Free Software and Open Source Business Models

  • Arnulf Christl
Part of the Advances in Geographic Information Science book series (AGIS, volume 2)


This chapter discusses the nature of free and open source software from the perspective of business models that can be used to operate within this emerging industry. The focus in the chapter is on free and open source software in general rather than on the specific geospatial domain, however this area of activity is used in several places for reference and by example. The chapter also examines the closed and proprietary complements of the free and open source world and contrasts the rationale and behaviours of software developers and users within both market places. While it is not the intention to set one or the other markets up as a straw man, it is clear from the discussion that the free and open source alternatives have a number of advantages in terms of developing high quality outputs that are responsive to end user needs while embodying the principles of innovation and advancing knowledge.


Business Model Free Software Proprietary Software Open Source Project Governance Model 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arnulf Christl
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.WhereGroup GmbH & CoGermany
  2. 2.Open Source Geospatial FoundationBeavertonUSA

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