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137
votes
56answers
11k views

What free programs should every GIS user have installed?

Note: This question is specifically about installed, desktop software. There is another question specifically about free cloud-based software and services. I'm not necessarily referring to ESRI ...
48
votes
5answers
3k views

How to calculate most efficient route passing through all the houses in the world?

I'm new to GIS. I need some help in determining the best or most efficient route, using a flying sleigh, through all the houses in the world. One of my coworkers told me that this site would be the ...
45
votes
20answers
12k views

What are some Free and Open Source GIS Desktop packages

Can someone please give me a list of free and open source GIS desktop packages?
40
votes
8answers
12k views

Creating drive time polygons using open source tools

Is anyone using open source tools and/or data to generate drive time polygons that radiate out from a given location? For example, I have used ESRI products like Network Analyst and Business Analyst ...
39
votes
4answers
2k views

What are the FOSS equivalents to these ArcGIS products?

I'm a long-term user of ESRI software, and I now have a need to use free and open source software. I've been reading about Open Layers, PostgreSQL, PostGIS, GeoServer and MapServer but I can't find ...
37
votes
6answers
9k views

Free GIS workshops, tutorials, and applied learning material

Note 1: Please enter answers separately or feel free to edit this post directly Note 2: Please report on any broken links so they can be removed This thread lists free as in $0 workshops in GIS and ...
35
votes
1answer
4k views

How to smooth the polygons in a contour map

Here is a contour map for which all the polygons of levels are available. Let ask how to smooth the polygons keeping all vertices preserved in their exact locations? Indeed the contour is made on ...
31
votes
9answers
11k views

Open source methods for kriging?

I have a point dataset which I'd like to Krige, ideally using an open-source software package. If possible, I'd also like to choose the semi-variogram model during the process to improve the ...
30
votes
5answers
9k views

Comparison of the different open source GIS servers

I currently know the following open source GIS servers: Geoserver: java based, vector and bitmap support, also supports. Is now on par with mapserver (performance-wise). mapserver: c/c++, used to be ...
27
votes
8answers
13k views

Open Source Tool capable of reading Esri File Geodatabase (.gdb)?

I have an ESRI File Geodatabase (.gdb) file that I would like to convert to shapefile (or any other non-proprietary format). Are there any Open Source tools to do so?
27
votes
6answers
1k views

How to convince an organization to move towards open source GIS?

After spending the better part of the year on this site I am seeing how big the open source GIS community is. I used to just think it was ESRI and nothing else. That said, how do you begin to nudge or ...
24
votes
7answers
2k views

Work flow for georeferencing imagery using open source tools?

Does anyone have a recommendation for a work flow for georeferencing high resolution aerial photography using open source tools? Comparison of user friendliness and robustness between Quantum GIS ...
24
votes
7answers
840 views

GIS developer blogs … recommendations?

I'm looking for recommendations for GIS blogs ... specifically GIS developer blogs. I'm less interested in the geography than in how apps are put together. I'd like to keep up with ESRI ArcGIS as ...
24
votes
5answers
2k views

Are there open source alternatives to ArcCatalog?

I'm looking for open source alternatives to ArcCatalog. The software should run on both Win and Linux and support the usual file formats (shp, kml, gml, ...) and databases (especially PostGIS, ...
23
votes
9answers
2k views

How to easily shift all features in a vector dataset?

Let's say that I put together a Shapefile and all the features have their vertices shifted by a constant amount. What's the easiest way of shifting all the features (hence the (x,y) position of their ...
23
votes
6answers
749 views

What are some good introductory books or articles about Open Source GIS for students coming from an ESRI background?

I am preparing an intermediate GIS course for graduate and undergraduate students who have likely not been in touch with anything but ESRI software. It is an existing course in the curriculum that I ...
21
votes
5answers
4k views

Is there any model builder in QGIS or other open source GIS?

Like the ModelBuilder of ArcGIS for Desktop to run simultaneous geoprocessing tools, is there any model builder available in QGIS or any other open source GIS software?
20
votes
7answers
2k views

Alternatives to Network Analyst

I'm not sure how reasonable this question even is, but it leaves me no less curious after a bit of searching. If I am looking to build a network based on road features and attributes, is Network ...
20
votes
3answers
1k views

What are the differences between spatial databases?

What is the difference between Oracle Spatial, PostGIS, SQLServer2008, SpatiaLite, and MySQL in terms of their spatial support. Are there specific use cases where each shines. What might you want to ...
19
votes
5answers
3k views

What is Change Detection and how I can perform such analysis with open source tools?

From wikipedia page: Change detection for GIS (geographical information systems) is a process that measures how the attributes of a particular area have changed between two or more time periods. ...
19
votes
4answers
1k views

How to generate schemas of GIS hardware / software / workflows?

Quite often I find myself in a situation where I need to explain hardware or software GIS infrastructure to people with no or limited knowledge of GIS. Or give an overview of geoprocessing tasks ...
19
votes
9answers
2k views

Discontinuous or Interrupted map projections?

Do any of the current open source GIS softwares support discontinous projection systems? E.g. sinusoidal, dymaxion, butterfly, etc? If not, are there any affordable commercial ones that do (affordable ...
19
votes
3answers
776 views

Are there any OpenSource ArcObjects Projects?

One of the major benefits of developing GIS applications based on opensource libraries, is that many projects spring up on top of them which are also opensource. Well designed opensource projects ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

Which geodatabase type is most appropriate for both open source and ESRI use?

Main Question: Is there a geodatabase type that seamlessly works with both ESRI and open source products? Details: My company currently passes around geodata in various vector and raster file ...
17
votes
7answers
2k views

Fastest way to spatially join a point CSV with a polygon Shapefile

I have a 1 billion point CSV file and a shapefile with around 5,000 polygons. What would be the fastest way to spatially join points and polygons? For each point, I need to get the containing polygon ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there an open source GIS to view and edit CityGML models?

I'm looking for an open source GIS that supports viewing and editing of CityGML models. So far, I've found a list of open source applications that support CityGML, but they all seem to be ...
16
votes
8answers
1k views

Why should a user choose to use open source software in their remote sensing research?

If you judge by the amount of the questions regarding FOSS software that are being asked in gis.SE many users seems to prefer FOSS over proprietary software. I've read some articles - more precisely ...
16
votes
6answers
1k views

What's the most promising application (use) of OpenStreetMap data?

In some areas OSM data is very complete and has a level of detail not seen in closed data sources. Another distinguishing factor is that it contains the knowledge of the people who live in that areas. ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a decent open source map-editor?

I would like to have an open source map editor for drawing a city map? I don't want to use OpenStreetMap. It will be a custom map project. I don't need an advanced GIS system, but a simple ...
16
votes
7answers
13k views

Is there an open source Geocoding tool which can be used commercially?

Is there any Geocoding tool which is open source and can be used in commercial application? We tried Google geocoding API's but cannot continue with it because of some licensing limitation. Now ...
16
votes
4answers
726 views

Advice on a generic open-source package roadmap

I just wanted to ask an advice from the open source GIS gurus on a recommended stack to use for my envisioned project, as I do not fully understand the limits of the possible with most packages. I ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

Rendering overlapping lines

I am making a map containing information about public transportation: busses, trams, etc. The map will have a layer containing for example the tram lines. Each line has its own colour, and is ...
15
votes
10answers
8k views

What is the best open source software package for Remote Sensing?

Here are many questions with great answers about open source GIS software. I am wondering, what is the best open source software package for Remote Sensing? I would like to learn it and to use in my ...
15
votes
4answers
5k views

How to create a simple front-end for a PostGIS database?

My organisation collects a lot of environmental monitoring data (stream flow, water chemistry etc.) most of which is currently stored in Excel. I’d like to get everything into a database – probably ...
14
votes
6answers
7k views

Pure JavaScript Library for Geometry Operations

Does anyone know of a pure JavaScript library for doing geometry operations such as buffer, union, intersects, etc? I want to play with doing these operations in the browser. It looks like ...
14
votes
5answers
4k views

A SQL console in QGIS

I know QGIS comes with its field calculator, which is not bad. It also comes with ftools which permits several operations on geometry and attributes. But we often need more control and I haven't seen ...
14
votes
6answers
1k views

Creating simple image from vector data

Can anyone suggest a quick (and preferably open source) way to create an image from a shapefile. For example, I have a shapefile containing parcel boundaries, I want to create a png file depicting ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the best open-source web mapping solution for handling 3000+ polygons

I have 3000+ polygons which represent watersheds (18 main watersheds). At the first stage all the 18 watershed will show and their list will be placed in the left sidebar. If any user mouse over the ...
14
votes
4answers
532 views

What's up with OpenJump?

OpenJump is a nice GIS, very functional, with many updates and has a beautiful rendering. But it's not very popular, and you don't see it around in discussions, in osgeo comunity, etc. And ...
14
votes
2answers
4k views

How can I switch baselayers as a user zooms in to the map in OpenLayers

I have a map which overlays Open Street Map data on imagery for Pennsylvania. As a baselayer to the roads (and eventually other layers) I have two baselayers - Blue Marble NG and USGS EROS 1ft ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

Pure Python Library for Geometry Operations

Does anyone know of a pure Python (no C or Java dependencies) library for doing geometry operations such as buffer, union, intersects, etc? I'm looking for something that Google AppEngine compatible. ...
14
votes
4answers
443 views

Is there a FOSS solution for legend parsing in a web mapping environment?

Our web mapping requirements are fairly standard - some basic querying and the ability to print out the resulting map (or save the image). Typically we've used ESRI products in the past (right now ...
14
votes
1answer
737 views

How to detect roads from satellite images?

OpenStreetMap has announced a Bing API to detect roads. I want to know what is the theory behind road detection and if there is any open source tool that do that.
13
votes
9answers
994 views

Open Source Training Materials

This recent question made me wonder if there are any open source training materials for GIS. By this I don't mean training specifically for open source software - of which I know there are some - ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

Looking for free program, similar to 3D Analyst, to visualize tree stands in 3D

Heyho, I want to make a 3D stand visualization of trees in a specific area. I need something similar in functionality to ArcGIS 3D Analyst, but I don't have a license for that plugin anymore. The ...
13
votes
1answer
330 views

Watermarking photos using their geotag and create a shapefile

I have geotagged photographs and I would like to place a watermark of the photos location on the front for easy reference as well as creating a shapefile from the coordinates. Does anyone know of any ...
13
votes
2answers
331 views

Opensource solutions for finishing maps

After seeing the $600 price tag for Adobe Illustrator, I am especially interested in learning open source solutions for finishing maps created in a GIS. What open source, or commonly available, ...
13
votes
2answers
399 views

Is there any open-source object-oriented GIS?

Most GIS are layer based. But I am looking for open-source object-oriented GIS. Is there any out there? By object-oriented I mean logical data model for vector GIS. Here's explanation of my ...
13
votes
3answers
6k views

Post Processing GPS Data with open source software

I am using Magellan Professional Mapper CX working on ArcPad 7.1 platform. It has sub-meter accuracy after post processing. Without post processing the data collected in the field is off by 10 to 15 ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Python module to delete SHP features (without Desktop GIS installed)

I have a piece of software (not Arc) that runs nightly on a non-production machine which updates shapefile features from an external database. Periodically I would like to delete all of the features ...