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Library Resource Guide for: SPATIAL DATA AND GIS

GIS Software

There are many available types of GIS software that have been created in response to different spatial data manipulation needs. Some of this software is available on campus, while others may be purchased or downloaded for free for your individual data use. There are also a wide variety of plug-ins, viewers, and data manipulation tools available for exploration.

Major Software Packages have links to homepages and descriptions.

Additional GIS Resource Pages are sites with lots of information, as well as many plugins to explore and download.

Major Software Packages

Software Description


"an integrated collection of GIS software products" that includes ArcReader, ArcView, ArcEditor, ArcInfo, and ArcGis Extensions.


"DIVA-GIS is a free mapping program...particularly useful for mapping and analyzing biodiversity data, such as the distribution of species, or other 'point-distributions'."


"The Environment for Visualizing Images (ENVI) is a state-of-the-art image processing system designed to provide turn-key panchromatic, multispectral, and hyperspectral analysis of satellite and airborne remote sensing data as well as Radar image (SAR) processing."


"FWTools is a set of Open Source GIS binaries for Windows (win32) and Linux (x86 32bit) systems produced by me, Frank Warmerdam (ie. FW). The kits are intended to be easy for end users to install and get going with. No fudzing with building from source, or having to collect lots of interrelated packages. FWTools includes OpenEV, GDAL, MapServer, PROJ.4 and OGDI as well as some supporting components."


"designed to implement techniques for exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA) on lattice data (points and polygons). The free program provides a user friendly and graphical interface to methods of descriptive spatial data analysis, such as spatial autocorrelation statistics, as well as basic spatial regression functionality."


"The Geo-spatial interface for WEPP (GeoWEPP) utilizes digital geo-referenced information such as digital elevation models (DEM) and topographical maps to derive and prepare valid model input parameters and defaults to start site-specific soil and water conservation planning for a small watershed with a single soil and land use for each sub-catchment."


"GRASS (Geographic Resources Analysis Support System) is a raster/vector GIS, image processing system, and graphics production system. GRASS contains over 350 programs and tools to render maps and images on monitor and paper; manipulate raster, vector, and sites data; process multi spectral image data; and create, manage, and store spatial data."


"IDRISI Andes is an integrated GIS and Image Processing software solution providing over 200 modules for the analysis and display of digital spatial information" with "tools for land planning, decision support, and risk analysis are included side-by-side with tools for spatial statistics, surface analysis, and spatial modeling."


"ILWIS integrates image, vector and thematic data" and "delivers a wide range of feautures including import/export, digitizing, editing, analysis and display of data as well as production of quality maps."


"an integrated system that simultaneously works with vector drawings, satellite and aerial photos, other raster images, raster data, multichannel remote sensing images, 2D and 3D surfaces and terrain simulations, multilayered maps, user supplied or automatically generated labels and a vast range of database table formats."


offers a wide range of products that span from the general MapInfo Professional, which allows for easy to use mapping tools such as Voronoi, grid, and spider, which integrate information on human activities with information on location, to the specific StreetPro China, which provides data and mapping tools for China.

Maptitude Mapping Software

provides the user with the ability to make attractive and informative maps by allowing manipulation of map features such as color, symbol, and style.


"MICRODEM is a microcomputer mapping program" that "displays and merges digital elevation models, satellite imagery, scanned maps, vector map data, and GIS databases"

Quantum GIS

"Quantum GIS (QGIS) is a user friendly Open Source Geographic Information System (GIS) that runs on Linux, Unix, Mac OSX, and Windows. QGIS supports vector, raster, and database formats."


"a state-of-the-art GIS and remote sensing image processing system with an object-oriented data model which provides for the integration of raster and vector data representations in a single environment."


full line of products "for geographic information analysis (GIS), advanced image processing, CAD, desktop cartography, electronic atlas preparation, and other spatial database management and visualization applications" with both purchaceable and free forms of the software.


"National Geographic's TOPO! Pro series is developed especially for both GIS Professionals and non-professionals." "With TOPO!, you can create instant elevation profiles, add your own routes and symbols, upload/download GPS waypoints, print customized maps, and more."

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Additional GIS Resource Pages

ArcGIS Download from Brown Computing and Information Services allows all Brown users on-campus access to parts of the ArcGIS package that require a licence purchace.

FreeGIS is constantly updated with new free GIS programs and plugins.

GeoCommunity-Software has software downloads and information as well as discussion boards, reviews, and a connection to the greater GeoCommunity website.

GIS Development - Free Software Downloads is an extensive download, link, and information site.

MapCruzin is another website that provides links to several free software programs and information.

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