The open-source movement: an introduction for forestry professionalsThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
In recent years, the open-source movement has yielded a generous and powerful suite of software and utilities that rivals those developed by many commercial software companies. Open-source programs are available for many scientific needs: operating systems, databases, statistical analysis, Geographic Information System applications, and object-oriented programming. Using "real world" examples, including applications employed by Federal agencies, we address the concerns associated with open-source software deployment: cost, security, software availability, and usability. The potential for application to U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis data is discussed.