Texas GIS Forum October 23 – 27, 2017 | Austin, Texas

Everything You Want to Know About Open Source GIS But Were Afraid to Ask

Tuesday, October 25th , 8:00 A.M. - Noon
Location: TCEQ Computer Training Lab
Taught by:
Michael Terner, Kate Hickey, Caitlin Schneider, Ross Topol, AppGeo
If you’ve ever wondered about or experimented with Open Source technology for your GIS operation, this workshop is for you. In the age of data science, the Internet of Things (IoT), and cloud computing, GIS “software as usual” approaches are due for an upgrade, and lower cost choices are emerging. Whether you are looking for a GIS tune-up or an enterprise GIS overhaul, Open Source options are mature enough to be strongly considered. This workshop will explain and demonstrate Open Source potential from three key perspectives that can help you start, or continue, your adoption path: (1) the Open Source ecosystem - why it exists and how it operates to your benefit; (2) Open Source technologies - what’s out there, advantages and disadvantages, and how OS can enhance existing enterprise GIS; and (3) the Open Source adoption path - how to get started, how to build internal support and show results, and how OS can help drive organizational change. The workshop will include real world case studies that can be adapted to your situation. It will draw from the AppGeo team’s direct and substantial experience with a variety of Open Source geospatial IT technologies and platforms, and bring to Texas what we learn from organizing, co-chairing, and participating in the 2017 International Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G) conference that is taking place in Boston this August.

Instructor Bio(s)

Michael Terner

headshot of instructor Michael TernerMichael Terner, is the Executive Vice President of AppGeo. His leadership at AppGeo began with co-founding of the company in 1991. During his more than 25 years at AppGeo, he has led initiatives to pioneer new approaches and to promote the use of emerging technologies. Through his project leadership, he has emphasized Open Source adoption. Michael has been at the forefront of telling AppGeo’s story of geospatial IT adoption and experimentation, and is a sought after speaker and facilitator. Currently, Michael is Chair of the Organizing Committee for the International FOSS4G (Free and Open Source Software for GIS) conference being held in Boston on August 14-18. FOSS4G is the largest global gathering focused on Open Source geospatial software.

Caitlin Schneider

headshot of instructor Caitlin SchneiderCaitlin Schneider is a GIS Analyst with AppGeo, in the Austin office. She has experience in detailed spatial data collection and processing methods, spatial and non-spatial data integration, quality control and data documentation.

Ross Topol

headshot of instructor Ross TopolRoss Topol is a Full Stack Engineer with AppGeo, in the Austin office. He currently works on designing, building and maintaining custom web applications for a variety of AppGeo clients ranging from local municipalities to federal agencies. Ross is also an active member of the javascript community as a mentor to aspiring developers and as an advocate for open source technologies.

Kate Hickey

headshot of instructor Kate HickeyKate Hickey is a Vice President with AppGeo. She has been studying the business requirements of government, developing geospatial IT strategies, and planning GIS systems for federal, state, and local governments for over 15 years.

Platinum Sponsors

appgeo logo and link to website Esri logo and link to website Esri logo and link to website Boundless logo and link

Gold Sponsors

Aecom geospatial logo and link Lenovo geospatial logo and link Near map logo and link Plotter Pro Logo and link to website Surdex geospatial logo and link

Silver Sponsors

Carto logo and link Fugro logo and link GeoComm logo and link Hexagon logo and link Infogroup logo and link HP geospatial logo and link Sanborn logo and link to website SCAUG logo and link West Safety Services logo and link Geocortex logo and link


  • Blue Marble Geographics
  • RazorTek
  • TeachMeGIS
  • Tessellations Incorporated
  • Western Data Systems