FOS Desktop GIS notes


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FOS Desktop GIS notes

  1. 1. Steininger & Bocher: An Overview on Current Free and Open Source Desktop GIS Developments Atle F. Sveen 6. november 2008 1 Agenda • Define what “Free” and “Open Source” software is • Some background on Free GIS Software • The article presents 10 Desktop GIS Projects, we look closer at 5 of them With examples and screenshots • Discuss some advantages and disadvantages of FOS GIS 2 Free/Open Source Software The four freedoms: 1. Run 2. study and adapt 3. redistribute 4. improve and redistribute improvements i.e. The source code must be available. Free as in speach, not beer! • The FSF (Free Software Foundation) → Ideological • The OSI (Open Source Initiative) → Open Source as a brand • All FOSS licenses approved by both (technically: no diff Proprietary Software: Non-free (pay for use) 1
  2. 2. 5 FOS GIS SOFTWARE 3 Licenses • FOSS have licenses to stop companies from taking control over the code. • Viral licenses: all derivatives must use same license (GPL) • Corporate style: Aimed at companies reserving some rights (Mozilla) • Academic style: Use at own will (BSD) 4 Organisations • OSGeo: Open Source Geospatial Foundation • funded 2006 • hosts projects • journal, conferences (FOSS4G) etc vs. • OGC: Open Geospatial Consortium • NOT about FOSS • open standards 5 FOS GIS Software • Group on usage library (GDAL, GeoTools) DB (PostGIS) Web server (Geoserver, Mapserver) desktop (GRASS, qGis) • Group on programming language (C++ / Java) • Group on foundation and maintenance (Commercial companies, enthusiasts, research) 2
  3. 3. 8 PROJECTS EVALUATED 6 Desktop GIS What is a Desktop GIS? • personal computer • display • query • update • analyze 7 Evaluation Criteria • Focus on a subset of criteria Long Term Current State • will summarize these 8 Projects Evaluated • We focus on 5 of these GRASS qGIS uDig OpenJUMP OrbisGIS 3
  4. 4. 10 QUANTUM GIS 9 GRASS Geographic Resources Analysis Support System • Developed in the 80’s by US Army • Alternative to Esri ARCINFO • raster analysis • programmed in C • sponsorship ended in 90’es, released under GPL in 1999 • Advanced UNIX GUI • large user base FACTS: OS ALL language C, Tcl/Tk, python, shell scripting license GPL 10 Quantum GIS • Easy to use and fast data viewer • heavy use of plugins • large user base FACTS: OS ALL language C++, Qt4, Python license GPL 4
  5. 5. 12 JUMP AND OPENJUMP FAMILY 11 uDig User-Friendly Desktop Internet GIS • Web-focused (data from DB’s over Internet) • Comercially sponsored (Refractions) • Uses the Eclipse platform • Front-end for PostGIS? • large community, good documentation FACTS: OS ALL language JAVA license LGPL (eclipse is EPL) 12 JUMP and OpenJUMP family Open Java Unified Mapping Platform • Initiated by Canadian companies and ministeries in 2002 • Focused on data editing • lost financial support • lots of forks emerged • rather small community • some lack of documentation FACTS: OS Linux, Windows (maybe OS X??) language JAVA license GPL 5
  6. 6. 15 DISADVANTAGES 13 OrbisGIS • First public version in Jan 2008 • Developed by a french research institute • targets GIS analysts and researchers • Started as they found that none of the existing JAVA projects met their requirements (stability and extensibility) • features Basic viewing and querying of vector and raster data FACTS: OS ALL language JAVA license GPL 14 Advantages • No license fees • Support of standards (OGC) and used formats (Shapefiles) important • From a university perspective: Helps learning (free to try) No re-inventing the wheel 15 Disadvantages • Training costs • Installation know-how • Limited documentation • Lack of continuity and long-term planning • Maybe no or little support • From a university perspective: Companies biased 6
  7. 7. 16 CONCLUSIONS 16 Conclusions • GIScience research early adopters • Best for research! 7