GIS Software

This guide provides an overview of the main categories of GIS software, including desktop, web, mobile, open source, server, cloud, specialized tools, and programming libraries. 

Desktop GIS Software

  • ArcGIS: A comprehensive suite of tools for mapping and spatial analysis by Esri, widely used in various industries for its robust features and extensive support.
  • QGIS: An open-source GIS platform that provides powerful tools for data visualization, editing, and analysis. It's known for its extensibility and active community support.

Web GIS Software

  • ArcGIS Online: Esri's cloud-based GIS platform that enables users to create, share, and analyze maps and data online.
  • Mapbox: A versatile platform for building custom maps and spatial applications, known for its high-quality map tiles and developer-friendly APIs.
  • Google Earth Engine: A cloud-based platform for planetary-scale environmental data analysis, offering extensive datasets and powerful computational capabilities.
  • Leaflet: A widely-used open-source JavaScript library for creating interactive maps for web applications.

Mobile GIS Software

  • ArcGIS Field Maps: A mobile app by Esri that combines data collection and editing, navigation, and map viewing for field workers.
  • Collector for ArcGIS: Another Esri mobile app focused on data collection in the field, allowing users to capture accurate data and update maps in real-time.

Open Source GIS Software

  • QGIS: An open-source GIS platform that provides a wide range of tools for spatial data analysis and visualization, with a strong community and extensive plugin ecosystem.
  • GRASS GIS: An open-source GIS used for geospatial data management and analysis, image processing, and spatial modeling, known for its powerful analytical capabilities.
  • GDAL/OGR: A library for reading and writing raster and vector geospatial data formats, widely used in open-source and commercial GIS applications.
  • GeoServer: An open-source server for sharing geospatial data, enabling users to publish data from any major spatial data source using open standards.
  • MapServer: An open-source platform for publishing spatial data and interactive mapping applications on the web.

Server GIS Software

  • ArcGIS Enterprise: A comprehensive server-based GIS platform by Esri that allows organizations to manage and share geographic data and services.
  • GeoServer: An open-source server for sharing geospatial data, enabling users to publish data from any major spatial data source using open standards.
  • MapServer: An open-source platform for publishing spatial data and interactive mapping applications on the web.

Cloud GIS Software

  • Google Earth Engine: Provides access to a vast archive of satellite imagery and geospatial datasets, along with computational power for large-scale analysis.
  • Carto: A cloud-based platform that allows users to create and share spatial data visualizations and perform advanced spatial analysis.

Specialized GIS Software

  • ENVI: A software application for processing and analyzing geospatial imagery, widely used in remote sensing applications.
  • Erdas Imagine: A remote sensing application for processing raster data and performing advanced image analysis.
  • CityEngine: A 3D modeling software by Esri used for urban planning and architectural design, known for its procedural modeling capabilities.

GIS Programming Libraries

  • GDAL/OGR: A robust library for handling raster and vector data formats, essential for developers working with geospatial data.
  • PostGIS: A spatial database extender for PostgreSQL, enabling advanced spatial queries and data management.
  • Leaflet: A widely-used open-source JavaScript library for creating interactive maps for web applications.