We’re a little late to our own party, but we’re excited to announce that Azavea has joined the Eclipse Foundation and its new LocationTech working group. The decision to join LocationTech and Eclipse represents an increased commitment by Azavea to the open source geospatial software community.
The Eclipse Foundation has been around for several years and has cultivated an ecosystem of open source software tools that work with the Eclipse IDE. In recent years, it has extended its mission to focus more broadly on open source software, in general. LocationTech is a relatively new “working group” started a few months ago as a forum for businesses committed to development of open source tools for working with geospatial data. The first projects are starting to make their way through the incubation process. The most prominent of these projects is currently uDig, a desktop GIS client that uses the Eclipse IDE as both a user interface framework and an SDK to build custom spatial applications.
One of the things that attracted us to LocationTech is that the Eclipse Foundation is focused not just on supporting an open source software ecosystem but also on creating an environment where successful businesses can be built on top of an open source foundation. Azavea is a B Corporation, so we like the focus on sharing knowledge and cultivating a vital community. But as a business, we also want to build a successful, growing and sustainable business that is both profitable and has the elbow room to invest in R&D and to give back with programs like Summer of Maps. The decision to join LocationTech is aimed at supporting both of these ideas.
LocationTech will only be as successful as the projects that it supports. uDig is a great start, but it’s going to require many more strong projects before it can become a nexus for open source geospatial software. We’re evaluating whether any of Azavea’s projects would be a good fit. Perhaps more on that front in the near future.