Of freedoms and sovereignty - almost everything ready for the 9 Days gvSIG

The international gvSIG seminars have been announced, which will take place in the last week of November and Valencia.

As of the second day, a slogan was always used that indicates the approach that the corporate communication of the day will have. Doing a bit of retrospective, these have been the topics of the days from the year 2006:

Gvsig days

  • Building Realities
  • Consolidate and move forward
  • Moving forward together
  • We keep growing
  • To know to transform
  • Conquering new spaces
  • Generating future, technology, solidarity and business

And for this year, the theme «Question of Sovereignty«.

We think it is interesting the evolution that both the tool and its aggressive internationalization strategy have had. Surely nobody imagined in 2006 that we had come to see a tool built on Java for free use so popular in the Hispanic context ... and beyond.

A pity not to be able to publish more information of the event, because for now is known only a limited statement; Which in our view as a first impression requires balancing its technical and ideological approaches in order to ensure a neutral visibility in many contexts of both Hispanic and Anglo-American thinking.

Latin American Symposiums

Those that are about to take place, in just a couple of weeks are Thursdays Conference of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), Which are the same Terceras Argentine Days These will be from 23 to 25 in October in Buenos Aires, under the motto «Knowledge gives freedom»

Here stand out different use cases very valuable for their diversity. You can see how the Brazilian projects are gradually positioning themselves almost as a normal issue in a scenario where the language barely separates us but in practice it has manifested a significant barrier.

Alvaro Angiux will show some of the news from gvSIG 2 and will make an interesting presentation on the gvSIG model, which should shine in the consciousness of understanding gvSIG as something more than a software; Surely to date it must be difficult to sell in some countries as long as there are not enough experiences to demonstrate its operation and especially as long as local communities are reduced. We believe that it will be necessary to insist because it is the route that the organization has chosen as spearhead; In the insistence will come results, and several of these will set the pattern of how to reinvent the concept in different scenarios, since the portfolio of strategies becomes balanced not when we have enough dairy cows but when we can identify the products that will be the star.

The Open Source model is not easy, partly because the success stories are not widely known. Wordpress is one of them. 10 years ago if someone had talked about the WordPress model, very few would have believed or bet efforts; nowadays it is one of the most successful cases of a community-based model, although users know little or nothing unless they are bloggers or that they are responsible for setting up a website and strive to read; so for general culture the following lines summarize it:

  • WordPress is a knowledge manager especially for managing content for the Internet, known as CMS.
  • The publications that you see, called articles, are served through WordPress. Nobody cares about that, but for you to know, publishing this article cost me 26 minutes between writing, inserting the images and giving it a content review, without having to worry more than writing. In other times we had to know a lot about html content management and with all that we would never be satisfied.
  • WordPress is free, nobody pays to use it. What does not imply that having this site is free of expenses; payment 8 monthly dollars for the hosting of Geofumadas and 15 per year for the geofumadas.com domain; This is not WordPress but the company that provides this service. Thus, today there are millions of sites managed with WordPress and therefore many companies offering the hosting service with MySql and PHP functionalities that the running system requires. Many would offer me the lodging for less than what I pay, but I decided to stay with this service because I am satisfied.
  • The plugins are extra features, there are millions built for free by a large community that makes them almost for the love of art. But also thousands of people are dedicated to making plugins, which cost between 4 and 15 dollars. Some 6 of the plugins that Geofumadas uses are paid, for which I have not given to spend spending since they guarantee extra high quality features. For example, one to be able to serve the templates, one to ensure that I do not hack the account again, one to monitor online visitors, one to send newsletters, another to manage customer banners ... and so on different depending on what the site occupies to operate in a healthy way, but also so that I can dedicate myself to my business that is writing.
  • The template cost me 39 dollars, although there are many free, I liked this and I preferred to pay for it.

This is how the WordPress ecosystem works; The core as such is free, everyone has the opportunity to do business considering that it is open source. Some making templates, other plugins, others selling support services, others using it to communicate. Finally, it has become an interesting business in which everyone has the opportunity to use their creativity to position their services or products.

Where is the secret? In the community and of course, in the freedom to do what you want with the input without further limitations than the evolution of the technological environment that does not allow us to make dreams and forces us to be updated.

A great success in this and all the models based on services (SOA) start from the fact that the business is always the same, what varies is the environment and the processes that change constantly. 7,000 years ago what man did was to exchange services; one had a dead deer and the other roots, and what they did was exchange; with the freedom to do what you want with the product. Success was always in the same business: if there was a community. The bigger, the better. Time has evolved and the biggest market today is knowledge, and software is just that: knowledge. The incorporation of the free code model is in the integration of the community to democratize knowledge.

So, success is in understanding that the business is always the same. It happens as with land administration; If we want to complicate life, there are many ways, thinking about what software, the IDE standard, the LADM model, if you use hybernate, as if to die. The effort is in trying to remember that the business is always the same; of the story that we know the most, God put Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden and the first thing he asked them was to manage the land, with a restriction area that was the tree of life ... then he expropriated them and threw them out ... anyway; the business is not new. But of course, the environment has changed in normative aspects and the process varies according to the tool used.

So, more than question the path that gvSIG has taken to build its model from the community; We congratulate the intention because this world does not need packaged software packages sold at the supermarket. Innovative ideas are used, and if they are based on aspects such as the integration of the community, democratization of knowledge, that's fine.

Of course, the Open Source model is not copy / paste; gvSIG has had to integrate concepts from which we will not see results in the immediate term; not in every country in the southern cone. Commercial competition is more complicated, but despite the doubts that could arise today ... we must remember that it works. Not to invest a lot of money in it, rather to be disciplined and consistent in what we believe ... even though a segment of the community questions the way. Surely nobody today would see a big business make a proprietary product to compete with WordPress; although there are, it is easier to live with this one than against him.

It is normal, that the uncertainty is lent in the long term What would happen if it disappears? but of the uncertainty in the technologies nobody is saved. So as far as possible, we must seek to support the model promoted by gvSIG, trying to understand that it is not just having software that should not be paid for.

For now, QGIS and gvSIG are the best free client software exercises for the geospatial medium, for this they must not repeat what others already do; it means not competing with each other, but complementing what GRASS and SEXTANTE do in raster and publishing Openlayers, Geoserver and Mapserver, and so the chain goes from the most sustainable to the most vulnerable; not because it does not have great capacity but because of the reduced and not growing community.

For now, they have done quite well, however in continuity with the loose line to half article; It is convenient to refresh aspects to help:

Business is knowledge management

Not to insist on a dye of consciousness gvSIG will have more faithful. Far from attracting those already convinced, it can generate dislike for the feeling that the balance between the technical and the ideological is lost. I insist, not everyone will see it that way, but in many contexts they will earn the phrase of being "too Taliban" being able to avoid.

It is possible to maintain the identity and focus of freedom that free software pretends, but it is prudent to be balanced. Sure this changes from one country to another, but the fact of going to extremes will not add new customers to the product and rather it will generate a hell of a conflict with the proprietary software that will always be there and with whom we will have to live. Do not forget that those who write, we do it for private and free, can not have exclusive writers if they want to appear on the first pages of the most influential sites. You may want to ignore that, but you can fall into the extremes of Stallman, in which Linux is still the best we've seen but reduced to a niche too far from the ordinary public. It is known as Linux is the tool par excellence that now use the most commercial sites, but we would have to see what we want to do with the GIS market, whether to keep it in a gurus environment or look for what we have agreed in the last days: That the GIS it must become part of the general culture.

From the mistakes you have to learn, you just have to listen to a literate Japanese; And see how a whole generation now creates a wrong version of Japan's role in World War II; All for not being balanced between a beginning and a stubbornness.

Without abandoning the priority of the model, it is necessary to balance the management of what has already been achieved. It would be appropriate to invest some marketing in further promoting the potential of what gvSIG can do, how it has grown, how many users use it, how much more can it be done with its plugins, etc.

They have already done it but a greater effort could be made to see how the user finds answers to their basic questions more easily. The content of material on the gvSIG site is over, but its visibility can be facilitated. I will give some examples for this:

  • A decision maker in a state of Mexico requires to choose what free software to use to counter the pressure of a proprietary software that has been for almost 15 years being used in the 425 cadastre departments of that state. You are told to study the case of gvSIG, so find the case studies section (outreach.gvsig.org) and look for the word cadastre ... hundreds of results. Choose by country, and then you see that there is an experience in Mexico recently presented in the seventh days ... it seems invaluable but then you see that the link there is broken (http://geovirtual.mx/).

The user's experience that seeks information to make a decision must be facilitated in the short time of attention we have during the first impression. Maybe there could be a well-worked banner that could lead to a flow of responses to: Why choose gvSIG ?, Which extensions of gvSIG allow me to do the routines that other solutions lend me ?, Where to see a comparative table that indicates why to go by gvSIG? Where are there proven success stories in my country? What are the 10 steps I must follow to assemble my solution? What do I do with my current development? What does it look like what I want to do? When Java, when C ++, when PHP? ... and so they can evolve in specialized answers that are safe in the community can be built with high quality.
We congratulate the scope of the large community of users and all their contributions, but the way the structured content is now is made for the user that already exists, similar to what happens with the conference, which seems to be oriented to the existing user. Valuable responses to lists are lost in an endless thread that is almost impossible to reach efficiently. The new will have difficulties to solve their immediate problems. Investing in content for new users would be useful to ensure a better management of the knowledge already accumulated.

Neither is it a question of wanting to say that we are the best, only to tell how well we have done it but in elaborated contents with the aim of answering the most common doubts of the new user. The rest, you can read it later in the publications that have come out with each day, good practices, distribution lists ... but from the outset, we take a small percentage of the money that costs to develop a day and let us help you to know in what our product and model it's good.

A better knowledge management would involve seeing how the hundreds of presentations provided in the papers, which are very rich because they are real, can be efficiently organized as special use cases in order to serve as a reference beyond the day. Not to mention the recordings of the presentations and answers solved through the distribution lists. Much more if you visualize the best potential of gvSIG that is the community, to ensure that the new user knows who and how to solve the doubts when they will need it.

A few days ago the sister software, QGIS, is doing it. It is to ensure that not only is it a good tool but it also seems to be good. The image sells, and if the image reflects the reality of what you have, you will be able to position yourself as a good product for everyone. It is not marketing of consumerism, it is the same business that 7,000 years ago used to wash the tubers well so that they would look clean even though no one had ever used a toothbrush.

From the WordPress example there are things to learn; Without losing the vision of freedom that gvSIG pursues that we understand is more visionary.

And well, to stop the issue that we will talk about later, here are some topics that we will see in the days of Argentina.

  • GvSIG 2 News
  • Development of a Geographic Information System (GIS) for the monitoring of a basin
  • Comparison of GIS Desktop Tools. Case Study: Territorial Planning Plans
  • Determining the Scope of the Universal Postal Service in Uruguay
  • Qualification of rural extension work in Paraná / gvSIG applied to geotechnics
  • Evaluation of interpolation models for insulation calculation in the O'Higgins region
  • Geographic Information Systems applied as Educational Technologies in processes of Training and Educational Update for the Conservation of Nature
  • Geographic information system to locate bibliographic material in libraries with open collections
  • State Register of Public Forests of Amapá
  • Free geomatics solution for intermodal transport
  • Phytosanitary Surveillance System for field application
  • The use of gvSIG in the identification of strategic points for the installation of a factory
  • Methodology to elaborate physical and environmental diagnosis Freedom gvsig
  • Atlas of the Pampa: bases for the territorial ordering
  • Geographical and satellite atlas of the Pampa province - Argentina
  • The use of spatial data focused on the monitoring of precipitation
  • Delimitation of the flood spot with gvSIG and sextant in the municipality of Sete Barras
  • Geoportal Costanera of Villa María. Province of Cordoba
  • Infrastructure of spatial data in the General Direction of Statistics and Censuses Chubut - IDE DGEyC
  • Atlas digital multimedia SABEN: "Sácama, beautiful by nature"
  • Evolution of the cadastral structure of the province of La Pampa
  • The gvSIG Project and free software in the framework of the Armed Forces
  • Drawing the environment with gvSIG
  • Geo Framework for Large Organizations
  • Creation and management of municipal database with gvSIG. Case of Monte Hermoso municipality, prov. from Buenos Aires}
  • The use of gvSIG in the estimation of biogas production in the Sanga Ajuricaba Basin

In short, great to make a better management of the knowledge they represent ... as to ensure that those who have never used gvSIG see it; And they think it's just software.

To know more about the days from Argentina

To know more about the days From Valencia

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