Press Release 2006-07-19

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Contact: Michael P. Gerlek, OSGeo Vice President / Promotion and Visibility


Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) Celebrates Accomplishments at Six-Month Mark

Mapbender is first officially approved project; Foundation reaches hundreds of members; OSGeo presents at OSCON and GeoWeb

Seattle, Washington, USA, July 19 — The Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) announced today that Mapbender, a portal-based suite of software for geodata management using OGC OWS architectures, has met all of the legal and community requirements to become the first official product supported by the Foundation. Just six months after its inception, the Foundation is already starting to make an impact on the geospatial industry, providing a degree of quality assurance for open source geospatial software users and getting its message out to the GIS community at conferences and tradeshows.

Mapbender Is First Approved OSGeo Project

Mapbender ( is a client-side framework for orchestrating interoperable web map services. It is implemented in PHP and JavaScript and ships with a set of predefined user interfaces for viewing, editing and managing map services and users. Mapbender is used throughout the world, with sites ranging from easy-to-use city map services to intricate applications to apply for agricultural subsidy grants; many of these sites can be see at the Mapbender Gallery (

Mapbender is the first project to graduate from the incubation process that every project must complete before being accepted as an official OSGeo project. This incubation process, now common to many major open source foundations, includes a complete legal review of all the source code; all the Mapbender code has now been reviewed manually to identify, address, and if needed remove any potential encumbrances, such as IP and license issues. Additionally, the incubation process involves a "health check" of the project's infrastructure and governance: is the project run as a good Open Source project? does it have a healthy community? who are the developers and where do they come from? do the project managers foster an open and consensus-based environment?

Paul Spencer, CTO of DM Solutions Group, acted as the project's incubation "mentor". As an OSGeo member with years of experience in many other Open Source projects, he acted as a consultant to the Mapbender team throughout this process. Along the way, Spencer was also able to raise the visibility of the Mapbender software within the Foundation, improving opportunities for future cross-project collaborations.

OSGeo Hitting Its Stride

The Foundation was formed early in 2006 by a diverse collection of open source advocates with the aim of supporting and promoting open source geospatial projects. In only six months, the Foundation's mailing lists are reaching hundreds of developers and users across the industry, with hundreds more also registered on the OSGeo website ( Already the Foundation has eight projects in incubation, all open source tools and applications that range from low-level libraries to web services environments to a broad function desktop GIS. "We have enjoyed a great deal of support everywhere we have taken the OSGeo message," says Frank Warmerdam, Foundation president. "And through the OSGeo incubation process we are able to provide a high degree of confidence in OSGeo approved projects on issues from intellectual property to healthy community functioning."

OSGeo on the Road

In addition to supporting actual software development, a big part of OSGeo's mission is to promote the use of open source software and public data within the GIS industry. Following on its well-publicized success at Where 2.0 earlier this summer, where over 30 OSGeo members exhibited and presented, OSGeo will be at two other events next week. The Foundation is hosting a booth at OSCON, the O'Reilly Open Source Convention, in Portland, Oregon. OSGeo member Gary Lang (Autodesk) will be offering a keynote, and members Mark Lucas (Radiant Blue), Jo Walsh (Open Knowledge Foundation), and Aaron Racicot (EcoTrust) will all be speaking as well.

Also next week, OSGeo members will be presenting at GeoWeb 2006 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Michael P. Gerlek (LizardTech) will be speaking on OSGeo's mission, and Ian Turton (Pennsylvania State University) will be presenting a paper on geocollaborative systems using open standards and open software. Gary Lang (Autodesk) will also be giving a keynote presentation.

About the Open Source Geospatial Foundation

The Open Source Geospatial Foundation, or OSGeo, is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to support and promote the collaborative development of open geospatial technologies and data. The Foundation provides financial, organizational and legal support to the broader open source geospatial community. It also serves as an independent legal entity to which community members can contribute code, funding and other resources, secure in the knowledge that their contributions will be maintained for public benefit.

OSGeo also serves as an outreach and advocacy organization for the open source geospatial community, and provides a common forum and shared infrastructure for improving cross-project collaboration. The Foundation's projects are all freely available and useable under an OSI-certified open source license.

© Copyright 2006 Open Source Geospatial Foundation, under the Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivatives (by-nd) License.