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44

Quantum GIS uDig OpenJump gvSIG TerraView Kosmos WhiteBox


30

Quantum GIS is easily the most mature, robust, and user-friendly. Cross-platform, too!


27

I would look at OSGeo.org for this. They maintain a collection of Open Source GIS packages and utilities. This includes: GRASS OSSIM Quantum GIS gvSIG In addition, there are many useful tools and libraries, such as GDAL, OGR, OpenLayers, etc.


10

You dont need to program to do this - you just need a desktop mapping package and your data in a standard format. Standard formats include shapefiles for points, lines, and polygons, and geoTIFFs for raster (gridded image-type) data. I use the Open Source Quantum GIS, but there are other Open Source applications. Commercial GIS applications will be way too ...


9

Unfortunately it's impossible to say how many people use QGIS. Tim Sutton regularly creates download stats for Windows stand-alone downloads: Last December, Gary Sherman followed a different approach and counted the number of unique IP addresses accessing the plugin repository and found: 35,603 unique IP addresses of users that accessed the ...


8

There is a nice matrix (table) about "Matrix on OSGeo and COTS (Commercial off-the-shelf) software functionality", see this online spreadsheet. The effort of compiling the table was led by Tom McConnell, various project leads contributed to it.


8

http://freegis.org/ - the oldest and perhaps most comprehensive directory of free GIS software and projects.


8

Portable GIS is a very useful set of Open GIS Tools that can fit on a USB stick and used on other computers and very good for field work on a laptop. Great for beginners or students without the resources to purchase for commercial GIS products. Newly updated version 2 contains a self-contained installer, updated versions of all the constituent software ...


8

"Back in the “olden-days” GIS users, particularly ArcInfo users, were well versed in geospatial topology because of the coverage" (Geospatial Topology, the Basics) But ESRI is not the only solution: From these beginnings (at the same time as ArcInfo), GRASS GIS is also a full topological GIS with rules that differ from those of ESRI: The topology in ...


6

SAGA GIS, System for Automated Geoscientic Analysis, is often under represented in floss GIS lists. SAGA developed from raster processing roots, and is thus very strong there, and grew into vector handling and analysis later. It is a mature tool.


5

As others have said in comments, apparent detail when Zooming In has little or nothing to do with the software and everything to do with the data. Once you have the right data for your described purpose you can use just about anything to cut it up and print it. For imagery it doesn't even have to be "GIS" software, so long as it's an a standard format like ...


5

The programming language R is focused on statistics, but has some good mapping capabilities. I wouldn't use it to design a poster-sized map, but it has several packages for handling GIS tasks. The best part is that you can crank out spatial statistics without needing to leave the program.


4

Cloud vs desktop represents a false dichotomy. On the desktop it is common to access resources over a network or the internet. WMS, WFS, SQL and even file servers are all essential to a typical desktop GIS setup. Desktop GIS would be much poorer without the "cloud". Data stored and processed in the cloud still needs to be rendered on a client machine. ...


4

I think it is going to move from desktop to cloud, and here's why. I currently run virtual training courses where the users log on to Amazon virtual machines to do the exercises. Similarly, if I want to do some testing I just fire up a machine and get to work. It's simple, it's configurable, and it's efficient; and I think it's going to soon reach the ...


4

If you are in the data creation business, I don't think that there is any substitute for Desktop GIS. The limiting factor in these cases, is the large sizes of data, which would take an inordinate time over any kind of network. The strength of Cloud based GIS is when you have a centralised server, serving out data, and viewing and limited editing ...


4

If you do need to program an application in java you might want to consider GeoTools which is a Java toolkit for handling GIS data. UDig (on the OSGEO Dvd too) and GeoServer both use GeoTools. Depending on how you store your data GeoTools may have a datastore that will connect with it directly (shapefiles, databases etc) or it's not too hard to write your ...


4

I've now done a little searching myself on this and there seem to have been a few academic papers published with comparisons. Even the newest one is a year+ old now, but they do make for some interesting reading. An overview on current free and open source desktop GIS developments (PDF) - Comprehensive comparison of GRASS 6.3.0, QGIS 0.9, uDig 1.1, gvSIG 1....


4

ArcMap assumes a logical DPI of 96 for the purposes of calculating and displaying scale, so you are right in that holding a ruler up to your screen and attempting to perform measurements based on that scale would in all likelihood be incorrect, unless your monitor is actually 96 DPI (physical DPI) and you are using its native resolution. I am not sure if ...


3

Admitted not the simplest one to learn, but nobody (except one in a list-answer) citing GRASS ? I like its very simplicity when commands are given as simple bash scripts.. and I like to use bash scripts in order to keep track of what I do.. (and GRASS even does it automatically if you still want to use the GUI, as it keeps the log of the commands in a ...


3

I co-wrote a study on GRASS, gvSIG and QGIS communities, which may be an useful companion to other technical and economical studies. Actually, it compares the 3 reference desktop GIS applications as seen by OSGEO, but the scripts to generate the statistics have been released as free software, so you should be able to tweak them to analyze other environments ...


2

VTP the Vitrual Terrain Project, a 3D terrain visualization toolset which predates Google Earth, not a GIS in the strictest sense but the developers have GIS smarts so it leaks over a bit. It's intelligent about projections for instance.


2

As the previous answers have shown, there are a lot of candidates to choose from. The question should thus be "what OpenSource GIS fits my needs?" I wrote a paper with the title "Use of Free and Open Source GIS in Commercial Firms" in 2008, the framework I presented there should still be relevant. See: http://code.atlefren.net/download/dl.php?id=10 And then ...


2

Here are two good academic papers discussing these issues exactly. They deal mainly in biology, but compare the different packages very well: www.geo.uzh.ch/~sstein/manuscripts/sstein_freegitools_ecoinf2009.pdf www.geo.unizh.ch/publications/sstein/sstein_hunter_fosgis4sdi_v6_short.pdf


2

From what I've seen, this is the most exhaustive comparison matrix of GIS software out there: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Albk_XRkhVkzdGxyYk8tNEZvLUp1UTUzTFN5bjlLX2c&hl=en#gid=0 There are quite a lot of variables in this matrix, some which may be out of scope for your current study, but the issue of application scalability can be drawn ...


2

As I answered on the question you are referring, I did a comparison for several FOSS Desktop GIS in 2008, with the purpose of finding the system that fits a set of criteria. I also developed a framework for such selections, based on other frameworks. The paper is available under a creative commons license at: http://code.atlefren.net/download/dl.php?id=10


2

I love the idea of having a local GIS application on my machine, but then I also loved my landline phone and couldn't envision the day (years ago now) that I left the wired phone and went strictly cellular. It wasn't that the technology was better, but the cost could no longer be justified and additional benefits of wireless won out. The cloud will be a ...


2

The concept of scale in web mapping has no real meaning, as blah238 writes it's meant to imitate scale on paper maps, ie.that you can measure your map on-screen with a ruler and then convert to "real life distance". ArcMap assumes 96 DPI, OpenLayers assumes 72 DPI (by default), so on screens with these resolutions you might be in the ballpark when using a ...


2

Assuming you are talking about a tile sever: Any browser Marble QLandkarteGT Various other software from the list of desktop software for OSM



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