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Most Opensource tools are cross platform; however, some GIS tools such as ArcGIS are platform specific (windows only). What are some of the GIS tools that are usable on the mac?


Although thank you for putting the basic apps in your answers, my question specifies that Most if not all of opensource tools are cross platform, I was really hoping to get more obscure libraries, packages, and programs that I didn't know about on OSX similar to dotspatial and sharpmap for windows

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It sounds like you are looking for Mac only apps. With the muli-platform OpenSource apps, you get the benefit of an application that runs natively on the Mac, but the larger developer/user community that draws people from all platforms. –  DavidF Jan 3 '11 at 19:57

8 Answers 8

go to kingchaos and you have all the FOSS4G desktop GIS compiled for Mac: - GRASS GIS - Quantum GIS + PostgreSQL, PostGIS, GDAL and others (Mapserver)

You have also OpenJump, GvSIG, Udig, Ossim and Cartographica (not free, 495 $) + R and R spatial packages + Merkatoor (OpenStreetMap editor) + some other things

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QGIS will run on OSX. You can download it from here:


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Any of the FOSS4G desktop GIS platforms run well on the Mac.

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Mono works on Mac, so DotSpatial must work. GISLook & GISMeta are Mac-Specific. They are plugins for Mac OS X that show GIS data in the Finder. Supported formats: ESRI Shape, E00, ArcInfo Coverage, USGS DEM, SRTM, ESRI ASCII grid, ESRI Binary grid, BIL, BIP, BSQ, Surfer Grid, PGM.

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Nothing quite on the level of ArcGIS in features, price or frustration. But, there are some such as:

Also, ArcGIS is usable in a VM as long as you're not doing anything too 3D intensive. Presumably, that would be true of other proprietary GIS applications.

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Whitebox Geospatial Analysis Tools - GAT for Spatial Analysis is JAVA program and probable run on OSX even as VISAT/BEAM for RS. And MultiSpec run well on the MAC for Image Classification (despite being freeware).

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