Open Source in Geoscience

Like everyone else who has dealt with Open Source software and libraries I have been seriously confused over what I could and couldn't legally do and the risks associated with developing open source. I have decided to write this page to assist those who are in the starting out in earth science software licensing.

So do You Really Want to be a 'Good' Guy?
I could go on forever about virtue and consequential ethics, but doesn't the bottom line trump these principles each time? I could also go on about the many articles spouting the benefits of open source for business but is it good path to go down?

The geoscientific sector is exceptionally unique. We are a small, highly specialized industry with many different sub-specialties and it is even more in our best interest to invest in this open business model. We have all seen the result of one or two companies dominating in highly specialized areas... outrageously expensive software licenses, limitations on software and equipment use, anti-competitive behavior and subversive tactics to steal the oppositions technology whilst internalizing potentially revolutionary ideas. So is there a good reason to continue along this trajectory? It promotes monopoly, inhibits start ups, squeezes dollars out of small to mid size companies and encourages a closed stagnant industry.

On the contrary most geophysical software packages have small user bases and profiting using open source paradigms is impossible without larger industry support. At the present I believe only open seismic software developers could survive. I developed an open source electromagnetic package during my PhD and I found the experience eye opening. Over its 3 year duration and 1500+ downloads, nobody submitted any fixes to the main source code or offered financial contributions (probably [...]

By |January 13th, 2014|News, Opinion|0 Comments

Its Been Quite a Ride

First of all thanks everyone for their continuing support and feedback.  The download counter has risen to over 1500 downloads (+/- 500 thanks to Ukrainian bots) spanning 70+ countries. It has been a rewarding experience seeing so many different people from such varied and distinguished organizations using my software. Sadly it is time for MCSEM.com to come to a close.

So What's Next for MCSEM.com?
I started MCSEM.com as a way to share my software and work developed as part of my PhD. So now that my PhD has finally completed I will be decommissioning this website. I will keep MCSEM.com  active and hosted for the next several years while I find a place to migrate the software and articles. I would like to migrate the software with still an existing geophysical open source consortium so if anybody has any ideas of where the software should reside please contact me.
CSEM Software From Inception...
I was 20 when I first devised of a CSEM modelling package, now at 26 I have a much clearer idea of how software should be structured and more largely the requirements for geophysical software development.  Software takes effort to create but good robust software takes dedication. I have been diligently adding to and modifying CSEMoMatic over these last 6 years and it has developed SIGNIFICANTLY from simple C code to a complex multi-dimensional Electromagnetic modelling and inversion platform written in Java. I co-wrote the first version with my friend Sean Phillips as part of his Honours Thesis for rapid generation of CSEM data for feasibility studies (Check out his work, it's a good read). The program took manual input and output the marine CSEM data into an easily importable format.

The work with Sean got [...]

By |October 1st, 2013|MCSEM.com, News, Opinion|0 Comments