GIS book?

Potential Audiences

Some of the most insightful comments on the OriginalFreeGISBook were questions about what the audience is. The overview is very broad and also deep. There is a lot to cover in one book. Different contributors will definitely have some idea about the audience they want to reach.

All these different sets of people may have different needs.

  • Programmers who are new to GIS
  • Students who are learning GIS software for the first time
  • Analysts who are used to proprietary GIS software and are interested in open source
  • "Decision makers" on data infrastructure projects
  • Others... ?