I’m delighted to announce that Portable GIS has been accepted as an official OSGeo Community Project!

Portable GIS OSGeo Community Logo

From a technical perspective, this is the culmination of several months work behind the scenes getting the proper code repository set up here, creating the website, improving the documentation, and formalising the open source license. As a colleague said recently, Portable GIS has moved from being (effectively) freeware, to proper open source.

So, there are now official guidelines on how to contribute to Portable GIS development, and on the license terms under which you can use and contribute.

For those that are interested, I’m licensing the Portable GIS configuration and installers under the Gnu GPL v3 license. Choosing a license is fraught with complications, but I found this site (choosealicense.com) very helpful.

Having Portable GIS as an official OSGeo Community Project is important to me. Firstly it was the impetus to finally sort out the licensing and administrative elements like that, but it also provides recognition for the project, and membership of the OSGeo “family”.

A question that was raised often during the process of gaining Community acceptance was the relationship between Portable GIS, OSGeoLive and OSGeo4W. I believe that they are best described as separate, but complimentary tools, fulfilling different purposes, but with similarities too!

OSGeoLive provides you with an entire open source GIS operating system, but one that you have to boot into, so it’s separate from your day to day environment. Portable GIS provides a limited subset of the same tools, but accessible in your own environment.

OSGeo4W provides a really easy way of installing all the open source GIS tools on windows, without configuration headaches. Portable GIS provides a subset of those tools, but without the need for installation.

I would very much like to align the development and release cycle of Portable GIS with the OSGeo tools, but this will require quite a lot of time and resource. Watch this space though!