November 15, 2017

3 Open Source Alternatives to ArcGIS Desktop

Looking to create a great looking map or perform analysis on geospatial data? Look no further than these open source desktop GIS tools.

If you've ever worked with geographic data on the desktop, chances are that you used Esri's ArcGIS application in at least part of your work. ArcGIS is an incredibly powerful tool, but unfortunately, it's a proprietary product that is designed for Windows. Linux and Mac users are out of luck unless they want to run ArcGIS in a virtualized environment, and even then, they're still using a closed source product that can be very expensive to license. While their flagship product is closed source, I would be remiss not to note that Esri has made numerous contributions to the open source community.

Fortunately, GIS users have a few choices for using open source tools to design maps and work with spatial data that can be obtained under free and open source licenses and which run on a variety of different non-Windows operating systems. Let's take a look at some of the options.

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