GISCafe Weekly Review May 14th, 2015

Stylin’ with Boundless OpenGeo Suite 4.6
May 14, 2015  by Susan Smith

A provider of Spatial IT solutions, Boundless, has released the newest version of its enterprise geospatial software platform, OpenGeo Suite 4.6. This Suite powers web, mobile and desktop maps and applications across both large and small organizations and improves performance, reliability and styling.

product overview2

GISCafe Voice spoke with Boundless’ chief marketing officer, Sean Brady, to find out more about the platform release:

GISCafe Voice: What would be an example of cost differential using OpenGeo Suite 4.6 rather than a proprietary geospatial solution?

Sean Brady: There are no traditional license costs associated with OpenGeo Suite, either client-side or server. As a result, as you scale deployments (across both IT environments as well as users) organizations incur no incremental costs other than underlying infrastructure costs. Proprietary geospatial solutions incur license costs on both a per-user basis as well as the number of cores used on the server side, so costs increase with scale.

GISCafe Voice: When you say “anyone” can build maps, etc. do you mean anyone with certain geospatial qualifications?

Sean Brady:  This is the benefit of what we at Boundless call “Spatial IT”. It means Spatial no longer needs to require special qualifications, because IT professionals familiar with database technologies like PostgreSQL and web development languages like CSS can build and style maps. As an industry, if we want geospatial to grow in adoption by traditional market verticals, we have to make the technologies more accessible to the IT shops that are already in place without needing to hire scarce geospatial experts.
GISCafe Voice: Do organizations need IT/geospatial departments to get the suite implemented in their companies?

Sean Brady: Again, as an industry if we want geospatial to grow beyond specialized geospatial shops we have to make it accessible to other parts of the business. Organizations still need IT, Web, or application development expertise to leverage the power of OpenGeo Suite – but those are resources in much greater quantity and are already invested in as strategic efforts.

GISCafe Voice: Do you have examples of deployment cases?

Sean Brady: You can find cases on our website underneath our various product offerings. We have case studies posted about deployments at organizations like NOAA, TriMet, and Asheville, North Carolina.

GISCafe Voice: Are you moving into other market areas, if so, which ones?

Sean Brady: In the spirit of Spatial IT, we’re working to make our software accessible to multiple market areas. If you visit our website at, you’ll note multiple market verticals we are currently targeting and working with.

GISCafe Voice: What do you think is the most profound offering of Suite 4.6 that differentiates it from competing Open Source geospatial software?

Sean Brady: In the open source community we like to think we’re not competing with other open source technologies. Rising water lifts all boats in our space, the more people that use open source geospatial technology the better we all do. It’s why we’re committed to OGC standards and interoperability – if you wish to use something different at a certain layer because you have different objectives, then please, go ahead. Where Boundless works to differentiate is by responding to what we perceive are gaps in what’s out there – our improved Composer offering in OpenGeo Suite 4.6 addresses market needs for web-based map design and styling tools using the simplified YSLD syntax.

New capabiities and enhancements in Version 4.6 include:

Enhanced OpenGeo Suite Composer, that allows anyone to build and style maps by making it easier to add data to GeoServer, style layers, and publish to the Web.


In this blog post I wanted to step back and reflect on the dramatic changes in GIS, we’ve been calling it the GIS Revolution. To ask the question is there a gap between perception and reality? And discuss the continued importance of early adopters.

The emergence of cloud and mobile technology have raised dramatically the profile and demand for location technology. Esri and other vendors in the GIS space have reacted to these technology changes and new demands by releasing new products. That actually understates reality, in the case of esri, they are in many ways reinventing themselves. We are in a phase of GIS innovation. The path is to mainstream acceptance and use of GIS; new uses of the technology and a vastly expanded user base.

Traditional GIS users are seeing their world turned upside down. Those new to GIS now have an entry point. They are no longer excluded from the technology. Publishing maps has never been easier. A plethora of GIS apps are now available. Configure first has become an esri mantra. And why not. If your GIS app needs are shared by others why reinvent the wheel? Esri are releasing new configurable apps at a prolific rate.

Is there a Gap between Perception and Reality

So where are we in the GIS revolution?

Have traditional users adopted the new cloud based solutions, are they configuring apps and providing them across their organizations? Are non-GIS users adopting the technology in droves? Reading the GIS press you would think yes.

The reality is definitely, maybe!

The Importance of Early Adopters

The GIS Revolution still being driven by early adopters. The GIS press is in reality focused on where we are going not where we are. We see adoption rates as picking up, definitely close to a tipping point, but not there yet.

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