List of GIS software

Jump to: navigation, search

GIS software encompasses a broad range of applications, all of which involve the use of some combination of digital maps and georeferenced data. GIS software can be sorted into different categories[1]. Below is a list of notable GIS software applications. Please update the listing of software below with respect to the different categories.

Open source software

The development of open source GIS software has - in terms of software history - a long tradition[2] with the appearance of a first system in 1978. Numerous systems are nowadays available which cover all sectors of geospatial data handling.

Desktop GIS

The following open source desktop GIS projects are reviewed in Steiniger and Bocher (2008/9)[3]:

gvSIG 1.0
  • GRASS GIS – Originally developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, open source: a complete GIS
  • SAGA GIS – System for Automated Geoscientific Analyses - a hybrid GIS software. SAGA has a unique Application Programming Interface (API) and a fast growing set of geoscientific methods, bundled in exchangeable Module Libraries
  • Quantum GIS – QGIS is a user friendly Open Source GIS that runs on Linux, Unix, Mac OS X, and Windows
  • MapWindow GIS – Free, open source GIS desktop application and programming component
  • ILWIS – ILWIS (Integrated Land and Water Information System) integrates image, vector and thematic data
  • uDig
  • gvSIG – Open source GIS written in Java
  • JUMP GIS / OpenJUMP – (Open) Java Unified Mapping Platform (the desktop GIS OpenJUMP, SkyJUMP, deeJUMP and Kosmo emerged from JUMP; see [3])


Capaware rc1 0.1
SAGA-GIS v. 2.0.3
  • Kalypso (software) – Kalypso is an Open Source GIS (Java, GML3) and focuses mainly on numerical simulations in water management
  • TerraView – GIS desktop that handles vector and raster data stored in a relational or geo-relational database, i.e. a frontend for TerraLib
  • Whitebox GAT – Cross-platform, free and open-source GIS software
  • Capaware – Capaware is also an Open Source GIS, an incredibly fast C++ 3D GIS Framework with a multiple plug-in architecture for geographic graphical analysis and visualization

Other GIS tools - classified

Note, for different categories of GIS tools see GIS software and [1].

WebMap Server

Spatial Database Management Systems

  • PostGIS – Spatial extensions for the open source PostgreSQL database, allowing geospatial queries.
  • H2Spatial for H2_(DBMS)
  • SpatialLite for SQLite
  • MySQL Spatial
  • TerraLib is more than a spatial DBMS as it provides also advanced functions for GIS analysis.
  • GeoAlchemy It provides support for Geospatial data types at the ORM layer using SQLAlchemy. It aims to support spatial operations and relations specified by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)

Software Development Frameworks and Libraries (non-web)

Software Development Frameworks and Libraries (for web applications)

  • MapFish A web 2.0 mapping development framework.
  • OpenLayers – open source AJAX library for accessing geographic data layers of all kinds, originally developed and sponsored by MetaCarta
  • Geomajas – Open source web toolkit with full vectorial and attribute editing capabilities and support for complex relation models (1 to n, n to 1, inheritance, ...). Built on top of the Dojo AJAX framework
  • GeoDjango a set of extensions to Django, an open source web content framework, allowing for easy portrayal of geospatial data inside a web portal

Cataloging application for spatially referenced resources

Other GIS tools - unclassified

  • FIST – FIST (Flexible Internet Spatial Template) is a MapServer/PHP framework with several advanced functions, optionally use PostGIS in the backend so your users can edit and save shapes and attributes
  • Chameleon – Environments for building applications with MapServer
  • MapPoint, a technology ("MapPoint Web Service," previously known as MapPoint .NET) and a specific software program created by Microsoft that allows users to view, edit and integrate maps.
  • OpenMap
  • Xastir A special purpose Open Source GIS application used as an APRS client by Amateur radio operators, written in C for X Window environments
  • Gisgraphy Gisgraphy is a free and open source framework that provides full-text and find nearby places search services, for places on earth from several databases (geonames, openstreet map)

Notable commercial or proprietary GIS software

Desktop GIS provider

Note: Almost all of the below companies offer Desktop GIS and WebMap Server products. Some offer Spatial DBMS products as well. ToDo: rewrite, so that not products are mentioned but the product user groups i.e. application fields

Companies with High Market Share

Companies with Minor but Notable Market Share

Specialized Desktop GIS Providers

  • Elshayal Smart— The First Arabian Geographic Information System (GIS) Software
  • Axpand by Axes Systems - a software that includes automated generalization functions for cartographic production
  • Clarity by 1Spatial - a software that includes automated generalization functions for cartographic production
  • SavGIS : a free (but proprietary) and Desktop GIS available in 3 languages (English, French, Spanish) for Windows (XP, Vista), developed since 1984 by the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, a French public research institute ;
  • [VISION MapMaker]— A GIS widely used by State and National governments in India.
  • Site Recorder— The GIS for maritime archaeology

Spatial DBMS

  • Boeing's Spatial Query Server (Official Site) spatially enables Sybase ASE
  • Oracle Spatial – Product allows users to perform basic geographic operations and store common spatial data types in a native Oracle environment
  • IBM DB/2
  • SQL Server 2008

Spatial ETL Tools

Other GIS software providers

  • (to be filled with proposal from discussion page)
  • ...