An analysis of open source GIS software business models and case studies

Youngok Kang, Se Rin Son

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In this paper, we try to draw implications by analyzing both the prospective business models and case studies of advanced oversea enterprises which are performing a successful business in the field of open source GIS software. First, we can classify the business models of open source software into 12 types including service support, consulting, dual licensing, etc. According to our analysis, the service and support business model takes the highest percentage in the business of open source GIS software, and consulting does the second highest, and then dual licensing in the order. Second, we selected and analyzed two companies such as “Boundless” and “Azavea” that are performing the business most successfully in the field of open source GIS software. By analyzing these two companies, we obtained some common grounds and implications as follows: first, proactive activities in the community of open source software are needed to make the business model successful. Second, the companies that are relatively weak in technology capability have a tendency of creating revenue by developing and selling the solution-based products. Third, the companies that have high level of technology capability can generate revenue by developing and selling various kinds of products by adding the company owned technology to the enterprise software which has developed in the open source project. Fourth, successful companies have a business strategy which provide the necessary solutions through a collaboration with the companies that have a specific technology or a key solution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)745-754
Number of pages10
JournalSpatial Information Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Korean Spatial Information Society.


  • Business model
  • Case study
  • Open source GIS software
  • Open source software


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