So within the GeoServer community we’re debating whether it’s kosher to do a fairly blatant ‘commercial’ announcement on the blog about OpenGeo.org. But in the meantime I figured I’d just announce here, since I can do whatever I want on my personal blog :)
I’m really excited to present OpenGeo, the newly minted geospatial division of The Open Planning Project. Nothing much is changing internally, but we’re getting serious about our image in the world. We’ve been supporting open source geospatial projects for years, and in the past couple years we’ve offered great consulting services around the projects we work on. But it’s always been confusing for people who don’t already know our work. They might see an openplans.org email address on the lists, and follow that to web tools for community organizers, click from there on The Open Planning Project logo, linking to a high tech non-profit, then maybe click projects, and see ‘GeoServer’, which they’ve been using, and from there click on ‘services’ to realize that yes, you can in fact pay us money to work on this. I’m not convinced that anyone made it that far.
So OpenGeo.org is about giving a more visible face to our services and products, so we can bring the geospatial work in TOPP to economic sustainability with full cost recovery. It also marks the launch of ‘GeoServer Enterprise‘ packages, which bundle web and telephone support, priority bug fixes, discount consulting rates, and a number of implementation hours by the experts. This is on the full OpenGeo stack – OpenLayers, GeoWebCache and GeoServer. We’re hoping this makes it easier for more conservative organizations to embrace open source by establishing something much closer to a traditional vendor relationship. It should provide a clear answer to the classic question with open source ‘Who do I call when something goes wrong?’ – with GeoServer Enterprise you call us, the experts who wrote the software. We believe the total package is incredibly competitive with any offering, proprietary or open source, for the level of service and expert access provided – you’re not paying for the intellectual property of something we built in the past, you’re paying directly for our time now. We already have two clients on board, which is very exciting. The website will be improved with demos and more content, but we’re quite pleased with what we’ve got. Recently many contracts have been coming in, and the OpenGeo launch should help us grow even more. So if you’re looking for a job for a geo dot-org drop me a line, we’re definitely hiring all types of roles, and soon should update the website with specifics.