Is OTB worth it?

If you’re following our OTB adventures, you know that OTB is a complex (yet wonderful) project. As a complex project, it is hard to evaluate if the right choices were made in term of development methodology, if the team organization is working well and to see if we’re not spending more time fixing stuff that should have worked rather than adding new capabilities.

When you’re buried deep into the project, it is especially hard to have a critical view and to see if you’re doing things right. As we love statistics and data, we look at many different indicators to check that OTB is on the right path:

  • In terms of capability: how many users (download the new version, look at the documentation, ask questions), how long it takes to get good results in a remote sensing contest with OTB…
  • In terms of quality: how many bugs are still open, how many tests are failing, is the code homogeneous…

But in the world of open source, we are not alone and we can benefit from the work of others. Lately has been building a community around open source. Part of their success is due to the fact that they go through the public code repositories and run some code analysis. This analysis enables us to add one more indicator to follow the OTB progress: its value.

Of course, evaluating software value going through the source code can’t be 100% accurate and these results should be read with a critical view. However, these methods are well established: Ohloh is using the basic Cocomo methodology which takes into account the number of code lines and the period of development. This evaluation intends to give a concrete representation of the size of a software. Keeping this information in mind, we can now look at the numbers:

OTB’s value is reaching a whooping 53 millions dollars (OTB ohloh details) and the applications alone are reaching nearly 1 million dollars (OTB-Applications ohloh details).

Of course, the value of OTB includes other components (ITK, ossim,…), and without those, OTB could not exist. This is a great illustration that OTB is greater than the sum of its parts with some almost artistic realizations like the sensor model of ossim blending with the transforms of ITK.

Now, you can download this multi-million dollar software and give it a try…

2 thoughts on “Is OTB worth it?

  1. Hi,

    i have a problem!

    I want to install OTB on my computer (OS: Vista or XP)
    ja sorry I´m a frendly user! ; )

    can you give me some advice how to intall OTB without too many problems

    mfg thorsten

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