Best Gis Open Source Software

Best Gis provides both an online and a downloadable version. With the online version, end-users can obtain the Open Source software directly in their browsers at any time. Once downloaded, Best Gis can be used on several of devices using operating systems such as Windows (Desktop, Tablet and Phone), Linux (GNOME and Windows) and Mac OS X.

At Best Gis we believe that Free and Open-Source Software is the best way to get the job done. In addition to our own leading GIS software, including mobile apps for Android and iOS, we provide free data downloads for the curious landscape analyst. We have partnerships with the most trustworthy providers in geodata such as OpenStreetMap, DigitalGlobe and many more.

 QGIS 2 (Quantum GIS)

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After the epic GIS software battle in GIS history between ArcGIS vs QGIS, we illustrated with 27 differences why QGIS is undoubtedly the #1 free GIS software package.

QGIS is jam-packed with hidden gems at your fingertips. For example, you can automate map production, process geospatial data, and generate drool-worthy cartographic figures. There’s no other free mapping software on this list that lets you map like a rock star than QGIS.

QGIS (Quantum GIS)

QGIS Plugins boost this mapping software into a state of epicness. If the tool doesn’t exist, search for a plugin developed by the QGIS community.

Volunteer effort is key to its success. The QGIS Stack Exchange support is impressively great. If you’re still searching for free GIS software, you’d be insane not to download the free GIS software QGIS. Here’s your beginner’s guide to QGIS to get your feet wet.

SAGA GIS

SAGA GIS screenshot
SAGA GIS

Best for

  • Automated geoscientific analysis

Top 3 Features

  • Easy and effective implementation of spatial algorithms
  • A comprehensive, growing set of geoscientific methods
  • Approachable user interface with many visualization options

Ratings round-up

Type

  • Desktop

Mobile capable

  • No

Overview

SAGA, System for Automated Geoscientific Analyses, is one of the best regarded GIS softwares on this list.

This platform specializes in geoscientific analysis. It’s capable of processing LiDAR data and offers 3D visualization – a relative rarity for open-source GIS.

With powerful toolsets for raster processing, terrain analysis, and geoscientific data analysis – SAGA is a favorite among those working on more technical geoscience projects.

SAGA also offers geostatistics tools. With regression analysis and semi-variograms, users can engage in various predictive exercises. Despite the complexity of these processes, users report that the simple user interface makes these tasks relatively straightforward.

Though the cartographic functions within SAGA aren’t particularly well developed, the unique geoscientific toolsets more than make up the difference.

GIS Network Solutions

Planning, designing and managing networks are all so easy with 3-GIS Network Solutions. All their solutions are web-based and have been trusted worldwide by many engineering firms, utility owners, and other service providers.

Not just time, but finances can be managed easily with the help of this easy-to-use tool. The features are easy to navigate and super-intuitive. High scalability is a major plus factor, as well as the insightful statistics that the tool provides to your business.

3-GIS Network Solutions

Key Features

  • Geocoding
  • Integrated with Google Street View
  • Integrated with ArcGIS
  • Automatic routing options
  • Interoperability
  • Spatial Analysis
  • Color Coding

Pros

  • Pocket-friendly
  • Highly scalable 
  • Can be designed easily 
  • Information sharing can be done real-time

Cons

  • No free trial option

 gVSIG

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After QGIS, gvSIG is the next best option for free GIS software. Its features are underrated. For example, it has a field app, 3D capabilities, and a desktop application.

Despite its lack of English documentation, the gvSIG project is still easy to pick up and work with. We illustrate in this gvSIG guide and review why we like it SO much.

gvSIG 3d Sphere
  • The NavTable is agile in that it allows you to see records one-by-one vertically.
  • The CAD tools are impressive on gvSIG. Thanks to the OpenCAD Tools, you can trace geometries, edit vertices, snap and split lines and polygons.
  • If you need GIS on your mobile phone, gvSIG Mobile is perfect for field work because of its interface and GPS tools.

OpenStreetMap

OpenStreetMap GIS
OpenStreetMap GIS

Best for

Top 3 Features

  • Community-built mapping service
  • Continually updated
  • More detailed and up-to-date location information

Ratings round-up

Type

  • Desktop

Mobile capable

  • Yes

Overview

OpenStreetMap (OSM) is a community-driven platform, developed by “mappers” throughout the world.

With decent cartographic capabilities but no geospatial analysis tools, this platform is fairly basic compared to the other free options on this list.

That said, it’s also very straightforward and easy to use – perfect for novice map makers. Popular among outdoor enthusiasts, OSM is often used to digitally map hiking trails.

Public contributors continually update the system with fresh information about roads, railways, trails, and other points of interest all over the globe.

No approval process is required to make updates to the map, so whatever a user adds will be immediately visible to the community.

 MapWindows

MapWindows is another free and open source GIS software that needs a mention. Composed of three interconnected software suites (MapWindow4, MapWindow5, and MapWinGIS) that provide geospatial analytics functions. MapWindow5 is the latest version – providing geospatial database support and a repository browser besides other module improvements. A traditional GIS system, MW5 uses the DotSpatial library for mapping functionality, while extensions and plugins are easy to integrate into the software. 

MapsWindow

Source – MapWindow

The essential functions of MapWindows are as follows:   

  • Colour Coding
  • Data Analysis
  • Geo-coding
  • Labeling
  • Mapping Tools
  • Spatial Analysis

ILWIS

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Free GIS software users rejoice. Once commercial GIS software, now turned into open source GIS. ILWIS (Integrated Land and Water Information Management) is an oldie but a goodie.

The extinction-proof ILWIS is a free GIS software for planners, biologists, water managers, and geospatial users. ILWIS is good at the basics – digitizing, editing, displaying geographic data. Further to this, it’s also used for remote sensing with tools for image classification, enhancements, and spectral band manipulation.

ilwis software

Over time, it has improved support for time series, 3 analysis, and animation. Overall, I found it difficult to do some of the basics like adding layers. However, the documentation is thorough with a pretty decent following for usage.

‍Conclusion

Thanks for considering our open source software product! This is the software you need to make maps on the internet. We take pride in providing a tool that is intuitive, easy to use, and packed with features. Best Gis was designed from the ground up with one goal in mind: to give anyone the ability to create amazing maps as quickly as possible. Our commitment to quality and attention to detail follow through in every aspect of our product.

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