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.