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My organization uses SAS extensively, but has been increasing GIS use and capacity recently (that's why they hired me). I was asked to evaluate the two SAS GIS extensions Bridge to Esri and SAS/GIS. I've found some documentation and a lot of mostly sparse and vague marketing materials... see...

http://support.sas.com/rnd/datavisualization/BridgeForESRI/V2/ http://support.sas.com/rnd/datavisualization/papers/SASMapping.pdf http://support.sas.com/documentation/cdl/en/apdatgis/62945/PDF/default/apdatgis.pdf

I was wondering if anyone here had any experience, insight and input with these extensions? I gather that they provide the ability to run some spatial stats processes in SAS environments, but if we have a spatial analyst license and access to the ESRI spatial statistics tools, is there any real value added here? I've found exporting and importing DBF and CSV files between SAS and ArcGIS fairly fluid.

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Our organisation had a look at SAS Bridge for Esri and it fell over on 2 counts:

  1. For the price of the software, there was no business case as "integrating" SAS and ArcGIS via CSV wasn't that inconvenient (as you mentioned);
  2. It can't handle large volumes of data, and most of our SAS files are multi Gb.

In terms of functionality versus the ArcGIS extensions, we couldn't get a decent handle on what it actually did (even after meeting with SAS and Esri) except that it allowed data to go between both tools - so I can't comment specifically.

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