At the Latvian Geospatial Information Agency in Riga, all parts of the organisations use open source. Linux, to begin with, provides a stable operating system for its databases, both proprietary and the open source alternative Postgresql. Naturally the agency uses all kinds of open source solutions for its Geographic Information Systems, including Postgis and Quantum Gis.
Postgis and Postgresql are actually central to the agency's services, to offer, for example, the Eurogeographics reference data via web services.
All of the agency's map browsers use open source: here it combines Java scripts with different open source code toolkits and code standards such as Dojo, Dojox, Dijit and Json.
But that is not all. Open source software is also a commodity on desktops PCs. The agency's has a limited budget for software licences, and so where needed the staff uses OpenOffice, an open source alternative for the ubiquitous proprietary office suite, explains Arvīds Ozols deputy director at Latvian Geospatial Information Agency. "Our strategy is to use open source solutions wherever we can."
The Agency has 189 employees, 109 of which use GIS and Computer Aided Design software.
One of the main GIS software tools used at the agency is proprietary. Ozols: "We can achieve the same results with the open source alternative, Quantim GIS. If both were cars, one would describe the differences in terms of comfort and speed."
Last year the Latvian government launched a new Spatial Data Information projects, involving all of the country's 110 municipalities. "This solution is built using open source software, including Quantim GIS, Postresql and Postgis."
Deputy director Ozols will present on the agency's use of Quantum Gis on the user conference, taking place in the Latvian city of Valmiera from 11 to 14 April. At the Latvian University, Quantum GIS is also used, as a tool for learning. It is the topic of a presentation by Kārlis Kalviškis, system administrator for the Faculty of Biology.