<The following was cross-posted on the GIS Colorado Mailing List>
With the last laptop unplugged and the bar tab settled up, FRUGOS-
apalooza finished a successful Front Range tour Tuesday night in
Boulder. Sorting through the impressions and conversations from the
various 'gigs', a few themes were consistent:
a) The Front Range has a wide variety of top notch technical talent
doing very creative things, often WAY under the proprietary software/
trade-show-circuit radar. Getting these folks in the same room and
swapping ideas was reason enough to hold "the tour".
b) Web mapping/"Server GIS" is driving new adoption of open source
technologies from stalwarts such as PostGIS and MapServer to the
stunningly flexible OpenLayers browser interface.
c) GISers who are longtime desktop users are interested/curious/
intrigued about web mapping and open source--and willing to show up at
a bar at 6PM to learn more. More than one expressed a painful
experience in their past with ArcIMS that was invariably met with
empathetic nods and soothing words (and some 4-letter words, too).
d) There's nothing "fringe" about open source. Here are the list of
the companies the presenters work for
University of North Carolina
Leonard Rice Engineers
Data Transfer Solutions
CH2M Hill (2!)
The Timoney Group
National Snow & Ice Data Center
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Further, some of the folks above are delivering solutions that include
open source for their clients such as the DoD, multinational energy
companies, and state agencies. Again, just because you're not reading
about it in a glossy magazine, doesn't mean it ain't happening.
There was considerable discussion as to what's next. We hope to offer
"getting started" workshops in the coming months to help new users
over the learning curve hump. In addition, getting experienced users
together for more "deep dive" knowledge sharing is a priority.
For now, though, we encourage you to join the FRUGOS mailing list at
We especially encourage managers to take advantage of the knowledge on
this board when trying to figure out where Open Source could fit in
with their projects. Something along the lines of "If one was tasked
with delivering X, what open source pieces could be fitted together?"
Consider it a type of due dilligence that may offer a different
perspective than that of your friendly sales rep.
Thanks to all who participated. Our industry is changing dramatically
before our eyes, and while that might limit your ability to keep the
same job title for the next 25 years, you can take comfort that much
of the future innovation in the geospatial realm will be happening
right here on the Front Range.