Open Source Software: The use of open source

TitleOpen Source Software: The use of open source
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsNasr, MR

This thesis explores the reasons behind the poor level of adoption of open source web GIS software, and whether it is due to poor awareness about open source concepts or due to technical deficiencies in the open source tools. The research was done in 2 major phases; the first phase involved conducting surveys to measure the awareness and attitudes towards open source. The surveys examined three categories of people involved in the IT industry, namely: decision makers, software developers, and end users. The measurement of awareness was done by developing an Awareness Indicator and a Sentiment Indicator for each category. These indicators were developed by the author during the course of the study in order to provide a measurable and descriptive indication of the results. The second phase involved performing a comparative analysis between MapServer a leading open source web GIS tool, and three of the leading proprietary web GIS software, namely: ESRI's ArcIMS, Intergraph's GeoMedia WebMap, and MapInfo's MapXtreme.

The results of the research provide an insight on how different categories of people view open source, and demonstrate that lack of awareness about open source concepts and its competencies may be a major reason behind the poor adoption of open source solutions. The results of the comparative analysis also demonstrate that MapServer is technically equivalent to its commercial counter parts.

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