San Rafael, USA, September 25, 2007: Autodesk, Inc. 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 at the annual Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G) conference in Victoria, Canada.
“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.”
“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” he added.
The technology is presently embedded in Autodesk’s own software products, including AutoCAD Map 3D and Autodesk MapGuide Enterprise, and is used many organizations worldwide. Currently, Autodesk software engineers are preparing the source code for donation by ensuring that it is properly documented and organized as an open source project. The company expects to donate the software as an open source project to OSGeo by the end of 2007.