ArcGIS is the Microsoft Word of mapping so in early 2011, Esri submitted an API for ArcGIS to standards body the Open Geospatial Consortium for consideration as an â€˜open standardâ€™ it was a bit like Microsoft trying to do the same thing. To have it considered an â€˜open standardâ€™, all but guaranteeing Esriâ€™s market influence for the foreseeable future. It could have gotten away with it if it had not been for some pesky open sauce developers.
Australian software developer Cameron Shorter, the local chair of the Open Source GeoSpatial Foundation, disrupted the process and influenced the process by penning blogs and lobbying key OGC members. He argued that while Esriâ€™s technology and interest in open standards was laudable, approving such a specification as an open standard would do little to improve on existing, genuinely open standards that achieve the same result.
The fear was that mandating a standard put forward by a commercial vendor is tantamount to a government â€œproviding a vendor with significant market advantage, erring on the creation of a state-sanctioned monopoly."
In the end Esri backed down.