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I would like to know if their are any open source map desktop based map viewers something similar to ArcReader. Preferably if this can use the files created from QGIS.

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Why does QGIS not qualify as a viewer? You can hide the "confusing" toolbars. – underdark Feb 13 '12 at 10:15
What if I make a map and want to distribute it to people and want them to just view ,zoom and identify. QGIS would be a complete GIS package which would not be preferred. – SNT Feb 13 '12 at 10:24
Only QGIS can open QGIS project files. (The same is true for other open source GIS.) You will not want to distribute separate data files I think. The usual solution is to create an web viewer instead, so people don't have to install anything on their machines. – underdark Feb 13 '12 at 10:35
I don't think it qualifies as Open Source but Gaia from The Carbon Project may be a good fit for your requirements. It can be downloaded from – PolyGeo Feb 13 '12 at 10:35
@underdark yes the main idea was of no distribution of data. Web viewer was another solution but for instant use I was looking to some desktop based solution. – SNT Feb 13 '12 at 10:43

You could use ArcGIS Explorer Online to create a free GIS web map. I believe you just have to create a global account with ESRI.

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I can use or arcgis explorer online in case to upload my shapfiles and that too would be restricted to just 1000 features. If I have data more than that I am stuck. What would be a more suitable desktop client as of now? – SNT Feb 13 '12 at 15:49
@Senthil, I'm not sure if you have ArcGIS, if you do you could export out data as a Geo-PDF with layers and attributes. – artwork21 Feb 13 '12 at 19:45
I dont have arcgis , but do you have any idea if I can export Geo-PDF layers with any open source GIS desktop. – SNT Feb 14 '12 at 4:44

This reads shapefiles and is configurable.

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