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CAD / GIS among the priorities of the Free Software

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) was created in 1985 with the intention of promoting the use, development and protection of non-proprietary software under the trading scheme. Via Gigabriones I heard that the FSF announced eleven priority projects which include two for geospatial:

clip_image002A replacement for Google Earth

There are several attempts of virtual globes in proprietary format such as Titan Leica, ESRI ArcGIS Explorer, Microsoft Virtual Earth, NASA World Wind and GeoShow.

But of course, Google Earth is the more popularized because resources’ consumption is minor compared to the others and also because it is Google who has been commissioned to make noise about this. This spread has made grow the amount of data content and therefore it’s preferred by people; so the FSF is looking for its replacement under free use.

It is understood that you can not access to Google data but that it can read kml files, access to other sources of data in OGC standards including the base of Open Street Maps (OSM) and also go Marble on-line collaboration.

clip_image003A replacement for OpenDWG libraries

In this they are looking for a project that is intended to support the use, distribution and standardization under a free license for CAD formats. It would be nice if we remember that the Open Design Alliance apart from initiatives like IntelliCAD that were caused by this idea, little has been done after the dwg in 2000 with the crazy way to change the parameters by AutoDesk and Bentley V7 which has not been able to pass though the V8 specifications are available.

Hence many programs continue opening these older formats with the excuse that there is no standardized support although Bentley and AutoDesk have planned it for next year.

Other projects that fall within the priority of the SFS are:

Gnash, a player for flash files

Coreboot a free BIOS solution

Software to replace Skype

Free software to edit video

GNU Octave, a Matlab replacement

A manager of network routers

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