About

  • Screen Shot 2016 08 31 At 4 57 45 Pm

    Tim Sutton, Charlotte Morgan (DMI), Pak Bambang (BPBD) at Understanding Risk 2016

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    Khumbulani, our intern, preparing to go OpenStreetMapping!

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    Our Paarl team in 2014

Welcome to Kartoza.

We are Free and Open Source GIS (FOSSGIS) Service providers providing a global service to individuals, companies and governments around the world who are looking to leverage the power of the Free Software movement to solve geospatial problems.

What is FOSSGIS? FOSSGIS is geospatial software that is available both as source code and (usually) in binary form. The licence of FOSSGIS permits it to be freely redistributed, modified and shared. Notice that ‘Free’ in the name is spelt with a capital ‘F’ – it refers to liberty (the freedom to share and modify). The business model around FOSSGIS is simple and fair: you pay for, or invest your own time in enhancing, configuring and deploying the software and do not pay any licence fees for the software. We encourage those who do improve the software to donate their improvements back to the community (and in some cases the licence requires this if you make your software public).

This creates an ecosystem where instead of each user of the software paying for the same things all the other users pay for, you only spend time, money and effort on the extra functionality you might need and at the same time you benefit from all the improvements others are making. We often describe this using the idiom “a rising tide floats all boats”. This is in direct contrast to the proprietary software model where each client pays the cost that the vendor thinks the market can bear. Another important element of using FOSSGIS is taking control of your own destiny and building local economies. Now you no longer need to be wedded to a specific vendor. Instead you can choose a support approach that suits you based on price, locality and expertise. This could mean simply using the vibrant communities around FOSSGIS projects to get support for free, choosing a local consulting firm to provide you services on a commercial basis, or approaching the developers of the software directly and engaging them to help you fulfil your requirements.

The ability to engage developers and consultants who are local to you has excellent economic benefits – the money you pay them circulates in your local economy and enriches local communities rather than being exported directly to some far flung country and enriching a company there. Another great benefit is that local skills and expertise are developed. On the FOSSGIS platform it is very simple for a new start-up company to create geospatial solutions with very little up front investment in software licences and upstream support fees.

Key business areas

Kartoza provides business operations in three key areas relating to Free and Open Source Software:

Who are we? 

Kartoza is a South African company (though we provide services to clients around the world). In 2014 Kartoza was formed as a merger between Linfiniti Consulting CC. and Afrispatial CC. We have offices in Stellenbosch in Western Cape Province and Johannesburg in Gauteng Province. For more information about our services, please contact us – we will be happy to help!

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