Open Source Options (OSO) is dedicated to teaching the use of freely available, open-source tools for programming and data analysis. The content on this site teaches GIS (geographic information systems) and data science analysis. I also teach basic programming, web development, and data analysis tutorials. My goal is to show that with the wealth of free software and analysis tools that are currently available in-depth, state-of-the-art analysis can be accomplished without paying for expensive software licenses.
Content is delivered through free YouTube tutorials, online courses, and blog posts. YouTube tutorials will always be free but lack polish, resources, and timely communication from OSO, due to the large number of inquiries I receive. Paid courses provide all the data and code needed to replicate what is accomplished and demonstrated by course instructors.
I am a natural resources scientist. I was first introduced to programming in an introductory computer science course (basically a C++ introduction) during my undergraduate studies. I will admit that during the course I didn’t grasp the power or applications of programming. Later, as I became involved with GIS analysis, I realized the importance of programming and data science.
Analysis for my own research projects, and later for tasks required by a job forced me to teach myself how to write code. I started by learning a little bit of R to do statistical analysis. Then I learned C++ to develop a morphodynamic model (it’s a model that predicts how rivers will change through time). After that I realized, with its many open source modules, Python was my easiest route to quickly develop geospatial workflows and analyses. Now I do most of my analysis and development in Python, but I still realize the importance of other languages.
I started Open Source Options to spread the word about open source software and tools. As you know, the GIS industry is dominated by ESRI. However, QGIS and other tools like GDAL/OGR and Whitebox Tools provide robust alternatives to proprietary software. My goal is to provide resources for all to learn about the open-source tools that are available.
I hope you will find the content on this website useful and wish you the best of luck on your open source journey!
PhD in Water Resources. In progress. University of Idaho, Water Resources Program.
Master of Science in Ecology. 2017. Utah State University, Department of Watershed Sciences.
Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Science. 2014. Utah State University, Department of Wildland Resources. Minors in Fisheries Science and Geographic Information Science (GIS)
The goal of Public Lands Journal is to help you experience and advocate for America’s great public lands. This website is about public lands in the United States and hiking, backpacking, fishing, hunting, and other public land recreational activities.