Blog cartografía Diva GIS FalconView free GIS free software GeoDa GRASS GIS gvsig ilwis INFO mapa MapWindow OpenJump OrbisGIS qgis SAGA GIS uDig Whitebox GAT

The 13 free GIS software options

Ancient temple of Karnak in Luxor, Egypt

The free GIS software provides the firepower to do the job as if it have been working with business GIS software.

We’ve got charted the GIS software landscape, but these 13 (out of 30) reign supreme for free mapping software.

1. QGIS – Formerly Quantum GIS

After the epic battle of GIS software in the historical past of GIS between ArcGIS and QGIS, we illustrate with 27 variations why QGIS is undoubtedly the primary free GIS software package deal.

QGIS is filled with hidden jewels at your fingertips. For example, you’ll be able to automate map production, process geospatial knowledge and generate cartographic figures value seeing.

There isn’t a different free map software on this record that permits you to make maps like a rock star than QGIS.

The QGIS plugins drive this mapping software to an epic state. If the device does not exist, search for a plugin developed by the QGIS group.

The effort of the volunteers is the important thing to their success. The help of QGIS in Stack Trade is spectacular.

In case you are still in search of free GIS software, it will be loopy to not download the free GIS QGIS software.

In February 2018, QGIS three brings a new set of mapping, 3D and evaluation instruments.

2. gvSIG

In 2004, the gvSIG undertaking emerged as a free and open supply software choice in Spain.


gvSIG really beats QGIS 2 for 3D. It truly is the perfect 3D visualization out there in open supply GIS.

The NavTable is agile within the sense that it permits you to view the data one after the other vertically.

CAD instruments are awesome in gvSIG. Because of OpenCAD instruments, you’ll be able to draw geometries, edit vertices, snap and cut up strains and polygons.

When you need GIS in your mobile phone, gvSIG Cellular is perfect for area work because of its interface and GPS instruments.

three. Whitebox TAG

Sure, Whitebox GAT (Geospatial Evaluation Toolbox) is number three in the record of free open source software and GIS.

Whitebox GAT

Extremely, Whitebox GAT has only existed since 2009 as a result of it feels so properly adjusted once you see it in motion.

There’s a hydrology challenge across the Whitebox TAG. It truly changed the Terrain Evaluation System (TAS), a device for hydrogeomorphic purposes.

Whitebox GAT can be a full open entry software package deal for GIS and distant sensing.

Where it shines is in LIDAR!

With out obstacles, Whitebox GAT is the Swiss knife of LiDAR knowledge.

The LiDAR toolbox is a life saver. For example, LAS to shapefile is an extremely useful gizmo. But you might want a Java update to go full velocity.

Cartographic mapping software instruments are primitive in comparison with QGIS.

However generally Whitebox GAT is strong with greater than 410 instruments for trimming, converting, analyzing, managing, buffering and extracting geospatial info.

I discover it unimaginable that this free GIS software is hardly recognized in the GIS business.

Get extra useful info from the Whitebox GAT open supply weblog.

four. SAGA GIS

SAGA GIS (System for Automated Geoscientific Analyzes) is likely one of the classics on the planet of free GIS software.


It started primarily for terrain analysis, comparable to hill shading, river basin extraction and visibility analysis.

Now, SAGA GIS is a power as a result of it gives a set of fast-growing geoscience strategies to the geoscience group.

Allow a number of home windows to present all of your evaluation (map, histograms, scatter plots, attributes, and so on.). It offers an easy-to-use graphical consumer interface and API.

It isn’t notably useful in cartography, however it’s a lifeline in terrain evaluation.

Closing gaps in raster knowledge units is straightforward. The morphometry instruments are unique, together with the SAGA topographic humidity index and the topographic position classification. In case you have a DEM, and also you don't know what to do with it – you NEED to see the SAGA GIS.

Usually, it’s fast, reliable and accurate. Think about SAGA GIS as the best choice for environmental modeling and other purposes.


GRASS GIS (Geographic Assets Analysis Help System) was developed by the USA Military Corps of Engineers as a software for land management and environmental planning.


It has develop into a free GIS software choice for different areas of research.

Academia, environmental consultants and government businesses (NASA, NOAA, USDA and USGS) use GRASS GIS on account of its intuitive graphical consumer interface and reliability.

It has greater than 350 vector manipulation tools and rasters.

Not very helpful in cartographic design, GRASS GIS excels primarily as a free GIS software choice for analysis, picture processing, digital terrain manipulation and statistics.

6. MapWindow

In 2000, MapWindow was a proprietary GIS software. Nevertheless, it has been opened by means of a contract with the US EPA. referred to as “Basins.” At this level, the source code was released to the public.


Now that MapWindow 5 has been released, it surprisingly has an excellent impression. For example, MapWindow does roughly 90% of what GIS users need – map viewer, function identification, processing tools and print design.

It has greater degree instruments akin to TauDEM for the automatic delineation of river basins. While HydroDesktop for discovering, downloading, viewing and modifying knowledge, DotSpatial for GIS programmers. As well as, it has an extensible plugin structure for personalisation.


GIS free software customers rejoice. As soon as the business GIS software, it now turned an open supply GIS. ILWIS (Built-in Management of Land and Water Info) is previous but good.


The ILWIS, extinction proof, is a free GIS software for planners, biologists, water administrators and geospatial customers. ILWIS is sweet at the fundamentals – digitize, edit and show geographic knowledge. In addition, it’s also used for distant sensing with picture classification tools, improvements and spectral band manipulation.

Over time, help for time collection, evaluation and animation has improved. General, I discovered it troublesome to do a few of the basic items, like including layers. Nevertheless, the documentation is complete with a fairly acceptable follow-up for use.

8. GeoDa

GeoDa is a free GIS software program that’s mainly used to introduce new customers in spatial knowledge analysis. Its primary performance is the exploration of knowledge in statistics.


One of the crucial pleasant issues about this is the way it comes with sample knowledge so you may give a check drive. From simple box charts to regression statistics, GeoDa has an entire arsenal of statistics to do virtually something spatially.

Its consumer base is robust. For example, Harvard, MIT and Cornell universities have adopted this free GIS software to function a clean introduction to spatial evaluation for customers who don’t use GIS. From economic improvement to health and actual property, it has additionally been used as an thrilling analysis in laboratories.

9. uDig

uDIG is an acronym that will help you higher perceive what this free GIS software is about.


  • u stands for a user-friendly interface.
  • D means desktop (desktop, on Windows, Mac or Linux). You’ll be able to run uDIG on a Mac.
  • I represents the Internet-oriented consumption normal (WMS, WFS or WPS)
  • G means GIS-ready for complicated analytical capabilities.

If you begin researching in uDig, it’s a good choice of open source GIS software for primary mapping. uDig’s Mapnik lets you import base maps with the identical melody as ArcGIS

Specifically, it’s straightforward to use, the Mac OS catalog, symbology and performance are a few of the strengths. Nevertheless it has restricted instruments and errors lavatory it down to actually use it as a very full and free GIS software package deal.

10. OpenJump

Beforehand JUMP GIS, OpenJump GIS (JAVA Unified Mapping Platform) began as a first-class merger challenge. He succeeded. However over time it turned one thing much greater. Because of how his great group effort grew, OpenJUMP turned a extra complete free GIS software package deal.


Considered one of its strengths is the way it handles giant knowledge units properly. The rendering is above common with a variety of mapping options. For example, you possibly can generate pie charts, diagrams and maps of choropleths.

OpenJUMP GIS plugins improve their capabilities. There are plugins for modifying, raster, printing, net processing, spatial analysis, GPS and databases. Knowledge convergence is an alternative choice with rather more of its plugins.

11. Diva GIS

Biologists who use GIS be a part of! This specializes within the mapping of organic wealth and the distribution of variety, including DNA knowledge.

Diva GIS

Diva GIS is one other free GIS software package deal for mapping and analyzing knowledge. Diva GIS additionally supplies free and useful GIS knowledge every single day on your mapping wants.

It’s potential to extract climatic knowledge for all places on earth. From here, there are statistical analyzes and modeling methods to work with.

For the biologist in you, it's value it to search for biologists from around the globe. In any other case, you have to be taking a look at one of many options above.

12. FalconView

The preliminary objective of FalconView is to be a free and open source GIS software.
Georgia Tech constructed this open software to point out numerous kinds of geographically referenced maps and overprints.


Now, most FalconView users come from america Department of Protection and other national geospatial intelligence businesses. It’s because it can be used for planning fighter flights.

In SkyView mode, you’ll be able to fly even using MXD information. It helps numerous forms of display reminiscent of elevation, satellite, LiDAR, KMZ and MrSID.

13. OrbisGIS

OrbisGIS is a work in progress. Its goal is to be a multiplatform open source GIS software package deal designed by and for analysis.


It supplies some GIS methods to manage and share spatial knowledge. OrbisGIS is capable of processing vector and rasterized knowledge models.

You possibly can execute processes resembling noise maps or hydrology processes without the necessity for add-ons. Orbis GIS plug-ins can be found however are very restricted in the intervening time.

The builders are still engaged on the documentation. Chances are you’ll need to look elsewhere until this undertaking becomes resilient.

Listing of free GIS software

As we’ve got shown, there’s a whole lot of free GIS software that you are able to do:

  • Perform a whole lot of superior GIS processing tasks.
  • Generate spectacular cartographic and cartographic products.
  • Handle your company's geospatial belongings efficiently.

Now you’ve got a better view of the free GIS software out there for use.

Translated from: gisgeography