>> GIS Tools
Thread views: 62874 View all threadsNext thread*Threaded Mode

(Stranger )
03/18/08 05:10 AM
Free/Shareware GIS tools new Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

I will be giving a GIS workshop at a linguistics department in London. The department does not have an ESRI license and cannot afford it. The GIS tools I know best are the ESRI programs but now I have to find others that are easy to use, run on windows, and are affordable (or preferably free).

The students will be introduced to basic notion of GIS; my goal is to have have them produce maps of the languages they are working on (it's a department that deals exclusively with documentation of endangered languages). I would like have them combine data on settlements with other geographic data such as country boundaries, rivers etc, also some rasters showing topography, and finally connect language data they have to villages so that dialectal variation can become visualized.

I am familiar with the Google mapping products and with Versamap. Pointers to anything else will be greatly appreaciated.


Thank you in advance for your time and help.


Best wishes,


(Stranger )
03/18/08 09:14 AM
Re: Free/Shareware GIS tools new [re: ljuba]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply


Lots of free GIS software out there - find it with a simple google search; just have to be wary of what each does (many are simply components to 'build your own').

 Have a look at these:

They increase in capability from top to bottom. 

Arcexplorer-was built as a light weight viewer but they keep making it better and it can do more and more; Windows and Java-based programs.

fgis - is a good one also but has some 'quirks' that need workarounds (these are described in the online forum).

Best - Ilwis was built by The Netherlands based ITC (Institute for Aerospace Survey and Earth Sciences) as a full-fledged commercial GIS.

Full raster and image support (the program's original main focus).

However, they have made Ilwis FREE, completely downloadable and with full documentation and example datasets also downloadable.  It also has available several language packages including Slovak, Spanish, Thai, etc.

Since this is a FULL PROGRAM, it may require a longer learning curve.  Overall, if you have the time to invest in learning the program as well as using it, this is probably your best bet.

Good Luck!


Peter Bonne
(Stranger )
03/27/08 06:02 AM
Re: Free/Shareware GIS tools new [re: jgarner]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

Hi Ljuba,

check out : all tools are free of charge for educational use.

best regards,


(Stranger )
04/19/08 09:44 PM
Re: Free/Shareware GIS tools new [re: ljuba]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

Dear Ljuba,

 I would recommend you use IDRISI.  Go to  and let them know what you are doing and ask what kind of a deal they can provide for your use.  It might not be free, but it may be for this use.

 Also, for the Department you are doing this for,  if it is within a University or government, the cost for Idrisi is very reasonable.  This is software created under a U.N. charter.  It runs on Windows, is relatively easy to use and can import/export to most other GIS systems including ESRI.

 Try it, you'll like it.


(Stranger )
04/23/08 07:33 AM
Re: Free/Shareware GIS tools new [re: ljuba]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

tatukGIS works for me.  comes in many languages supports file types from ESRI, CAD, MapInfo.


- josh

(Stranger )
05/13/08 06:29 AM
Re: Free/Shareware GIS tools [re: ljuba]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

Quantum GIS or "QGIS" is another nice open source, free GIS application that you may want to look at.  Web site is:


(Stranger )
05/14/08 11:27 PM
Re: Free/Shareware GIS tools new [re: ljuba]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

OpenJUMP is Open source GIS editor that can read and write shapefiles. It is rather a lot like old ArcView so it might well be worth trying.  Web site is

Another Open source alternative is UDIg at

(Stranger )
05/18/08 06:41 AM
Re: Free/Shareware GIS tools new [re: ljuba]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply


 I have a list of free gis software here


but I also have a question.  A lot of this software seems pretty complex and I'm not sure what it does, as some of the description has a lot of terms I don't know, raster, and stuff like that. 

I'm looking for a simple mapping program that can make simple maps, and is easy to use. I expect that Ljuba is looking for the same. Any suggestions on which ones are easy to use?

For example, I want to make a map of countries of the world, showing which countries have high infant mortality rate. Nothing complex.





Gene Shackman
The Global Social Change Research Project

(Stranger )
11/06/08 01:32 AM
Re: Free/Shareware GIS tools new [re: researchgene]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

Hi Gene -

I don't have answers to most questions in here.  Finding a good free GIS is something I've been trying to figure out too.  QGIS (mentioned above) seems fine for basic stuff, although I've been having trouble figuring out how to get beyond the basic with it. 

Just a clarification for you (in terms of the techy terminology).  Raster is one of two main types of spatial data.  The other type is Vector.  Raster files are a continuous surface of pixels (think of satellite images) while Vector files are collections of points, lines (roads, rivers...), and polygons (areas like states, countries, your backyard, whatever).  It sounds like what you want to work with is Vector data, so just ignore whether or not programs can deal with Raster.  I think all programs can do Vector, Raster is the one that can only be done by some.  So basically any program out there should be able to do what you're looking to do (infant mortality by country or something like it). 



View all threadsNext thread*Threaded Mode
Jump to


© 2020 Internet Business Systems, Inc.
670 Aberdeen Way, Milpitas, CA 95035
+1 (408) 882-6554 — Contact Us, or visit our other sites:
AECCafe - Architectural Design and Engineering EDACafe - Electronic Design Automation TechJobsCafe - Technical Jobs and Resumes  MCADCafe - Mechanical Design and Engineering ShareCG - Share Computer Graphic (CG) Animation, 3D Art and 3D Models
  Privacy PolicyAdvertise