Open source is gaining popularity and as they say, its a “Race to the bottom” in terms of capital cost or money paid for software purchase. The utility and usage of GIS, though accepted and popular in many of the developed economies is yet to catch up in our context in India. Government’s Digital India programme, smart city initiative, Swachh Bharat initiative and others will have significant usage of GIS and mapping tools for planning, analysis and monitoring purpose. But, it is difficult to say how many of the 3000+ municipal corporation could shell out million rupees for only GIS software leave aside, data and services. Municipality is not the only segment, there are many more segments with visible need. It may be worthwhile for industry associations like FICCI and SAMA to consider the evagilization of open source tool. Dept of Science and Technology may consider centre of excellence on open source software in technology hubs and engineering institutes across the country. They may even encourage and mandate its use amongst the funded projects.
There is a need to have start-ups or existing players develop expertise in open source, not just for providing services to the larger market segment, but many a times for even large industry player who find it extremely difficult to wade their way through the myriads of open source compliance; and hence they prefer to acquire companies working on open source or encourage and fund start-ups to work independently.