Before I post the results a bit of “thinking”…..
It was an interesting poll. Scientific? No. Slightly revealing? Yes. I’m going to redo the poll and make it permanent on the website – I also want to make the results on permanent display. Maybe it can be a running indication of what people are thinking with regards to open source and support.
So I teach QGIS classes and it’s interesting. I keep a log of who comes to the classes and mental notes of things said before and during class. About half the people are Government. Another 25% are from a university, and about 25% are private business. Throw in the occasional non profit and student or person I let in for free just to mess with the percentages a bit.
When people come and take the QGIS classes the general attitude is:
I want to see what that “Free stuff” does. It can’t be all that good – because it’s free. By the end of class most feel “I can use this to supplement my GIS Program”. That’s partially what I preach these days is to care more about your data than your unforgettable brand of software. That’s not entirely fair because software does matter. If you’ve sunk $250,000 into an ESRI Solution I’m not going to tell you to junk it and walk away.
Since I didn’t ask people if I could post their comments I wont’ repeat them verbatim:
- There is a market in <not the US> for commercial support of QGIS
- This poll is misleading because QGIS isn’t ESRI Software (I did a terrible job paraphrasing that one – but I’m pretty sure I know where this one originated from…)
- I need programming support more than technical support. I need plugins written.
- Some users require (need) paid support to get their companies to support it.
- QGIS has commercial support in the UK
- I only use QGIS when I can’t do things in ArcGIS so I won’t buy support.
- QGIS is making inroads into the university environment.
Is NRGS going to provide commercial support? Eh – I have no clue. I argue it in my head that it’s a good thing and a bad thing. I use QGIS for probably 70% of my project based work. I’m still using ESRI for most cartography and for random things I can’t get FOSS4G to do easily. I picked up a client that I’m going to be discussing quite a bit and I’ve two directions for a end “product”. Based off conversation this week the client will be a mixed software environment with an open source back end and a commercial front end (maybe). This is all still in the design phase.
With all of that…..