I’ve blogged about putting GIS applications on USB memory sticks in the past, but there seems to be some traction going on with this. Jo Cook presented at FOSS4G2007 a talk about Portable GIS. Jo has followed up with a blog post about the talk:

Thanks to everyone who attended my talk at FOSS4G and/or came up and offered me kind words of encouragement afterwards. I’m pretty overwhelmed in the level of interest in this.

That is encouraging. There is now a dedicated page to portable GIS and with more community involvement, maybe we’ll start seeing some real progress here. As I wrote in the comments over there, I feel that for open source GIS to get penetration in many organizations, folks will need to be able to run these applications without the need to install them. Portable GIS is more than just running GIS applications on a USB memory stick, but the idea that these are self contained applications. Of course you don’t want to run production GIS using such applications, but being able to show how many of these open source products can integrate with existing workflows and improve your output might start getting companies to look at them and start deploying them internally.

This is sure something I’m keeping my eye on.