GIS Fundamentals and Mapping

O lectura placuta…

GIS Fundamentals and Mapping: Introduction

GIS Fundamentals and Mapping: What is Latitude?


GIS/Map Providers Compared: Integration?

Pentru cei interesati:

Question: There is a growing demand for maps and GIS to integrate with popular business platforms (BI, CRM, EAM) and data. Does your offering play well with other non-GIS/mapping systems?

Pitney Bowes

We approach this kind of integration in two ways. With the growing investment by BI companies to provide more mapping functionality with their solutions we will augment those applications with better visualization functionality. Many BI software providers won’t invest in advanced spatial analysis as that’s not their core competency. For those users of BI products that need advanced visualization beyond simple thematic mapping we offer contouring, point cluster mapping, and advanced spatial querying. Second, as mentioned above, Pitney Bowes is a data company. As such, we want to supply users with the data products that facilitate their location analytics. For example, IBM is a client for our data and software. IBM represents how Pitney Bowes is supporting their users with embedded geospatial technology.


Yes, we are fully interoperable with BI and other products. Our platform (CARTO Engine) was built from the ground up to let developers (end customers or 3rd party integrator’s) expose CARTO to end users through our API and SDK. We have a Spatial REST API, a Mobile SDK and a GEO UI Framework (CARTO.JS).


Actually, one of the main reasons we don’t see more users utilizing mapping in their daily decision-making process is that companies didn’t have enough resources, knowledge and time to adopt and integrate their solution BI, CRM and EAM with GIS systems. With GIS Cloud a lot of companies can finally afford to introduce that spatial aspect to your existing data, that is necessary for better understanding of your assets and processes.

Our main product is our platform that allows you to integrate with any non-GIS/mapping systems in the market where you focus on the tools you need and we do the heavy lifting for you by making sure everything else runs smoothly.


Yes! The Boundless offering does support integration with third party non-geospatial applications. The beauty of our technology being based on open source, the interoperability that is provided with OGC and open standards allows powerful and easy integration’s with other business systems.

For example, Tableau integrates with open standard web services (WMS) and provides a step-by-step tutorial of how to integrate with the Boundless open source GIS technologies. We see this with many more BI, CRM, and EAM solutions, and are only going to see the trend of integration using open standards continue to gain popularity.


Yes, ArcGIS integrates well with these and other enterprise systems. Geolocation (e.g., placing your assets and people onto facilities maps and indoor maps) is rapidly being used to extend systems like Business Intelligence, CRM and EAM. At Esri, we believe that these applications require a geospatial framework to help organize and exploit these valuable information assets and to protect customers as well as employees, especially as these systems grow in sophistication and increase their adoption of IoT and data feeds.

For example, Esri teams with companies such as Microsoft, IBM, Salesforce, SAS, and SAP to integrate ArcGIS technology and information inside, along with strong support for extending ArcGIS integration more deeply. CRM and EAM systems integrate ArcGIS and asset maps as key components – location plays a critical role in these systems.


Mapbox has a commercial focus. Modularity is an important design paradigm. This lends itself well to integration with other non-GIS platforms. BI and analysis are important. We are used as a visualization layer by many platforms including Tableau, Cognos, Qlik and MapD.


Yes Mango plays extremely well with business platforms and we offer several paths of integration that can be configured without the need to be a tech wizard.

It’s easy to create links from feature popups back to business systems. Our interface allows you to insert an attribute value into a URL when a feature is selected. E.g.

Mango will take the ID from the attribute data of the selected feature and insert it into the URL so users can navigate from the selected feature to the business system.

These links work both ways, users can create links from their business system to the relevant feature in Mango. E.g.

In the business system we just insert the layer name, attribute field (column) and attribute value and Mango will automatically open the map at that location with the feature highlighted and centered on the map and the attribute popup visible.

Also using our Dropbox integration feature it’s possible to automatically sync the data from the business system with your map. You can simply have your business system export a spreadsheet (CSV format) of the most up to date data at a set interval into a Dropbox folder on your computer or server that has been linked to Mango. Mango will then automatically pull in the updated data and update your maps.

Discover What GIS Software Is Being Used in the GIS Industry

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Sunt unele platforme de care, sa fiu, sincer, nici nu am auzit, dar cu siguranta merita incercate 🙂

Mapping Out the GIS Software Landscape

GIS software heatmap
GIS software heatmap

Discover What GIS Software Is Being Used in the GIS Industry

The GIS software options out there seem endless. ArcGIS, QGIS, GRASS GIS, SuperGIS, SAGA GIS, JUMP GIS… The range of GIS products to choose from can get a bit “ridiculous” at times.

Don’t worry.

You map out solutions to real-life problems every day. You just need someone to map out the GIS software landscape for you.

A GIS software landscape that is constantly changing with commercial and open source to choose from.

Today, you will get a sneak peek at what GIS software packages the industry is using. Discover the GIS software market and learn all the options available for you in our list of GIS software.

1 ArcGIS (Esri)

Esri ArcGIS
Esri ArcGIS

Why do you use ArcGIS?

Esri ArcGIS is the powerhouse in GIS. It’s so influential that the term ArcGIS is sometimes (mistakenly) used interchangeably with GIS. Esri sits on top of the world as the biggest GIS software company. No questions asked.

You may have wasted hours trying to complete a basic task with other software. It may be because the tool did not exist or took several steps to get there. This is why ArcGIS is a worthy time investment. It often gets the job done faster. Esri raises the bar to the next level in the GIS industry while other GIS software options are left playing catch-up.

ArcGlobe, ArcGIS Pro, ArcMap (Basic, Editor and ArcInfo), 3D Analyst, Spatial Analyst, Geostatistics, Network Analyst, etc. The functionality is there. But it comes at a price.

You hear it often from disgruntled GIS users from around the world: ArcGIS sucks. But our analytics shows the exact opposite. Esri leads the GIS software industry in user community discussion, employer software usage and academic research – by a substantial margin.

  • Do you want job security?
  • Do you want to publish a research paper?
  • Do you want to connect with GIS professionals?

All answers point to one thing. Learn ArcGIS.

As Jack Dangermond says, ‘applying geography to everything will change our world’. What is the secret to Esri’s success? Cartographical output, functionality, large user community, stability, interoperability, scalability, modeling, web mapping, maintenance, data driven pages, high cost.

READ MORE: Esri ArcGIS Software Review and Guide

2 QGIS (Quantum GIS)

QGIS (Quantum GIS)
QGIS (Quantum GIS)

Why do you use QGIS?

The accelerating use in QGIS represents the most significant open source technology adoption in GIS today. With QGIS (formerly Quantum GIS), you create, edit, visualize, analyze and publish geospatial information without a cost. FOSS stands for Free and Open Source Software. FOSS is what QGIS is all about. It’s free GIS software developed by a community of dedicated volunteers.

400. This is the number of plugins QGIS has to offer. If you really wanted to, you could test a new plugin every day of the year. Integrate your CAD data, generate heat maps and add OpenStreetMap and Bing layers in a flash. QGIS plugins give you the power to process GIS data like the Incredible Hulk. If you like the AppStore, the QGIS plugin repo is your equivalent.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using QGIS? Large user base, 64-bit background geoprocessing, plugins, quality cartography, widely believed as best open source option, stunningly beautiful options for labeling objects, free GIS software

Want to know how different QGIS and ArcGIS are? We compare the top 2 GIS software 27 Differences Between ArcGIS and QGIS – The Most Epic GIS Software Battle in GIS History. For a basic guide to QGIS, you should take a look at our Open Source QGIS Guide and Review.



Why do you use GRASS GIS?

GRASS GIS (Geographic Resource Analysis Support System) was developed by the US Army Corps of Engineers and is a free alternative to commercial GIS software. It is remarkable how much the program has advanced over the years. Its use in academic publications is stunning. It’s popular in academic circles because open source code can be inspected and tailored to their needs.

350. GRASS GIS offers this many modules for GIS analysis. This includes data management, image processing, graphics production, spatial modelling and visualization. It’s no wonder why NOAA, NASA and USGS use GRASS GIS because of this open functionality. And don’t forget that GRASS GIS can be unleashed through QGIS.

GRASS GIS brings advanced geospatial concepts to the world.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of GRASS GIS? Steep learning, good for LiDAR data, clunky UI, defining projects on start-up, extensive help documentation, batch processing, network analysis, interoperability.

READ MORE: GRASS GIS – Geographic Resources Analysis Support System.

4 MapInfo (Pitney Bowes)

MapInfo Professional
MapInfo Professional

Why do you use MapInfo?

At its core, MapInfo Professional allows you to create, manage and visualize GIS data. It does what all good GIS software can do. MapInfo connects geography with data but with a smaller price tag. MapInfo by Pitney Bowes’ motto is “locational intelligence”. Detailed mapping, data analysis, pattern & trend identification – these are reasons why businesses are deploying MapInfo’s “location intelligence”.

The MapInfo GIS Suite lets you create, access and manage geospatial assets, visualize business intelligence and customer data, and share high-quality interactive maps – quickly and easily.

MapInfo (alongside Intergraph) have been the only competitors to ESRI in the commercial GIS market. Usability is key to MapInfo’s GIS philosophy because usability means productivity. Beginner to advanced level users can do more with added functionality.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of working with MapInfo: Ease of use, 64-bit processing, better table management, querying, side-by-side mapping, geological mapping, lower cartographical output, poor format support, less expensive, clone tool, MapBasic

5 Global Mapper (Blue Marble)

Global Mapper
Global Mapper

Why do you use Global Mapper?

Global Mapper was originally developed by USGS to display topographic maps (.DRG) and digital elevation models (.DEM). This GIS software has evolved into a cost-effective commercial product. Like most GIS software options, it allows users to view, edit, merge and export hundreds of supported file formats.

Global Mapper is an affordable and easy-to-use GIS application that offers access to an unparalleled variety of spatial datasets and provides just the right level of functionality to satisfy both experienced GIS professionals and beginning users.

As far GIS software reviews go, Global Mapper is known to be a “Swiss army knife” in GIS analysis. It’s straight forward but also has an incredible amount of flexibility. Global Mapper hasn’t strayed too far away from its original purpose of working with elevation data. Its primary applications include area calculations, viewshed analysis, watershed delineation, contour lines, 3D viewing, rectification tool, GPS support, GIS mapping, digitization, etc.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of working with Global Mapper: Working with elevation, LiDAR data, cost-effective, reads large number of formats, poor symbolization and print layout, geodatabase support

6 GeoMedia (Intergraph/Hexagon Geospatial)

Geomedia Professional
Geomedia Professional

Why do you use GeoMedia?

With a 40 year history, Intergraph (now Hexagon Geospatial) has evolved into a prime GIS software solution for security, government, infrastructure and more. Intergraph is solution-driven and provides real-world GIS applications. How can GeoMedia deliver usable information? This is the core philosophy of Hexagon Geospatial.

GeoMedia, a comprehensive and dynamic GIS, extracts compelling intelligence from geospatial data and integrates it to present actionable information.

Intergraph GeoMedia is a vector and raster-based GIS software product. It’s a mature GIS software program for data collection, analysis or management that delivers actionable intelligence. Actionable intelligence in transportation, utilities, communications and emergency management.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of working with GeoMedia: Data maintenance, multiple layouts, fast querying and analysis, on-the-fly projections, web-based and all-purpose mapping, high government use, surfaces and terrain models

READ MORE: GeoMedia by Hexagon Geospatial – 9 Powerful Features and More

7 Manifold System (Manifold)

Manifold System
Manifold System

Why do you use Manifold?

Manifold System is one of those mapping software packages that you can pick up quickly. It consists of a desktop application, an object library for programmers and an Internet Map Server. Manifold has more or less the full capabilities of higher-priced GIS software package but without the price tag. An intuitive interface, programmability and running in 64-bit are some of its advantages. What makes Manifold System even better is the small price you pay for a good set of GIS processing and data management tools.

Manifold GIS is a combination of mapping, CAD, DBMS and image processing. The hallmark of GIS is the power of using a visual interface to view, grab, analyze, manipulate and transform data that would not be comprehensible in classic row and column DBMS text presentations.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of working with Manifold: Stable, intuitive GUI, wide range of functions, programmability, natively 64-bit, low price, minimal cartographical tools available



Why do you use SAGA GIS?

Its name says it all. SAGA GIS stands for “System for Automated Geoscientific Analyses”. It’s no secret that SAGA GIS specializes in higher-level physical geography applications. Its developers have put an incredible amount of time in building a robust free GIS software package. It’s transformed itself into one of the primary open source GIS software packages in the world.

SAGA gives geoscientists an effective but easy learnable platform for the implementation of geoscientific methods.

Standard modules on SAGA GIS are for raster visualization and terrain data. Over 300modules exist ranging from manipulating raster and vector data to storing, managing and creating spatial data. Multiple windows (histograms, attribute data, map view, print layout, scatter plots and properties) can be set up to give you a complete picture. You just need the screen real estate. SAGA’s API makes it easy to implement your own modules. Although the command line isn’t user-friendly, it can be used with batching and routine processes.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of working with SAGA GIS: Terrain data, physical geography, open source, raster and vector data, command line interpreter, poor cartography, line and point symbology.

READ MORE: SAGA GIS (System for Automated Geoscientific Analyses) Review and Guide

9 Smallworld (General Electric)

GE SmallWorld
GE SmallWorld

Why do you use GE’s Smallworld?

If you’re working in telecommunications or utilities, take a look at GE Smallworld. When SmallWorld was acquired by General Electric, it became the GIS software of choice by utility companies. Its main product is SmallWorld Core which specializes in managing network infrastructures.

This revolutionary, object-oriented, database-driven product provides a powerful, consistent architecture at the heart of many applications, such as those used for planning electric, gas and water distribution systems, designing telecommunications networks and evaluating strategic market opportunities.

But SmallWorld is not your typical do-it-all GIS software. Key advantages are its open data accessibility and scalable architecture. GE Smallworld enables data access and querying, thematic mapping and visualization. It offers spatial analysis tools like buffering, proximity measurements and network analysis. SmallWorld’s version managed database (VMDS) sets it aside from competition because of its ability for versioning and restoring backups.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of working with Smallworld: Network infrastructure, Magik code, spatial tools, specialized software, versioning



Why do you use ILWIS?

If you like to visit the past, the ILWIS (Integrated Land and Water Information System) website is like travelling back in time. It also means that ILWIS has been around for a while. ILWIS has existed in the GIS software landscape for as long as GRASS GIS.

It started development in the Netherlands and later became free GIS software. It’s similar in many respects to GRASS- vector, raster processing with practical tools. Advanced techniques are erosion modeling and raster image processing may put ILWIS in your peripheral vision.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using ILWIS: Image processing, digitization, visualization of stereo image pairs, WMS, extensive help documentation

11 IDRISI (Clark Laboratories)


Why do you use IDRISI?

Since 1987, IDRISI has delivered remote sensing and image processing as an inexpensive option for analysis.

You may have grown up using IDRISI. Universities around the world are structuring courses around IDRISI. And with good reason – the software includes exactly what you need – image classification tools, restoration, enhancement, temporal analysis and object-based image analysis.

What you may not have known is that IDRISI has vector-based functionality as well. There is a range of basic to advanced tools for spatial analysis. IDRISI includes tools for spatial statistics, distance calculation and database querying.

Geospatial software for monitoring and modeling the Earth system

What are the advantages and disadvantages of working with IDRISI: Time series, object-based image processing, land change modelling, neural networks, 2D and 3D visualization, classification, mapping layout support, topology support

12 AutoCAD Map 3D and Autodesk Geospatial (Autodesk)

AutoCAD Map
AutoCAD Map

Why do you use Autodesk Geospatial?

Not many companies can claim they single-handedly took the largest market share of an industry. Well, Autodesk has done this with the CAD industry. Autodesk is also integrating itself in the geospatial market with their GIS software product “AutoCAD Map 3D and Autodesk Geospatial”.

These products are meant to bridge the gap between CAD and GIS. You can derive more value from your data with geospatial analysis. For example, buffers can be applied to notify affected properties within a specified distance during municipal rezoning applications. Querying can identify pipeline material in a dataset. When you link CAD and GIS, you get the best of both worlds.

AutoCAD Map 3D software provides access to GIS and mapping data to support planning, design, and data management.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of working with AutoCAD Map 3D and Autodesk Geospatial: CAD/GIS fusion, statistics, topology analysis, thematic mapping, querying, buffer analysis, 3D surfaces, data conversion

13 GeoDa

GeoDa Software
GeoDa Software

Why do you use GeoDa?

GeoDa is a free, cross-platform software designed for dynamic visualization, exploratory spatial data analysis, and spatial statistics. It has been around for almost 15 years starting as an ArcView 3.x extension. Later, it was recoded to be independent of ArcView and is now associated with an illustrious group of GIS educators and researchers.

GeoDa is an open source software tool implementing state-of-the-art methods for geospatial analysis, geovisualization, geosimulation, and spatial process modeling.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of working with GeoDa: Data exploration, statistics, data display, geosimulation

READ MORE: GeoDa Software – Data Exploration at its Finest

14 gvSIG


Why do you use gvSIG?

The gvSIG project began in Valencia, Spain to replace commercial GIS software. gvSIG is a GIS software package that handles, captures, stores and solves complex geographic problems. It places emphasis to access all common vector and raster formats in a user-friendly interface. gvSIG offers a range of tools (query, layout, geoprocessing, networks, etc) that compares to commercial GIS software options.

Some of the new developments are gvSIG 3D, which uses NASA’s World Wind SDK for realistic 3D scenes. gvSIG Mobile helps field crews collect data with Windows Mobile devices.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using gvSIG: Simple GUI, well-documented, powerful CAD tools, gvSIG mobile application, gvSIG 3D, intuitive GIS processing, stable free GIS software.

Map all day. Geoprocess all night. All with gvSIG software.

READ MORE: gvSIG Software Review.

15 Bentley Map

Bentley Map
Bentley Map

Why do you use Bentley Map?

Blurry lines. We step into a world of CAD and GIS all meshed into one. Bentley Map combines the power of CAD with the strengths of a traditional GIS. It offers interoperability and 2d overlay tools for GIS analysis. Advanced map finishing tools give high quality cartographical output.

It’s powerful, extensible 2D/3D GIS and mapping software for the world’s infrastructure

In Bentley Map, you can build 2D features with attributes and domain lists. But you can also build 3D features like buildings. This is useful for visualizing how underground utilities are networked. It renders terrain models and point cloud data quickly. One of the neatest qualities of Bentley Map is the capability to perform GIS analysis in 2D and 3D. Some of the 3D analysis possible with Bentley Map includes sunlight effects on buildings, custom fly through animations or shadow studies. Like all GIS software, you can create high quality cartographical output.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of working with Bentley Map: CAD/GIS fusion, 2D and 3D viewing, 3D analysis, poor labeling and annotation, lack of KMZ/KML support

16 Golden Software (MapViewer, Surfer and Didger)


Why do you use Golden Software?

Golden Software has developed several packages with an emphasis on uniquely displaying map data. MapViewer is a good choice for thematic mapping and spatial analysis. On the other hand, Surfer is a flexible mapping package primarily for 3D surface and contour mapping. It easily interpolates your XYZ data into functional maps at break-neck speeds. Lastly with Didger, you can dynamically digitize any map, graph, aerial photo, site map, or printed image regardless of size. These are 3 very unique ways to display data!

Surfer is a full-function 3D visualization, contouring and surface modeling package. MapViewer is an affordable mapping and spatial analysis tool that allows you to easily produce publication-quality thematic maps.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of working with Golden Software: Short learning curve, user-friendly, manipulate XYZ points, thematic mapping, affordable, versatile, focus is on data visualization, unique mapping

17 uDig – User-friendly Desktop GIS


Why do you use uDig?

uDig (user-friendly Desktop GIS) was developed by Refractions Research. Refractions is the developer and maintainer of not only uDig but PostGIS – a standard open source spatial database. While uDig is a working open source desktop GIS application, it is also an open source GIS development platform. Volunteers world-wide continue to develop this open source desktop application. Focus is placed on database viewing and editing as well as a rich collection of GIS functionality.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using uDig: Databases, biodiversity and forest management, solid documentation, PostGIS

READ MORE: uDig – User-friendly Desktop Internet GIS

18 MapWindow GIS

MapWindow GIS
MapWindow GIS

Why do you use MapWindow GIS?

MapWindow is a ready-to-use spatial data viewer and GIS software package. It’s free and open source system that can be modified and extended using plugins. MapWindow is good for basic GIS needs – map making tools, simple editing and visualization. It’s also a promising open source solution for hydrology applications.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using uDig: Hydrology, editor, map viewer, programmer tools, low resolution image production

19 Maptitude (Caliper Corporation)


Why do you use Maptitude?

Maptitude is a GIS software package that provides the tools, maps and data you need to inspect geographic patterns in data. On top of that, you are able to create beautiful maps without much pain. Maps range from scaled-symbol thematic maps to 3D prism maps. Maptitude has a flatter learning curve than other GIS software in an affordable price range.

Maptitude focuses on solutions to geographic patterns with basic GIS processing tools. Industry solutions range from banking, business, health care, law enforcement, route planning and street mapping. You won’t be using Maptitude for any advanced problems such as least squares regression or LiDAR conversion. But it’s a bargain if you need some general purpose mapping.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using Maptitude: Quick and beautiful maps, flat learning curve, map types, cartography, little support for advanced GIS processing.

READ MORE: Maptitude by Caliper Review

20 MapMaker Pro (MapMaker)

MapMaker Pro
MapMaker Pro

Why do you use MapMaker Pro?

When we downloaded MapMaker Pro, a cute black cat icon appeared on our desktop. We were instantly in love. We tested the software and realized instantly – MapMaker Pro’s goal is for anyone to be able to create a map with ease. You can produce maps without a GIS certificate. But it also comes with some GIS features too. There are capabilities to manipulate 3D, GPS, vector and raster data. Common GIS formats can be imported too. It’s a low-cost solution for those who need to make maps.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using MapMaker Pro: Low cost, general map production, intuitive, three-dimensional, common formats, lack of GIS processing functions

21 Whitebox Geospatial Analytical Tools (GAT)

WhiteBox GAT
WhiteBox GAT

Why do you use Whitebox GAT?

Here is the diamond in the rough. No sarcasm. I see Whitebox GAT as the most underrated software package on this list. I feel that it is inevitable to move up the rankings in the years ahead. Here’s why:

  1. It has out-of-this world LiDAR support. Nobody should run to ArcGIS for LiDAR conversion again. (Esri’s LAS dataset was awkward to begin with) The out-of-the-box tools in Whitebox GAT far exceeds Esri ArcGIS.
  2. 360 plugin tools to choose from for GIS analysis. Whitebox GAT has tools for conversion, import/export, analysis, hydrology, image processing, LiDAR, mathematical analysis, raster, statistics, stream network and terrain analysis.
  3. Developers can create new plugin tools and extensions using built-in Python scripting.
  4. It’s been translated into 11 different languages
  5. And it’s only been in development since 2009.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using Whitebox GAT: Break-neck processing speeds, LiDAR support, maps, terrain analysis, geospatial statistics, vector overlay, image processing, similar look and feel to Esri ArcMap, best-kept secret for open source GIS software

22 XMap (Delorme)


Why do you use XMap?

XMap is a user-friendly, low-cost, all-in-one GIS software. Simplifying data collection is at the top of XMaps list of primary functionality. Users can create forms to easily collect data in the field. XMap really bridges the gap between data collection and field staff.

Other key points is that XMap Professional is a GIS data viewing application, fully integrated in Esri. XMap GIS Editor offers tools to import, create, query and edit data for small-scale GIS operations.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using XMap: Simplifies field data collection tool, editing tools, data visualization



Why do you use JUMP GIS?

JUMP GIS (JAVA Unified Mapping Platform) all started as a conflation project by Vivid Solutions Inc. After its initial creation, Vivid Solutions stopped creation of JUMP GIS. However, the company eventually decided to support it because of the overwhelming support from its user community.

Eventually JUMP GIS began a larger community effort and the name was eventually chosen to be “OpenJUMP”. Although JUMP was primarily used as a conflation software package, it grew into much more. OpenJUMP offers vector editing and support for a wide range of formats.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using JUMP GIS: Conflation support, little-to-no raster functionality, lacking documentation

24 FalconView

 FalconView GIS Software
FalconView GIS Software

Why do you use FalconView?

The initial purpose of FalconView is to be a free and open source software. Georgia Tech built this open software for displaying various types of maps and geographically referenced overlays.

Something neat about FalconView is that most of its users are from the US Department of Defense and other National Geospatial Intelligence Agencies. This can be seen in the combat flight planning options available in the software. FalconView is a mapping tool and supports various types of display like elevation, satellite, LiDAR, KMZ and MrSID. SkyView mode can perform fly-throughs and even has the ability to open .MXD files.

25 SuperGIS (Supergeo Technologies Inc)


Why do you use SuperGIS?

SuperGIS Desktop offers an abundance of GIS tools to visualize, process, analyze, and manage geospatial data effectively. Some of its defining features are: being able to import various data formats and geodatabase as well as creating geoprocessing workflows.

Extensions include 3D, network, spatial, statistical, biodiversity and topology analyst. There are add-ons for GPS, server desktop client, online imagery and feature guided pages.

26 MicroImages (TNTgis)


Why do you use MicroImages TNTgis?

The MicroImages TNTgis family consists of 3 separate software packages. TNTmips provides all the tools needed to create, edit, georeference, interpret, and publish any type of geospatial data. TNTedit gives the necessary tools to display, create, georeferenced and edit map data.

While TNTview is simply a data viewer for various forms of data such as CAD, vector, LiDAR and TIN.

27 MapRite (Envitia)


Why do you use MapRite?

Envita MapRite is a market leader in conflation and data cleansing. Customers like Land Registry, Scottish Power and Network Rail are using MapRite because of its ability to maintain accurate records.

It is an automatic service for managing map change. It has also developed enhancements include superior annotation handling, importing rasters and reporting features.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using MapRite: Corrects location errors, data cleansing, conflation, data management, reporting feature, raster import

28 TatukGIS


TatukGIS offers two versions of its software. The free desktop GIS Viewer is a slimmed down version with support for most raster image and GIS/CAD file formats. The paid version TatukGIS Editor features data editing, 3D mapping, rectification, and scripting/customization features. The program comes with common GIS functionality, thematic mapping, raster manipulation tools, custom map geometry, measuring tools, filtering and SQL query support, advanced labeling options and more. Fun fact: The origin of TatukGIS is based on Tatuk Lake in British Columbia, Canada.

29 OrbisGIS

Orbis GIS
Orbis GIS

Why do you use ORBISGIS?

OrbisGIS is a cross-platform open source GIS software package designed by and for research. It provides some GIS techniques to manage and share spatial data.

OrbisGIS is able to process vector and raster data models. It can execute processes like noise maps or hydrology process without any add-ons. Plug-ins are available but are very limited for the time being.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using OrbisGIS: Lacking documentation, limited list of plugins, open source, research uses


Kosmo GIS
Kosmo GIS

Why do you use KOSMO?

KOSMO is a child project of JumpGIS. Instead of data conflation, KOSMO has veered in the direction of vector/raster algorithms and geo-processing tools. It also brings support to many different file formats and powerful querying. This GIS software mainly consists of Spanish users from universities and companies.

A List of GIS Software – Ranked by Public Opinion

GIS professionals often complain there isn’t a clear picture of the GIS software market. Wouldn’t it be nice to get the bigger picture?

  • What GIS software is the industry using today?
  • Who owns most of the GIS market share?
  • What are other GIS software options?

The 30 GIS desktop software options was from the voice of employers, researchers and GIS communities.

…But how were our rankings compiled?

40% is based on which GIS software is required by employers in job postings
So you’ve graduated college… It’s a major milestone. Congratulations. But remember that the career you want to pursue may require knowledge in specific GIS software products. This is why we’ve relentlessly searched years of job postings data. You get a complete picture of what GIS software employers are requesting in job postings.
20% is based on which GIS software is being used in research and publications
So maybe a job isn’t your thing just yet. Graduate school it is… not a bad option. You’ll probably want to publish a research paper. What are credible sources of GIS software currently being used? We’ve done the work for you. We’ve plucked from hundreds of research publications from the last 5 years the GIS software performing the analysis.
20% is based on which GIS software is being searched for
How much are GIS professionals speaking about a specific software package? When you have a question about GIS software, Google search is often the way to go. This data has been quantified using Google Trends for each GIS software package in this list.
20% is based on which GIS software is being discussed in community forums
For those who can’t find their answer in Google Search, the next place they’ll end up is a GIS community forum. But we don’t want to skew data by only selecting Esri forums. What are “neutral” GIS discussion forums? We looked at only 2 – GIS Subreddit and GIS Stack Exchange. When you aggregate the discussion topics from these two communities, this sums up community forum voice.

What’s Next?

If you’re in the geospatial industry, your choice in GIS software is critical. We’ve mapped out the GIS software landscape for you. You have 30 options to choose from based on employers, researchers and the voice of the GIS community.

Quality is often, but not always, a cause of popularity.

Does McDonald’s really have the best hamburgers even though they sell millions every day? Marketing, branding, advertising, consumer perception contribute to what the consumer will buy.

We’ve developed a formula to rank the different GIS software products. However, this formula is not “magic” and should not dictate your choice in GIS software.

What a formula can do is give you a basic structure on the perceptions of GIS users of the world.

What the formula cannot do is teach you the point of intersection between your needs and the desired product.

Only you, as a GIS professional, can do that.

The Role of Open Source Imagery in Monitoring Nuclear Activity

A recently released report by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre focuses on analyzing how repositories of open source aerial and satellite imagery can be used to help monitor nuclear activity.  The report entitled, “Commercial Satellite Imagery as an Evolving Open-Source Verification Technology: Emerging Trends and Their Impact for Nuclear Nonproliferation Analysis” was written by Frank Pabian , the Senior Open-Source Information Research Analyst for Nonproliferation Monitoring and Verification at the European Commission’s Joint Research Center.

Access the report: Commercial Satellite Imagery as an Evolving Open-Source Verification Technology: Emerging Trends and Their Impact for Nuclear Nonproliferation Analysis

The report’s abstract:

One evolving and increasingly important means of verification of a State’s compliance with its international security obligations involves the application of publicly available commercial satellite imagery. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) views commercial satellite imagery as “a particularly valuable open source of information.” In 2001, the IAEA established an in-house Satellite Imagery Analysis Unit (SIAU) to provide an independent capability for “the exploitation of satellite imagery which involves imagery analysis, including correlation/fusion with other sources (open source, geospatial, and third party). Commercial satellite imagery not only supports onsite inspection planning and verification of declared activities,” but perhaps its most important role is that it also “increases the possibility of detecting proscribed nuclear activities.” Analysis of imagery derived from low-earth-orbiting observation satellites has a long history dating to the early 1906s in the midst of the Cold War era. That experience provides a sound basis for effectively exploiting the flood of now publicly available commercial satellite imagery data that is now within reach of anyone with Internet access. This paper provides insights on the process of imagery analysis, together with the use of modern geospatial tools like Google Earth, and highlights a few of the potential pitfalls that can lead to erroneous analytical conclusions. A number of illustrative exemplar cases are reviewed to illustrate how academic researchers (including those within the European Union’s Joint Research Centre) and others in Non-Governmental Organizations are now applying commercial satellite imagery in combination with other open source information in innovative and effective ways for various verification purposes. The international constellation of civil imaging satellites is rapidly growing larger, thereby improving the temporal resolution (reducing the time between image acquisitions), but the satellites are also significantly improving in capabilities with regard to both spatial and spectral resolutions. The significant increase, in both the volume and type of raw imagery data that these satellites can provide, and the ease of access to it, will likely lead to a concomitant increase in new non-proliferation relevant knowledge as well. Many of these new developments were previously unanticipated, and they have already had profound effects beyond what anyone would have thought possible just a few years ago. Among those include multi-satellite, multi-sensor synergies deriving from the diversity of sensors and satellites now available, which are exemplified in a few case studies. This paper also updates earlier work on the subject by this author and explains how the many recent significant developments in the commercial satellite imaging domain will play an ever increasingly valuable role for open source nuclear nonproliferation monitoring and verification in the future.


Analyzing Risk for Radioactive Materials Using GIS

Radioactive materials pose significant health problems, particularly as their presence is common in rural and urban environments. Earlier studies in GIS were particularly focused on analyzing safe transportation that looked at where the safest routes might be in the transportation of radioactive materials, particularly as materials had to be moved across populated areas.[1] Factors such as population density, road traffic, and weather affect optimal, least-cost route estimates.

Using GIS for Site Analysis for Storing Radioactive Materials

More recent studies have utilized the analytical capabilities in GIS for quantifying risk in the storage of radioactive materials. Using established federal guidelines for criteria on the types of geological region (e.g., type of rock, distance from populated areas, and depth of safe storage), GIS was used to demonstrate areas that could be more or less suitable for radioactive storage.[2] Radioactive substances in the earth that could potentially be harmful at high levels also generally occur based on a variety of soil characteristics, including the types of underlying bedrock. The distribution of radionuclides, as one example, depends on bedrock characteristics. Based on this, Kriging techniques have been used to estimate areas of radioactive concentration, where the bedrock type is used as a determinant of concentration of the radioactive substance. This, in effect, estimates radioactivity in areas that might not be as known for levels of radioactive measurements.[3]

Spatial prediction map for the ordinary kriging interpolation of 232 Th. Map: Dindaroğlu, 2014.

GIS and Disaster Management of Radioactive Materials

Relatively recent major disasters, such as the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, caused by an earthquake and tsunami, have caused renewed interest in disaster management in relation to radioactive materials. Simulation of water transport of nuclear substances has been one application used to estimate where or what regions could be more greatly affected by radioactive water supplies as well to help determine risks to populations.[4] The use of hydrologic simulation models and water transport finite element modeling have ways in how this research has been conducted.

Map of the Radioactive Analysis around Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. Source: TEPCO, 2016.


[1] For more information on radioactive transportation and GIS, see:  Souleyrette, R. R., & Sathisan, S. K. (1994). GIS for Radioactive Materials Transportation. Computer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering, 9(4), 294–304.

[2] For more on using GIS for the storage of radioactive materials, see:  Wilson, C. A., Matthews, K., Pulsipher, A., & Wang, W.-H. (2016). Using Geographic Information Systems to Determine Site Suitability for a Low-Level Radioactive Waste Storage Facility: Health Physics, 110, S17–S25.

[3] For more on kriging used to estimate radioactive concentration, see: Dindaroğlu, T. (2014). The use of the GIS Kriging technique to determine the spatial changes of natural radionuclide concentrations in soil and forest cover. Journal of Environmental Health Science and Engineering, 12(1).

[4] For more on the Fukushima water transport modeling, see:  Samuels, W. B., Bahadur, R., & Ziemniak, C. (2014). Waterborne Transport Modeling of Radioactivity from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Incident. In R. M. Clark & S. Hakim (Eds.), Securing Water and Wastewater Systems (pp. 135–148). Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Using GIS to Understand Species Evolution

Aplicativitatea GIS-urilor in toate domeniile. Aruncati o privire mai jos:


Looking at how species may have evolved over time is not usually considered an area where GIS might be applied. However, studies have used spatial modeling and GIS approaches to understanding species evolution.

In one study, the authors studied the evolution of two rodent species by changing the environmental conditions in a given region and studying how that would affect the distribution of rodents based on varied scenarios. The application of spatial models with different initial conditions that produce outcomes are then matched with empirical evidence from the biological record to determine which model conditions best match the distribution for the rodents.[1]

Another study looking at pelobatoid frogs analyzed GIS-based climatic data, with published life-history data of the frogs. The approach utilized a time-calibrated phylogeny. However, the results did not show climate as a major factor in the evolution of the frogs, rather small genome sizes and phylogeny affected by spatial factors were more of a contributing factor to noticeable evolution.[2]

Plant species richness for the Australian continent.  From: Evolutionary speed limited by water in arid Australia, Goldie et al., 2010.

Other studies are utilizing similar methods, such as in studying amphibians, that take advantage of the presence of GIS-based climate data for understanding evolutionary change where climate and phylogenic trait within geographic locations are potentially important factors.[3] Another similar approach was applied on Malagasy primates, where generalized linear models looking at climate and resource-related variables that also accounted for phylogenetic history and spatial autocorrelation determined that a strong phylogenetic effect, once again, had the most influence in evolutionary change, where the effects of space and location were relevant for the specie’s genetic development.[4] These examples demonstrate that spatial modeling and GIS can be used to explain how species evolution has occurred, helping to explain distribution of species in ways that have provided new insights to evolutionary biologists.


[1] For more on the application of modeling to understand rodent species’ distribution, see:  Anderson, R. P., & Raza, A. (2010). The effect of the extent of the study region on GIS models of species geographic distributions and estimates of niche evolution: preliminary tests with montane rodents (genus Nephelomys) in Venezuela: Effect of study region on models of distributions. Journal of Biogeography, 37(7), 1378–1393.

[2] For more on the evolution of pelobaoid frogs and their evolution using GIS, see:  Zeng, C., Gomez-Mestre, I., & Wiens, J. J. (2014). Evolution of Rapid Development in Spadefoot Toads Is Unrelated to Arid Environments. PLoS ONE, 9(5), e96637.

[3] For more on the study looking at amphibians, see:  Bonetti, M. F., & Wiens, J. J. (2014). Evolution of climatic niche specialization: a phylogenetic analysis in amphibians. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 281(1795), 20133229–20133229.

[4] For more on Malagasy primates and studying their evolution using spatial methods, see:  Kamilar, J. M., Muldoon, K. M., Lehman, S. M., & Herrera, J. P. (2012). Testing Bergmann’s rule and the resource seasonality hypothesis in Malagasy primates using GIS-based climate data. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 147(3), 401–408.

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15 Amazing FREE GIS Software

O colectie foarte utila si interesanta de tool-uri FREE puteti gasi mai jos, sintetizata de cei de la monde geospatial.

Geographic information System (GIS) is a revolutionary Innovation which foundation was laid in the 20th century. It has transformed the way we perceive the concept of Map reading and spatial analysis. To put simply, GIS has revolutionized every facet of geography.  It has taken map analysis done on an A4 to the level of 2D and 3D analysis and adds excellent visualization.

In the most clear and concise manner, GIS is a tool or system designed to create, model, remodel, capture, analyze, store and capture information relating to map creation, representation of information on the map and various human activities. It also focuses on spatial analysis. Though GIS was designed for domains such as cartography and geography, its use has surpassed these domains. It has become a vital tool in the fields such as telecommunication and network services, urban planning, transportation planning, agricultural application and navigation.

To achieve all this, GIS software is utilized. GIS software is devised to plan, create, store, display, manage and scrutinize various forms of geographic data and spatial information. Sadly, professionals and students face difficulty getting most times due to licensing fee. However, this write-up hopes to end this conundrum for GIS software users. The following are fifteen free GIS software (open source application)


qgis 1

QGIS is one of the foremost free GIS software. It was developed by the QGIS development team in 2002. It has become renowned for its unique tools for cartography design. The software is leading figure when it comes to map design, modeling and creation. The maps are made up of several layers of raster and vector layers.

It also has a straightforward user interface. It has a unique drop – down menu bar which contain features like Project, Raster, vector, Plugins and so on.

One amazing feature of QGIS is the GIS analysis tools. It has over 500 hundred GIS analysis tools. Some of them are the Raster tools, Vector tools, Domain specific tools and Image tools. The software is plugin enabled. It most powerful plugin tool is the Semi- Automatic Classification Plugin.

It runs on very popular operating system such as Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, and Android.


To download QGIS visit this link >>

grass gis 1

Grass GIS is free open source application GIS software.  It is used for map design, analysis, and image and graphics design. It also used for geospatial analysis and data management. It is equipped with tools to handle raster imaging, vector, topological imaging and temporal tools. It can handle all data relating raster and vector. It also has hi- tech network and satellite tools.

GRASS GIS is an efficient and capable tool for geographical and spatial analysis. This is the strength of the software. It is one of the most powerful GIS software. It possesses more than 300 vector and raster management tools. The raster, images, temporal tools and spatial data are presented in 3D imaging. Some of the satellite tools it possesses include vegetation indices and atmospheric correction.

It is also a powerful tool for modeling and remodeling of maps. Some modeling tools features are landscape patch analysis and hydrology.

One major downside of this software is that it is not the best for map creation and design. Its cartography features are limited and rigid.

A GRASS GIS runs on most popular operating system out there. It runs on Windows, OS X and Linux.

grass gis 2

To download GRASS GIS visit this link >>


whitebox 1

 Whitebox GAT is free open source software for GIS analysis. It was released in October 2009.  It was developed by the University of Guelph center for Hdyrogematics. It was originally designed for educational and research purposes for use at the center of Hydrogematics. However, the versatility and user-friendly graphics interface have made it a worldwide choice for GIS analysis.

Whitebox GAT is furnished with the latest geospatial tools and vector analysis tools. The graphic user interface (GUI) is top notch. With over four hundred analytical tools in the domains of vector analysis, map design and raster data management.

It has certain tools that make it unique such as: GIS tools for cost- distance analysis, multi-criteria evaluation and clumping. Its imaging processing tools are NDVI, contrast enhancement and numerous spatial filters. Its hydrology tools are: max flux analysis, watershed extraction and DEM preprocessing tools.

The latest version of the software was released 27 January, 2017. It is equipped with raster and vector data analysis technology. It supports multiple scripting languages such as Python and JavaScript.

whitebox 2

To download WHITEBOX GEOSPATIAL ANALYSIS TOOLS visit this link >>

terraview 1

TerraView is a free GIS software application built under the platform TerraLib GIS Library.  TerraView allows for vector data and raster data (grids and images).  Vector data and raster data are stored in relational or geo-relational database. TerraView allows vector operations including intersection and buffer maps.  All information is stored in MySQL and ACCESS.

Terra view has quality visualization interface. The interface gives room for several views on databases and producing thematic maps.

Terraview also has statistical functions such as semivariograms and regionalization.

terraview 2

To download TerraView visit this link >>

saga gis 1

 SAGA (System for Automated Geoscientific Analyses) GIS was developed specifically for geoscientific purposes initially.  It was developed by a pack of brilliant researchers from the University of Gottingen. They focused the uses mainly geoscientific standpoint. However, it has evolved into multipurpose GIS software.

The best feature of this software is the top notch geoscientific analysis tool.  It is the perfect tool for terrain analysis such as hillshading, watershed extraction and visibility analysis. One amazing feature of the software is the 3D imaging enablement. The color setup of the software also makes viewing credible. What makes the 3D imaging even better is the presence of an Anaglyph tool. It makes images look real life situation.

Another arsenal of SAGA GIS is the geostatistics tools. It has a large of geostatistics tools for complex statistical work. It is perfect for statisticians. It delivers analysis in regression technique, semi- variogram technique. Meridional and longitudinal grid statistics are also very useful tools in the software.

Morphotery tools are also available. It can be used to measure the wetness index of place. One weakness of the software is Lack of excellent cartography tools for modeling and remodeling. It is not the best for map design and editing.

saga gis 2

To download SAGA GIS visit this link >>

6. gvSiG
gvsig 1

This GIS Software came into the spotlight in 2004. It originated from Spain. Ever since then, it has been growing in leaps and bounds. GVSIG commands the best 3D imaging software for GIS. Combining NASA’s world wind SDK, the 3D output is breathtaking.

Another powerful feature is sophistication of the mobile version. The mobile version of this software allows user to collect real time data such as the amount of rainfall in a place. It also has maps to navigate anywhere in the world.

As CAD and GIS are starting to synch together, gvSIG as state of the art tools such as tools to trace geometry, edit vertices, and polygons.

It is also imbued with remote sensing. It has a tool dedicated to vegetation (Agriculture). It has tools powerful enough to monitor chlorophyll in plants.

gvsig 2

To download gvSIG visit this link >>

ilwis 1

ILWIS (Integrated Land and Water Information System) was developed by ITC Ecschede in Netherlands. It is mostly used by researchers in the field of biology, geospatial analysis and water planning management.

ILWIS is useful in Geostatistical analysis backed with kriging for improved interpolation. It is imbued with state of the art raster and vector design.

It is able to handle advanced modeling and spatial data analysis. Its image processing is detailed and encompassing. It is not just encompassing, it is backed with 3D visualization and powerful zooming features.

It manages data very well. It runs only on Windows.

ilwis 2

To download ILWIS visit this link >>

kalypso 1

Kalypso is a GIS tool developed by Bjorsen consulting Engineers (BCE) and department for rivers and costal engineering at Hamburg University.

As an open Source software, it was developed specifically for numerically projections and calculation in water management.

It also has tools for hydrodynamic models. It handles data on flood depth determination, flood risk determination. It also has a very user- friendly interface.

kalypso 2

To download Kalypso visit this link >>

udig 1

uDig (User Friendly Desktop Internet GIS) was developed by Refraction Research, a Canadian based company.

It has an outstanding user- friendly interface. Its drag and drop UI is one of the unique features.

It offers quality web mapping technologies such as KML, GEORSS, WMS and WFS.

From the standpoint of editing tools, the software offers salient or basic editing tools of GIS software. uDig can also handle some complex vector operation. The spatial toolbox can be activated manually with the aid of GRASS.

It has been used as a platform for creating various GIS applications including DIVA GIS.

It is written in JAVA language. It runs on various operating systems such as Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

udig 2

To download uDig visit this link >>

mapwindow 1

Mapwindow GIS is GIS software developed by Mapwindow open source item. Mapwindow GIS supports data analysis, maneuvering of geospatial analysis. It also has a unique mapping and GIS modeling System.

The user interface is easy to navigate. The layouts are simple and straightforward. The zooming capability is top notch.

It also supports various file formats. It allows for easy importation and exportation of files. You can import file format such as ASC, BIL, IMG, FLT, DHM, JPG and PNG. Created maps can be saved in series of formats such as GIF, EMF and JPG.

The shapefile editor allows user to view the features of shapes in the target layer, defining shapes as well as create and edit shapes files

It has a geoprocessing facility for helping to activate several raster operations. It runs only on Microsoft Windows.

mapwindow 2

To download Mapwindow GIS visit this link >>

geoda 1

Geoda is open source GIS software. It is a powerful tool for spatial data analysis and geovisualization. It is a useful tool in geostatistics. It employs tools such as histogram, scatter plots to conduct exploratory analysis of the data in geostatistics.

It has a world class tools to perform global and local spatial regression. It can also handle basic linear regression.

geoda 2

To download Geoda visit this link >>

flacon view 1

Falcon View is geospatial software developed by Georgia Tech Research Institute. It supports and displays various types of map format. However, it is most suitable for aeronautical charts, maps, satellite images and elevation maps.

Falcon View is flight planning management software. It is used by the US department of defense and National Geospatial Intelligence Agencies.

Falcon View supports 3D. The 3D enablement improves visual for surface missions. The software has a sky view mode.

flacon view 2

To download Falcon View visit this link >>

13. Jump GIS
jump 1

Jump GIS is active open source software written in JAVA language. It supports vector and raster GIS framework. The software reads various file formats. Some of them are: ESRI Shapefile, GML, and DXF. It also reads various file formats in raster such as TIFF, JPEG, PNG and BMP.

It has plugins for editing, printing, spatial analysis, GPS and databases. It is now known as Open Jump GIS.

jump 2

To download Jump GIS visit this link >>

Diva-GIS 1

DIVA-GIS is a free and open source geographic information system (GIS) to make maps of species distribution data and analyze these data. DIVA-GIS was specifically developed at CIP for use with genebank data such as available through national or international genebank documentation systems and SINGER.

It consists many useful tools such as Grid Calculator (multiplying, adding rasters), Neighbourhood ( changing raster resolution) and Georeference Image. DIVA-GIS also has an Ecological Niche Modeling tool which can be used to predictive modeling ( it uses Bioclim and Domain algorithms).

From DIVA-GIS desktop one can directly connect to DIVA-GIS Free GIS Data site and download climate grids, DEM, sattelite images or country level data.

diva gis2

To download DIVA-GIS visit this link >>

15. Capaware


Capaware  is a framework for developing 3D multilayer geographical worlds. It is a free software project which began in 2007, released for the purpose of promoting the development of free software in the Canary Islands by its Government.

Capaware allows interaction with 3D virtual terrain mapping, and is distributed under license GPL.

Capaware, which is developed in C++, allows connection to external servers using OGC protocol to obtain data. We can also configure and manage the resource layers and elements that can be displayed on the ground.


To download Capaware visit this link >>