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(Stranger )
03/09/03 06:17 PM
Which is best? new Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

Hello everyone!
I am new to GIS (I am taking classes this summer). I was wondering if someone could tell me what is the best GIS software for beginners to use. I have heard the names of so many: ArcView, ArcInfo, MapInfo, ERmapper, etc.....
Are some of these extensions of others? BTW, this is a cool interactive website!
Take care & Thank you

(Stranger )
03/10/03 03:04 PM
Re: Which is best? [re: socarron]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

For beginers it often comes down to access/cost. If you were to buy a copy of ESRI's ArcView it would run you about 2k, if my memory serves me well.

If you have a cash flow problem you can hypothetically load a peer to peer service on your PC and accidentally download popular GIS apps on to your PC. But I've just heard about these kinds of things, I would never endorse them. => You'll find AutoCAD based GIS software burried somewhere on this site. => This site will try to sell you every type of GIS product you can think of... So don't get overwhelmed by al of there flashy extensions... keep focused on their core products (ArcView, ArcEditor, ArcInfo)


(Stranger )
05/10/03 01:25 AM
Re: Which is best? new [re: socarron]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

It depends what you want to do with "GIS" - it's quite a broad area. If your need is simple... thematic, point plots, maps, drivetime etc then MapPoint may be worth a look (check out an article I wrote

If you are wanting to do more then the main three in vogue seem to be MapInfo, ArcView and Autocad. The base packages all seem similar in price... it's buying the data which seems ridiculously expensive... at least here in the UK.



(Stranger )
05/17/03 04:07 PM
Re: Which is best? new [re: socarron]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

From my experience you don't need to spend thousands of dollars or be a pirate to access terrific GIS software. Two of my favorite programs are Global Mapper version 5 (free to use, $179 to register) and Map Maker Gratis (free). Global Mapper can read almost any data format, reproject it on the fly, rectify images, digitize map objects, etc. Map Maker Gratis has good print and database features. (If you like Map Maker, the Pro version is only $330.) Manifold GIS ($245) is in the same class as the GIS heavyweights.

If you are new to GIS and want to explore free and low-cost software and data sources, you might want to check out

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