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I have three sets of data,city, name, zip code and soil temperature on a spreadsheet. I want the soil temperature number plotted on a map with the cities name (but not within balloons).

It is basically on an New City metro map, including New Jersey, New York, Long island, Connecticut and eastern Pennsylvania. Streets and highways are not necessary but topography would be a plus.

I have been doing this by by hand for many years, but now I would like it plotted automatically. I also draw isotherms every 5 or 10 degrees, but I wonder if that can be done as well?

What free or open source program would be able to handle this task?

closed as too broad by mgri, PolyGeo Mar 25 '17 at 14:37

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Welcome to gis.stackexchange! Please note that each thread should be limited to one specific question only. I've edited your post to remove question #2 which would likely be closed as primarily opinion-based anyway. You can check our tour for more information. – underdark Mar 25 '17 at 14:33
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QGIS will do everything that you have mentioned and much, much more, and is open source.

http://www.qgis.org/en/site/forusers/download.html

If you are new to GIS then the documentation for the long term release 2.14 is most complete I believe. http://www.qgis.org/en/docs/index.html So I would suggest the LTR version.

You will also be able to find all sorts of open source map datasets that you can download.

Many of the questions that you have when you start to use it you will probably find someone else has asked here in the past. If you get stuck then you can of course post a question, after first trying to use the documentation and Google to work it out and checking that it hasn't already been asked. See Framing (asking) good Questions for GIS Stack Exchange?

ArcGIS is commercial software, that I personally have not much experience of but there are plenty of online sites where they have been compared by those that know both; http://gisgeography.com/qgis-arcgis-differences/ http://monde-geospatial.com/arcgis-vs-qgis-10-most-important-differences-between-arcgis-and-qgis/

Are a couple of webpages that I have read in the past.

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