GIS Software Comparison Matrix – A work in progress….

Crazy Ideas Create Crazy Solutions

Many moons ago, a few days after the ESRI UK User Conference I was chatting with @ElliotHartley about Open Source GIS systems and he mentioned that what the GIS community could really do with is some kind of comparison spreadsheet.

My first thought was that it would be a 2 minute job, surely somewhere there would be a spreadsheet comparing AT LEAST ArcGIS to a few other packages like Grass or QGIS right?….WRONG!! Try it yourself, this brought out the competitive nature in me and I started to build…..

Here is the Goods…with conditions

Through hours of trawling, I found a spreadsheet which was 2 or 3 years old and had most of the well known packages mentioned within it, here is the original, if anyone knows who the source is, it would be great to combine efforts. I updated the document as best I could and added formatting to show more relevant information to the expected audience to highlight pros, cons, open source & proprietary software.

GIS Software comparison matrix July 2013

Now I need your help!!

I would love for this matrix to become a useful resource for the GIS Beginner or a reference for the developer looking to extend the software tool set, to do this it would be great to receive some updates to the spreadsheet!

If you have any updates, such as another GIS which is missing off the list OR information about updated versions of the software I have listed OR if any of the information is incorrect, please let me know, take a copy of the spreadsheet, update it and send it back to me, I’ll make sure you are credited on the sheet.

Moving forward

Provided I get the feedback, I can see merit in ranking the software based on functionality and possibly even extending this further to rating based on the user type (Software suited to cartography, spatial analysis, 3D analysis, maritime analysis etc).


August 8th 2013

Thank you for the overwhelming response so far and suggestions on how to get the geo-community helping out even more. Following your kind words I have uploaded the GIS Software Matrix to Google Docs as a shared doc where it should be possible to go in and edit/update & even add information.


Lets build something that can really help the GIS community in getting the right software for the task in hand.


August 13th 2013

The kind people over at Manifold GIS have kindly added their software and it looks very competitive, lets keep the enthusiasm and add any other software to build a definitive list!!

Nick D


    1. Thanks Markus, I can see some minor updates in this newer version and will update accordingly, provided I don’t get any more current information in the meanwhile.

  1. Hi Nicholas… I have added GeoMedia to your matrix. I hope you and others find it useful. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.