Im looking for an open source desktop gis tool that can be used for visualization and exploratory analysis.

I want it to be interactive and perhaps display two or more maps at the same time to allow for comparative analysis.

I know CommonGIS allows for this, but are there any others?


  • 2
    Hi @hhart - what kind of data sources do you have?
    – djq
    Feb 11, 2012 at 1:22
  • @celenius I don't know what type of data I will be working with yet. I'm familiar with .shp, and .tab files. I expect to be working with census data and time series health data.
    – hhart
    Feb 11, 2012 at 21:31

1 Answer 1


You might want to give the Exploratory Spatio-Temporal Analysis Toolkit a spin and see how it works for your data.

enter image description here

Developed by the GeoVISTA Center in close cooperation with users at the National Cancer Institute, the ESTAT toolkit provides user-friendly, open-source software designed to support exploratory geographic visualization.

While developed initially to support cancer research, ESTAT is designed to handle any kind of spatial data with attributes. If you have an ESRI ArcGIS shapefile, you can follow our tutorial on the in practice page to quickly convert your data into something ESTAT can use.

The site also has tutorials with sample data and another one for working with your own data.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.