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So what is it that you Geofabrik people do anyway?

1.10.2013 | Frederik Ramm

(Deutsche Version in eigenem Artikel.)

Geofabrik is a household name in OpenStreetMap circles, but even insiders often ask us: What is it that you do at Geofabrik, apart from all the handy things for the community? What’s your business model?

We like to respond like this: At Geofabrik, we’re essentially craftspeople. Something like carpenters or cabinetmakers. Clients come to us and say “can you build me a cupboard”, and then we discuss the details with them, make them an offer, and when they like what we suggest, then we’ll build the cupboard. Of course the analogy only works so far – at Geofabrik, we might be able to build a standard cupboard for a client, which makes things easier. For another client we might, after a longer discussion, suggest that they get a nightstand instead because it serves them better, or we might offer to store their stuff in one of our cupboards. Or maybe we find out that they’re rather good at woodworking themselves and we just give them a blueprint for building their own cupboard… but what we like about the analogy is the the “honest work” aspect. We’re not “in the cloud”, we’re a solid engineering company, and we’re masters of our trade.

Since its inception in 2007, Geofabrik has done lots of different projects, sold products or services, and we’ve finally come up with a web page that presents a selection of them so that you can see for yourself what it is that we do.

For those that are interested further, Frederik has held a talk at the State of the Map US with an inside view of what it is like to do business in OSM.

And no, there aren’t any cupoards on that page, or in that talk.