In-Q-Tel Backs Open Source Mapping Company - InformationWeek

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Government // Enterprise Architecture

In-Q-Tel Backs Open Source Mapping Company

In-Q-Tel, the investment arm of the U.S. intelligence community, invests in OpenGeo, which allows customization of geospatial maps.

10 Breakthrough DARPA Technologies
10 Breakthrough DARPA Technologies
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In-Q-Tel, the investment arm of the U.S. intelligence community, has signed a new technology development agreement with OpenGeo, which develops open source geospatial software.

The company is best known for its OpenGeo Suite, which offers a complete geospatial software stack, including an integrated spatial database, application server and Web client API. The software gives users the power to store data, create custom maps and analyze their findings. The move by In-Q-Tel reflects a broader move by government to embrace open source software.

OpenGeo software is familiar to a variety of government agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission, which uses it to create the National Broadband Map. New York City's Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications uses the company's Geoserver with an Oracle database as part of its WebMap framework, for such applications as NYC*Scout, the Street Conditions Observation Unit's site to track and display reports on everything from potholes to graffiti.

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"We believe that OpenGeo's open source Spatial IT solutions have great potential to enhance the mission of our government customers," said Robert Ames, senior VP in charge of information and communication technologies at In-Q-Tel, in the announcement of the investment. "The company's geospatial products have a large range of applications that we believe will be important to both the commercial and government markets."

OpenGeo CEO Eddie Pickle said the investment demonstrates the federal government's interest in, and willingness to support, the open source community.

"IQT's investment further indicates the potential for using commercial open source in mission-critical government systems and applications and will enable OpenGeo to build on its leadership role for 'Spatial IT,'" Pickle said in the press release.

The strategic partnership follows a series of other investments made by In-Q-Tel in recent weeks. In-Q-Tel announced last month that it signed new technology development agreements with three companies that produce leading-edge capabilities in the areas of artificial intelligence, flash storage technology and portable solar-generated power supplies.

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