Thursday, September 29, 2005

Open Source & Freeware GIS

Saga GIS 2.0 was recently released (via comp.infosystems.gis) and this got me thinking about my favorite open source and freeware GIS products out there.

Last year, I held a workshop on Open Source/Freeware GIS options and Saga GIS was definitely one of the great one sthat I pointed out. The documents and data from that workshop can be found here (remember, though, that it is bound to be outdated by now and I have never had a chance yet to update it).

Here are my favorites:

This is by no means anywhere near a comprehensive list. These applications are just the ones that I use and recommend to others.


  • Christine GIS --
    For basic vector viewing and merging tables with shapes, this is my favorite by far. Very easy to use and even has a scripting language.
  • Forestry GIS (fGIS) --
    Also very good for vector viewing and lightweight vector file editing capabilities.
  • SAGA GIS – System for Automated Geo-scientific Analysis --
    This is without a doubt my favorite application for raster creation and analysis. Completely open source.
  • The Carbon Project --
    For those of us programming in the .NET environment, The Carbon Project is an "Open-Geospatial .NET development toolkit."
  • Diva-GIS --
    "A free geographic information system for the analysis of biodiversity data."
  • Quantum GIS --
    A suprisingly powerful all-around GIS application available for a variety of OS's. Recently mentioned on Spatially Adjusted.
  • dlgv32 Pro --
    I have not had as much experience with this one but I have heard great things and so I want to include it here.
  • ajmGeocode PE --
    I have yet to find a free batch geocoder. This is the best I have found to date. Sure it only will geocode one address at a time, but it compiles the results in a table that you can export.
  • GeoDa - Spatial Data Analysis Software --
    I cannot say enough good things about GeoDa. In fact, I have written about it here and here. This is an incredibly user-friendly geostatistical package that comes with far better documentation than most expensive alternatives. I often turn to this application as opposed to ESRI software.
  • Google Earth & NASA Worlwind --
    C'mon now, 3D interactive viewers like these are so fantastically wonderful that they are changing the face of GIS.
  • Scan Magic --
    The best free remote sensing software that I have used.
  • Sourcepole: GIS - Knoppix --
    Boot-from-CD Knoppix Linux, complete with a complete load of open source GIS applications. These are ready to run and will make even the most die-hard Windows user thinnk twice about their faith.
  • WinTopo: Raster to Vector --
    The best free application for heads-up digitizing and includes powerful automatic digitizing algorithms.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

"I have yet to find a free batch geocoder."

How about this one:

http://www.batchgeocode.com/

Cheers!
-PKH

mapz said...

You beat me to the punch there. You are quite correct. Of course Batch Geocode did not exist last September. I have been meaning to update this list and your comment has given me the motivation to do so. Thanks!

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himani said...

list provided by u for freeware gis is complimentry..but there are still many freewares which are task based..or u opt them for particular analysis..ILWIS is for water for e.g...
What about more list of opensources softwares to add to the list..and letting people work on it.??
:)