WhereGroup Report 2007

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The WhereGroup GmbH & Co. KG is a commercial service provider for spatial Free and Open Source Software solutions based in Bonn, Germany. The WhereGroup's business philosophy is straight forward commercial consultation, development and deployment of user oriented solutions based on professional Open Source software components.

Thus the support of OSGeo is not a question for us but the consequence of our daily business. The OSGeo software stack is the first choice for the WhereGroup when implementing SDIs based on standardized OGC interfaces. Therefore we do not only promote OSGeo in Germany, Europe and worldwide, but support the Foundation at several levels internally and externally: we have actively participated in building policies and shaping the governance models through Arnulf Christl who is founding member and currently on the OSGeo board of directors.

At development level we contribute manpower and resources to the Mapbender project, the first project to officially graduate in OSGeo. We have organized the main German language events with OSGeo appearance together with other companies. These activities include the OSGeo Park at the Intergeo trade fair, the German language FOSSGIS conference or the Open Source Day at the AGIT conference in Austria. Through these events and appearances at many more smaller events we reach out to several thousand people every year building a solid foundation of trust. Besides investing time and money at this volunteer level inside OSGeo, the WhereGroup also promotes OSGeo at it's own premium event, the Where2B conference, web site, portals, Wikis, news channels and conferences - obviously for no extra charge.

Last but not least our hope is that sponsoring the Foundation will bring some value back to all those who do the grunt work for OSGeo, be it the operation of the CMS, Wiki, SVN, Trac, Mailing lists and all the rest of the infrastructure. This infrastructure forms the platform that Open Source software projects and communities need to develop and grow. We welcome other companies to join this business model and use the OSGeo software stack to generate business. Software is the only product that grows by giving it away. It takes some time and some brains to recognize and understand this, but once adopted it quickly becomes apparent that it is simply the next step in the evolution of how people make business in the immaterial world of software.

We do not only talk coopetition - we live it.

--Olaf Knopp & Athina Trakas, WhereGroup