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Bringing Free & Open Source GIS to Indian Country

A process for introducing, planning for, and integrating free & open source GIS into Tribal GIS

Kim Sundeen

on 20 February 2015

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Transcript of Bringing Free & Open Source GIS to Indian Country

Govt. Model
Business Model
Consider climbing the mountain of
Data Management & Display
with FOS GIS tools
FOS GIS comes with risks too



Federal/Tribal or
Remember Your Overall Goals...

Provide Your Govt./Business:
efficient & cost-effective solutions
quality customer service (service with a smile!)
Bringing FOS GIS to Indian Country

Government Business Model
Data-Centric Asset Management...
Asset Management =
"any system that monitors and maintains things of value to an entity or group... a systematic process of deploying, operating, maintaining, upgrading, and disposing of assets cost-effectively." (Wikipedia)
Community/Business Development
Urban/Regional Planning
Utilities & Land Management
to offer cheap, efficient solution with a smile!
Why Do Tribes Manage GIS that Way?
3 Words: Enterprise License Agreement

Office of Trust Services Geospatial Support (OTSGS) provides
"software, training, and system support for management of natural resources on Indian lands such as irrigation flood plain analysis, forest harvesting, wildland fire analysis, oil and gas management, and other economic analyses."
Tribal GIS
How is GIS Used & Managed?
Collect, & map natural, economic, civil, & cultural resources.
Most-->ESRI ArcGIS (desktop)
Some-->Arc Server & manage enterprise systems.

Bad River Tribe:
10 GIS users; 1 GIS administrator; 1 IT director managing the enterprise gdb used to publish GIS data; 2 webmapping application using ArcGIS Online (public).

What GIS Data Are Managed?
Natural Resources
Utilities & Roads
Land Ownership
Cultural & Historic
GIS Management Solutions
Proprietary Vendors
Free & Open Source
410 free software, data, documents, & projects (FreeGIS.org as of 2/2015).
Desktop GIS
GRASS GIS 1st introduced in 1978...still a large community of developers

Others: Mapbender, ILWIS, QGIS, SAGA GIS, Udig...
My SQL - not particular to GIS

Spatial Database management
GIS Servers
MapGuide Map Server
Deegree GeoServer
Mapnik TinyOWS
Market Power
Competition is good.

By expanding our software options that show the same functionality, our business can offer options in addition to existing proprietary vendors

License Liability
“Free” licenses don’t necessarily mean free to tax payers. All licenses should be accounted for.

Open Source GIS tools provide staff freedom to do training on their own time without the need for additional licenses.

Cloud Readiness
GIS Servers, browser-based mapping are in the cloud

Available to publish securely and offers scalable solutions (potential for future growth)
Staff Development
Collaboration inspires creativity

Money that went into software, can be funneled into staff training

Cooperation can replace competition

Options are available for desktop GIS, GPS, remote sensing, databases, GIS web servers, and entire webmapping packages.

Why Incorporate Free & Open Source GIS Software?
More training may be needed
Less standardized documentation
Too many options to consider
Need to keep source code open

Possible Drawbacks
Bad River Webmaps
ArcGIS Online
GeoMoose App
App is not completely configurable
Can't group layer list
URL is not specific to the Tribe
Need to use AGO GUI to add, rename, remove, and edit URL
Not subject to Esri version updates
Runs faster & smoother than AGO
Simpler to install & configure than ArcGIS for Portal
Serves as a "file management" system

Show GIS By Example
Choose one small project to showcase your project.

It's difficult to show the usefulness of FOS GIS through words; let your project speak for itself
Find Supporters
Duplicate Services
Make the same services between Esri & Open Source to test the speed, functionality, & overall customer approval.

Test out a different database, GIS server, or desktop GIS
How To Introduce FOS GIS
Good Luck!
Kim (Ness) Sundeen

(past) GIS Specialist, Bad River Tribe
Odanah, WI


GIS Specialist, City of Duluth, MN
Division of Engineering
Dept. Of Public Works

Find a few cheerleaders who can vouch for your FOS GIS idea or project

Let them share your idea, project, or app through word of mouth
Workflow/Application Duplication
You can't have growth without a little pain!
Open Source = software where source code is available to everyone anyone to study, use, modify, & redistribute while complying with GPL
Free ≠ Open Source
Open source developers can charge for their products.

Google Earth is freely available for download and use, however, its source code is not. It's open source.
"You may copy, distribute and modify the software as long as you track changes/dates of in source files and keep modifications under GPL. You can distribute your application using a GPL library commercially, but you must open-source it under GPLv3."
Metadata Processing tools:
GeoNetwork, Metavist2005, MERMAid

3D Visualization tools:
PARAVIEW, Nasa World Wind

Cloud Based GIS Services:
Remote Sensing
ImageJ, OSSIM, Open EV, Opticks

Kim Sundeen, GIS Specialist
Bad River Tribe / City of Duluth

WLIA Annual Conference
Green Bay, WI
Feb. 20th, 2015
Full transcript