Autodesk, Inc. today announced it plans to donate coordinate system and map projection technology to the geospatial open source community. The software, acquired from Mentor Software and its founder Norm Olsen, will help users to more easily support geographic coordinate conversions and allow accurate and precise geospatial analysis. The announcement was made today at the annual Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G) conference in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, where geospatial open source developers and users join to learn, present and network.
“With its ground-breaking open source donations of web mapping (MapGuide Open Source) and geospatial data access technology (FDO) software, Autodesk has proven itself to be a leader in contributing sophisticated and powerful geospatial technology to the open source community,” said Frank Warmerdam, president of Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo). “The latest planned contribution supports the projections and transformations necessary to support over 3,000 coordinate systems worldwide and has capabilities not previously available to the open source community. I am also very excited to have Norm Olsen joining the community and I look forward to increased community collaboration and innovation-hallmarks of the open source community.”
“Our intent to contribute again to the open source community is a reflection of our customers’ desire for faster innovation, more frequent product releases, and lower total cost of ownership,” said Lisa Campbell, vice president, Autodesk Geospatial. “Autodesk continues to partner and work closely with the open source community to help these technologies gain adoption-and evolve and improve over time.”
The planned contribution follows a recent acquisition by Autodesk of Mentor Software’s technology. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Mentor Software’s founder and principal, Norm Olsen, who created and supported the technology Autodesk intends to donate, will join Autodesk as a senior software engineer.
“I am pleased to see the software I created and nurtured move to the open source community,” said Olsen. “I built a loyal following of major software vendors who licensed and embedded my technology in their GIS products. Before this donation, any enhancements to the software were my sole responsibility. Now, this technology can be supported by me and many more developers who can now make their own contribution. Finally, I am pleased to join a geospatial and design vendor like Autodesk that understands the role and the value of both commercial and open source technology.”