I was wondering if there are any projects based around using ArcObjects and external libraries to create open source alternatives to extensions in ArcGIS.

For example 3D Analyst, Spatial Analyst etc or even stuff like implementing some ArcInfo functionality in ArcView?

2 Answers 2


Most of these recommendations are not open-source, but they are free and add a lot of useful functionality to ArcMap.

Geospatial Modeling Environment - Written for ArcView (works with all licenses though), adds some functionality that is available in ArcEditor and ArcInfo. Not open-source (uses R, which is open-source though), but free.

ET Tools (GeoTools, GeoWizards, Surface) - Lots of great tools. GeoWizards adds some of the 3D Analysis functionality. Again, not open-source, but lots of free tools available before you have to pay.

ArcScripts - Discontinued, but still an extensive archive of scripts contributed by users. All are free. Most of the scripts are pre version 10, but since you have access to the source code, you could port them over.

ArcGIS Code Gallery - New version of ArcScripts

  • cheers for the info
    – EnE_
    Oct 21, 2011 at 4:39
  • Cheers for the info, I have not encountered GSE before so will check it out. In regards to the scripts available at the ESRI sites they are generally not recreating what is available in Extensions for free but if those tools are needed just using the extension. My hope was to find a project/community that reproduced functionality in extensions without the price tag. Some of the stuff is really simple but coding it individually is too much work.
    – EnE_
    Oct 21, 2011 at 4:47
  • 1
    Gotcha. There are scripts that replicate some of the functionality of the extensions and/or ArcInfo. For example: resources.arcgis.com/gallery/file/geoprocessing/… . The ESRI equivalent is only available in ArcInfo.
    – Casey
    Oct 21, 2011 at 5:04
  • Thanks, thats a nice bit of code. I was kind of looking for stuff outside of the ESRI realm that could be used in ArcGIS etc. This code is within the bounds still though obviously an explicit example of what I am looking for. I guess I was looking for a more targetted undermining fo the 'Extensions' that ArcGIS provide.
    – EnE_
    Oct 25, 2011 at 23:51

You could take a look at Sextante which makes SAGA and GRASS functionality available through ArcGIS 10. You can also install SAGA separately and run it from ArcGIS using the command line. Both give you alternatives to a lot of Spatial Analyst type features.

  • This is pretty cool and it would seem as close as I am going to get as it appears the answer is no. Lots of good info. Will take a while to get stuck in to all of that source code. Cheers!
    – EnE_
    Oct 25, 2011 at 23:45

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