Open source solutions provider OpenLogic just announced the Open Source Census, “a newcollaborative initiative to quantify the global use of open source inenterprises.”

“Enterprises will be able to scan any of their computers and contribute the scan results back into The Open Source Census database [and] the basic anonymous aggregate data collected through The Open Source Census will be provided for free on a web site. This aggregate data will list the number of times each project has been installed on computers across all participating enterprises.”

The plan starts with the release of the Open Source Discovery application under the new Affero GPLv3 license plus an effort to enlist developers, software firms and ISVs in support of the project.About time, too. Everyone seems to think an initiative of this type is long overdue. Shane Schick’s Computerworld (Canada) blog notes the unreliability of both Canadian and US software piracy figures — which are statistical estimates — because the groups simply ignore open source applications. Remarking on the census, he adds:

“This would be a lot more accurate than the market forecasting that the Gartners, IDCs and Forresters of the world do. … For an industry that is focused on the management of information, it’s surprising how willingly IT professionals are to be left in the dark about the true state of the market.”

More posts on this topic include:

Are you in the dark about open source? Post a comment and tell us what you know — or don’t know — about the open source usage in your organization.