Open Source Approach to Contemporary Research: The Case of Geo-Information Technology

Open Source Approach to Contemporary Research: The Case of Geo-Information Technology

Dimitris Kavroudakis
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7230-7.ch005
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As the open source paradigm is influencing the modern economic world, an increasing number of scientific disciplines use the open working model in knowledge production process. The contemporary research field requires a new shift towards the constantly evolving digital age where collaboration and exchange of information is growing. The shift from traditional research models to open science may be the starting point for scientific innovation. This work presents the case of open scientific research as an analogy to the open source software movement and uses a case study from the Geo-Information technology sector.
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2. Open Model Of Knowledge Production

Open source as a term refers to the availability of the source code of a software. Computer software is made of source code which is compiled and generates an executable software. The term “open source” indicates that the source code is freely available to everyone. Open Source Software (OSS) is licensed in one of the approved OSS licensing agreements that guides the rights and freedoms of the user and the developer. Today there are more than thirty open source licenses recognized by the Open Source Initiative (OSI 2011) and the Free Software Foundation (FSF 2011), which offer a number of legal rights. On the other hand proprietary software refers to the material that does not offer the source code of the application. And are products of mainly closed and concentrated model of production which includes the use proprietorial capital resources. The development circle of the software is centralized and managed by the company which owns the copyrights

Open source production uses a distinctive development and distribution model and it may also be part of a proprietary material. The product may also have two licenses which offer a flexible scheme to the end user to choose the one which best suits his needs. Open source material is sometimes confused with public domain material or shareware or freeware. This is not always true as the term open source refers to the freedom of the end-user and is not related with the price of the software. The “openness” of the term refers to the liberty of the user and not the price. The open source licenses give the user freedom to run the program, to study the code and adapt it, to redistribute copies and improve it.

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