List of geographic information systems software

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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.[1]

Open source software[edit]

The development of open source GIS software has—in terms of software history—a long tradition[2] with the appearance of a first system in 1978. Numerous systems are available which cover all sectors of geospatial data handling.

Desktop GIS[edit]

Capaware rc1 0.1
gvSIG 1.0
IDRISI Taiga 16.05
SAGA-GIS v. 2.0.3

The following open-source desktop GIS projects are reviewed in Steiniger and Bocher (2008/9):[3]

  • GRASS GIS – Geospatial data management, vector and raster manipulation - developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • gvSIG – Mapping and geoprocessing with a 3D rendering plugin
  • 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.[3]
  • MapWindow GIS – Free desktop application with plugins and a programmer library [4]
  • QGIS (previously known as Quantum GIS) – Powerful cartographic and geospatial data processing tools with extensive plug-in support
  • SAGA GIS (System for Automated Geoscientific Analysis) – Tools for environmental modeling, terrain analysis, and 3D mapping
  • 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.
  • Generic Mapping Tools – A collection of command-line tools for manipulating geographic and Cartesian data sets and producing PostScript illustrations.
  • 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 – Cross-platform, free and open-source GIS software.

Other geospatial tools[edit]

Apart from desktop GIS, many other types of GIS software exist.

Web map servers[edit]

Spatial database management systems[edit]

  • PostGIS – Spatial extensions for the open source PostgreSQL database, allowing geospatial queries.
  • ArangoDB – Builtin features available for Spatial data management, allowing geospatial queries.
  • SpatiaLite – Spatial extensions for the open source SQLite database, allowing geospatial queries.
  • TerraLib – Provides advanced functions for GIS analysis.
  • OrientDB – Builtin features available for Spatial data management, allowing geospatial queries.

Software development frameworks and libraries (for web applications)[edit]

Software development frameworks and libraries (non-web)[edit]

Cataloging application for spatially referenced resources[edit]

  • GeoNetwork opensource – A catalog application to manage spatially referenced resources
  • pycsw – pycsw is an OGC CSW server implementation written in Python

Other tools[edit]

  • Chameleon – Environments for building applications with MapServer.

Notable commercial or proprietary GIS software[edit]

Desktop GIS[edit]

Note: Almost all of the companies below offer Desktop GIS and WebMap Server products. Some such as Manifold Systems and Esri offer Spatial DBMS products as well.

Companies with high market share[edit]

Companies with minor but notable market share[edit]

  • Cadcorp – Products include Cadcorp SIS, GeognoSIS, mSIS and developer kits.
  • Caliper – Products include Maptitude, TransModeler and TransCAD.
  • Conform by GameSim – Software for fusing and visualizing elevation, imagery, vectors, and LiDAR. The fused environment can be exported into 3D formats for gaming, simulation, and urban planning.[5]
  • Dragon/ips – Remote sensing software with GIS capabilities.
  • 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.
  • Global Mapper – GIS software package currently developed by Blue Marble Geographics; originally based on USGS dlgv32 source code.
  • Golden Software – GIS and scientific software. Products include Surfer for gridding and contouring, MapViewer for thematic mapping and spatial analysis, Strater for well or borehole logging and cross sections, Voxler for true 3D well and component mapping, Didger for digitizing and coordinate conversion, and Grapher for 2D and 3D graphing.
  • Kongsberg Gallium Ltd. – Products include InterMAPhics and InterView.
  • MapDotNet – Framework written in C#/.NET for building WPF, Silverlight, and HTML5 applications.
  • Manifold System – GIS software package.
  • CitySurf Globe – Server based 3D GIS software, developed by PiriReis.
  • RegioGraph by GfK GeoMarketing – GIS software for business planning and analyses; company also provides compatible maps and market data.
  • RemoteView
  • SuperMap Inc. – a GIS software provider that offers Desktop, Component, Web, and Mobile GIS.
  • TerrSet (formerly IDRISI) – GIS and Image Processing product developed by Clark Labs at Clark University.
  • TNTmips by MicroImages – a system integrating desktop GIS, advanced image processing, 2D-3D-stereo visualization, desktop cartography, geospatial database management, and webmap publishing.

GIS as a service[edit]

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:

Spatial DBMS[edit]

  • 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 and later) – 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 at some point in the future.
  • Oracle Spatial – Product allows users to perform geographic operations and store spatial data types in an Oracle environment. Most commercial GIS packages can read and edit spatial data stored in this way.
  • SAP HANA – Allows users to store common spatial data types, load spatial data files with well-known text (WKT) and well-known binary (WKB) formats and perform spatial processing using SQL. Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) certification allows third party GIS software providers to store and process spatial data. GIS products such as ArcGIS from Esri work with HANA.[20]
  • 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.
  • Crunchy Certified PostGIS - Open Geospatial Consortium certified open source distribution of PostgreSQL with PostGIS from Crunchy Data.[21][22]

Geospatial Internet of Things[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "GIS Software - A description in 1000 words", S. Steiniger and R. Weibel
  2. ^ "Open Source GIS History - OSGeo Wiki Editors". Retrieved 2009-03-21.
  3. ^ a b "An Overview on Current Free and Open Source Desktop GIS Developments - Steiniger and Bocher". Archived from the original on 2012-11-12. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
  4. ^ "The MapWindow Project - Home". Retrieved 2019-09-23.
  5. ^ Smith, Susan. "Conform for real time 3D visualization". GISCafe. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  6. ^ "Arcgis homepage". Retrieved 2015-07-26.
  7. ^ "CartoDB is the easiest way to map and analyze your location data — CartoDB". Retrieved 2015-07-26.
  8. ^ "Mapbox". Mapbox. Retrieved 2019-09-23.
  9. ^ "Arcgis homepage". Retrieved 2015-07-26.
  10. ^ "Geocoding Service | Google Maps JavaScript API | Google Developers". Retrieved 2015-07-26.
  11. ^ "Here Maps JavaScript API Here Developers". Retrieved 2017-12-15.
  12. ^ "Geocode Dataflow API". 2015-07-15. Retrieved 2015-07-26.
  13. ^ "Census Geocoder - U.S. Census Bureau". Retrieved 2015-07-26.
  14. ^ "Arcgis homepage". Retrieved 2015-07-26.
  15. ^ "iOS 8 - Maps". Apple. Retrieved 2015-07-26.
  16. ^ "Google Maps overview - Google Maps Help". Retrieved 2015-07-26.
  17. ^ "Here WeGo". Retrieved 2017-12-15.
  18. ^ "OpenStreetMap". OpenStreetMap. Retrieved 2015-07-26.
  19. ^ "Bing Maps". Retrieved 2015-07-26.
  20. ^ "SAP HANA® Accelerates Spatial Processing and Analytics for Real-Time Insights". Directions Magazine. Retrieved 2016-07-07.
  21. ^ "Crunchy Certified PostGIS OGC Certification". Retrieved 2020-11-18.
  22. ^ "Crunchy Certified PostgreSQL". Retrieved 2020-11-18.