[OSGeo-Discuss] Can I do the same GIS tasks with OS (as with ESRI)?

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Thu Apr 24 18:34:56 PDT 2008

Joanne Cook provided good insights into replacing ArcGIS software with 
Open Source on the geowanking list recently. 
http://lists.burri.to/pipermail/geowanking/2008-April/005117.html (and 
copied below)

I'd love to see all this expertise collated into an ESRI/Open Source 
comparison similar to the review of the Open Source clients at: 
Such a comparison could the be used to drive Migration to Open Source 
plans and package development (as sponsors decide it is cheaper to add 
their key features to Open Source than to go for a full ESRI license).

Has anyone started such comparisons yet that we could build upon?
Would this be best developed as a wiki book?

Joanne Cook wrote:
> Hi Cameron,
> We (Oxford Archaeology) are going through exactly that process at the moment, although we are replacing arcgis 9.2 rather than arcview. We are doing this primarily because changes in the licensing terms meant that we were no longer eligible for the educational discount, but it's part of a longer term move towards open source. We have spent some time investigating alternatives, and have a few contenders, and I'm sure we would be happy to advise, or provide a case study on this. 
> Basically we are looking at gvsig and qgis as the main options- gvsig because it can use cad data, and qgis because we like the grass integration and it's slightly more user-friendly for english speakers (the translated version of gvsig still has some spanish bits in it). With slight changes to our work-flows, we are finding that these two packages will do almost everything we need a gis to do, with the exception of producing high-quality illustrations. To achieve this we are currently looking at export to svg or postscript for final editing in inkscape, but that's a work in progress.

George R. C. Silva wrote:
> Im a real novice in the OS world, and i´m enjoying. I´m liking what i 
> see!
> ESRI has good software, but the world of OS is just great and i love 
> the flexibility i have.
> One thing GIS OS software could have are better editing tools. I do 
> miss them alot, and the one is ArcGIS are unbeatable (i dont know any 
> O.S. software that have 'autocomplete polygon', tons of snapping 
> options, etc - btw, if you do, let me know).
> FOSS is great, but it lacks (IMHO) better editing options.
> 2cents
> George Silva
> David William Bitner escreveu:
>> I would agree with Paul.  The biggest hole in the FOSS stack is in 
>> easy, high quality printed map production.  This is the one task 
>> where the Arc tools beat anything I have seen in FOSS GIS hands down.
>> David
>> On Thu, Apr 24, 2008 at 3:36 PM, Paul Ramsey 
>> <pramsey at cleverelephant.ca <mailto:pramsey at cleverelephant.ca>> wrote:
>>     I'd buck up for a copy of ArcView (much cheaper than ArcGIS), and 
>> use
>>     GRASS / PostGIS / etc tools for things like analysis. You can use
>>     ArcView to generate the paper and do some quick low-end analytics 
>> and
>>     the other tools for more involved stuff.
>>     My general synopsis: for server-side, for scriptability, for
>>     automation, for web-based, open source wins for most use cases, 
>> given
>>     a technically savvy user; for ad hoc, for cartographic 
>> production, for
>>     a user who is used to a point-n-click experience end to end,
>>     proprietary still wins.
>>     This equation hasn't changed much in the 10 years I've been running
>>     it. The goal posts have moved, open source is better at adhoc now 
>> than
>>     before, but still not at the level of ESRI, and ESRI is better at 
>> the
>>     server stuff now, but still not at the level of open source.
>>     P.
>>     On Thu, Apr 24, 2008 at 12:41 PM, Jennifer Horsman
>>     <jen at jencarta.com <mailto:jen at jencarta.com>> wrote:
>>     > The thread that was started today with the subject "Your open
>>     source career"
>>     > got me thinking about asking a question that has been rolling
>>     around in my
>>     > head. This is pointed at those people who have experience with
>>     ESRI products
>>     > as well as OS GIS products.
>>     >
>>     >  I have been a long-time user of ESRI products, but I want to
>>     start my own
>>     > contract business and will not be able to afford the license for
>>     > ArcGIS/ArcInfo. So I recently set up a Linux box with GRASS
>>     installed, but
>>     > it has been over 10 years since I have used GRASS (it has
>>     probably changed
>>     > since then too!)
>>     >
>>     >  Does GRASS have the same analysis and display capabilities as
>>     ArcGIS? I
>>     > know this is a very general question, so perhaps another
>>     question would be
>>     > where does GRASS fall short and where does it excel in
>>     comparison to the
>>     > ESRI products?
>>     >
>>     >  Thanks,
>>     >  Jennifer
>>     >
>>     >
>>     >
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>> -- 
>> ************************************
>> David William Bitner
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Cameron Shorter
Geospatial Systems Architect
Tel: +61 (0)2 8570 5050
Mob: +61 (0)419 142 254

Think Globally, Fix Locally
Commercial Support for Geospatial Open Source Solutions

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