Investigating the use of free and open source GIS software in Latin America by analyzing government websites

Authors: Benito Gonzalez*, , Sterling Quinn, Central Washington University
Topics: Geographic Information Science and Systems, Latin America, South America
Keywords: Latin America, GIS, Open source software, FOSS
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In this research, we investigate the degree to which state and provincial governments in Latin America choose to utilize free and open source software (FOSS) over proprietary software for their GIS operations. Although much proprietary GIS software is rich in functionality, there are competing FOSS packages that could offer a lower cost of licensing and operation. Furthermore, Latin American governments have historically been supportive of public-sector adoption of FOSS, and we seek to gather evidence about whether these trends hold true for GIS. In this research, we focus on the deployments of GIS data and map websites published by state and provincial governments in Mexico and Argentina. We perform web searches for GIS content and interactive web maps provided by these governments, and then investigate the software and tools used to make the sites. We then compare these with software and tools used by state government GIS websites in the United States. We summarize patterns of proprietary vs. FOSS GIS software use that we observed during this process.

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