Feasibility of a GIS/Geospatial orientated co-op?

I’d be interested in founding a workers co-op,with the intention of becoming a CoTech member, covering GIS/geospatial services. If it’s a feasible proposition.

Are any members of CoTech currently offering these services? The CoTech website doesn’t list a relevant field. Despite this have any members been approached with work in this field? Would anyone be interested in exploring this idea with me?

(changed my username from Pigeon)

Alright @Pigeon! I’m fairly clueless regarding GIS/Geospatial world but I know myself and the folks at Aptivate work with MapAction - we just do hosting and site design for them - but at least they are in that space.


I work in GIS, but not in a co-op. I have previous co-op (non-tech) experience, and generally think they are the ‘way’.

I’m excited to explore what can be done to sort out this absence of ge-ops! I think the balance will be growing the co-op for the co-ops sake, and choosing what and to whom one would offer services. I still feel like I’m feeling this out a little, as I’m relatively new to the industry.

In general I think spatial open data is getting really exciting, especially as there are newer projects ( eg who’s on first, openaddresses are more open to bulk up loads and ‘machine mappers’ with more permissive licenses than OSM - though OSM is obviously great!


Thanks for that @decentral1se , I’ll do some digging.

I’d be really keen to hear your @Will /anyones thoughts. My background is from the data collection side, where everything from acquisition to product delivery was in house, so I’m an outsider to the GIS industry. I’m going to have a bit of a poke around and see what I can find with regards tenders/contracts.

Hi @Pigeon

At Data Unlocked we work with geospatial data a fair bit of the time, although we are not GIS specialists. Typically, we use Tableau for small scale, early look. We have built bespoke systems using LAMP stack and Open Street Map (OSM) previously.
Currently we are working on the Land Registry data release of Corporate and Overseas Land Ownership. We have Birmingham plotted in Tableau but are yet to develop it any further technically. We may well set up an OSM server in the next month or so.

I met a guy at Boss or Be Bossed? in Glasgow who was a GIS specialist and looking to join or start a co-op.

I can’t remember his name but @louise from Media Co-op might know - I’ll drop her an email as she doesn’t appear to be on this forum.

Hi @Pigeon

We at Co-operative Web do some systems, specifically one with public data (ambulance, police, fire, coastguard, NHS) and publishing that for Water Incidents around the UK in conjunction with RoSPA. We’re trying to get a rebuild of the system which is obviously quite heavily GIS based and the mapping engine will need a complete overhaul (it’s a custom built tile server and area mapping solution that was good for it’s time but pretty creaky now). So, while I don’t have anything now we might in the New Year. We’ve lost out main GIS person - so it’d be great to know someone who could come in and help should we get the work…


That might have been me @Harry. Not sure I qualify as ‘expert’ yet. :grinning:

Thanks @siwhitehouse and @edrussell, it’s interesting to hear what members are already working on.


Does anyone have any experience of Geoweb Summits?