|GIS software encompasses a broad range of applications which involve the use of a combination of digital maps and georeferenced data. GIS software can be sorted into different categories.|
Open source software
The development of open source GIS software has—in terms of software history—a long tradition with the appearance of a first system in 1978. Numerous systems are available which cover all sectors of geospatial data handling.
The following open-source desktop GIS projects are reviewed in Steiniger and Bocher (2008/9):
- GRASS GIS – Originally developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: a complete GIS.
- gvSIG – Written in Java. Runs on Linux, Unix, Mac OS X and Windows.
- ILWIS (Integrated Land and Water Information System) – Integrates image, vector and thematic data.
- JUMP GIS / OpenJUMP ((Open) Java Unified Mapping Platform) – The desktop GISs OpenJUMP, SkyJUMP, deeJUMP and Kosmo all emerged from JUMP.
- MapWindow GIS – Free desktop application and programming component.
- QGIS (previously known as Quantum GIS) – Runs on Linux, Unix, Mac OS X and Windows.
- SAGA GIS (System for Automated Geoscientific Analysis) –- A hybrid GIS software. Has a unique Application Programming Interface (API) and a fast growing set of geoscientific methods, bundled in exchangeable Module Libraries.
- uDig – API and source code (Java) available.
Besides these, there are other open source GIS tools:
- Capaware – A C++ 3D GIS Framework with a multiple plugin architecture for geographic graphical analysis and visualization.
- FalconView – A mapping system created by the Georgia Tech Research Institute for the Windows family of operating systems. A free, open source version is available.
- Kalypso – Uses Java and GML3. Focuses mainly on numerical simulations in water management.
- TerraView – Handles vector and raster data stored in a relational or geo-relational database, i.e. a frontend for TerraLib.
- Whitebox GAT – Transparent GIS software.
Other geospatial tools
Apart from Desktop GIS exists a variety of other GIS software types. For its categorization see GIS software. A general overview of GIS software projects for each category was done in 2012. Below is a similar listing of open source GIS projects.
Web map servers
- GeoServer – Written in Java and relies on GeoTools. Allows users to share and edit geospatial data.
- Mapnik – C++/Python library for rendering – used by OpenStreetMap.
- MapServer – Written in C. Developed by the University of Minnesota.
Spatial database management systems
- PostGIS – Spatial extensions for the open source PostgreSQL database, allowing geospatial queries.
- SpatiaLite – Spatial extensions for the open source SQLite database, allowing geospatial queries.
- TerraLib – Provides advanced functions for GIS analysis.
Software development frameworks and libraries (for web applications)
- GeoBase (Telogis GIS software) – Geospatial mapping software available as aSoftware development kit, which performs various functions including address lookup, mapping, routing, reverse geocoding, and navigation. Suited for high transaction enterprise environments.
- Geomajas – Open source development software for web-based and cloud based GIS applications.
- MapFish – Aggregates the power of OpenLayers, ExtJS and GeoExt.
- OpenLayers – Open source AJAX library for accessing geographic data layers of all kinds, originally developed and sponsored by MetaCarta.
Software development frameworks and libraries (non-web)
- GeoTools – Open source GIS toolkit written in Java, using Open Geospatial Consortium specifications.
- GDAL / OGR
- Orfeo toolbox
Cataloging application for spatially referenced resources
- GeoNetwork opensource – A catalog application to manage spatially referenced resources
- Chameleon – Environments for building applications with MapServer.
- MapPoint – A technology (“MapPoint Web Service”, previously known as MapPoint .NET) and a specific computer program created by Microsoft that allows users to view, edit and integrate maps.
Notable commercial or proprietary GIS software
Companies with high market share
- Autodesk – Products that interface with its flagship AutoCAD software package include Map 3D, Topobase, and MapGuide.
- Bentley Systems – Products that interface with its flagship MicroStation software package include Bentley Map and Bentley Map View.
- ERDAS IMAGINE by ERDAS Inc – Products include Leica Photogrammetry Suite, ERDAS ER Mapper, ERDAS ECW/JP2 SDK (ECW (file format)) are used throughout the entire mapping community (GIS, Remote Sensing, Photogrammetry, and image compression) and ERDAS APOLLO.
- Esri – Products include ArcView 3.x, ArcGIS, ArcSDE, ArcIMS, ArcWeb services and ArcGIS Server.
- Intergraph – Products include G/Technology, GeoMedia, GeoMedia Professional,GeoMedia WebMap, and add-on products for industry sectors, as well asphotogrammetry.
- MapInfo by Pitney Bowes Software – Powerful desktop GIS MapInfo Professionalis enhanced with many plug-ins including MapInfo Drivetime for route analysis, MapInfo Engage 3D for 3D and statistical analysis, MapInfo MapMarker for Geocoding.
- RemoteView by Overwatch – RemoteView is one of the most widely used imagery analysis tools within the US government to collect geospatial intelligence.
- Smallworld – developed in Cambridge, England (Smallworld, Inc.) and purchased by General Electric. Used primarily by public utilities.
- SuperMap Inc. – Chinese company of GIS software. It produces Desktop, Component and Service GIS for Asia and global markets.
Companies with minor but notable market share
- Avenza – Products include MAPublisher, Geographic Imager and PDF Maps for Android and iOS.
- Cadcorp – Products include Cadcorp SIS, GeognoSIS, mSIS and developer kits.
- Caliper – Products include Maptitude, TransModeler and TransCAD.
- Dragon/ips – Remote sensing software with GIS capabilities.
- ENVI – Utilized for image analysis, exploitation, and hyperspectral analysis.
- Geosoft – GIS and data processing software used in natural resource exploration.
- GeoTime – software for 3D visual analysis and reporting of location data over time; an ArcGIS extension is also available.
- IDRISI – GIS and Image Processing product developed by Clark Labs at Clark University. Affordable and robust, it is used for both operations and education.
- MapDotNet – Framework written in C#/.NET for building WPF, Silverlight, and HTML5 applications.
- Manifold System – GIS software package.
- Netcad – Desktop and web based GIS products developed by Ulusal CAD ve GIS Çözümleri A.Ş..
- RegioGraph by GfK GeoMarketing – GIS software for business planning and analyses; company also provides compatible maps and market data.
- TatukGIS – GIS development components (for .NET WinForms/WPF, ActiveX, VCL) and gis desktop software.
- ThinkGeo GIS solutions for .NET developers and GIS professionals.www.thinkgeo.com
GIS as a service
Many suppliers are now starting to offer Internet based services as well as or instead of downloadable software and/or data. These can be free, funded by advertising or paid for on subscription; they split into three areas:
- SaaS – Software as a Service: Software available on as a service on the Internet
- PaaS – Platform as a Service: geocoding or analysis/processing services
- DaaS – Data as a Service: data or content services
- Boeing’s Spatial Query Server – Spatially enables Sybase ASE.
- DB2 – Allows spatial querying and storing of most spatial data types.
- Informix – Allows spatial querying and storing of most spatial data types.
- MySQL – Allows spatial querying and storing of most spatial data types.
- Microsoft SQL Server 2008 – The latest player in the market of storing and querying spatial data. GIS products such as MapInfo and Cadcorp SIS can read and edit this data while ESRI and others are expected to be able to read and edit this data within the next few months.
- Oracle Spatial – Product allows users to perform complex geographic operations and store common spatial data types in a native Oracle environment. Most commercial GIS packages can read and edit spatial data stored in this way.
- PostGIS – Based on the free PostgreSQL database.
- Teradata – Teradata geospatial allows storage and spatial analysis on location-based data which is stored using native geospatial data-types within the Teradata database.
- VMDS – Version managed data store from Smallworld.
Spatial Data Transformation Tools
- Safe Software – Spatial ETL products including FME Desktop, FME Server and the ArcGIS Data Interoperability Extension.
- VirtualGeo: VirtualGeo™ is designed to create and interactively visualize massive 3D geographic environments by indexing, assembling and optimizing all the relevant sources of available data.