[OSGeo-Discuss] Re: Will there be an OSGeo Desktop shootout atFOSS4G 2010?

Stefan Steiniger sstein at geo.uzh.ch
Tue Dec 22 12:19:24 PST 2009

Hei Dan,

thanks for the thoughts - I like them too and thats what I see too.. we 
need not only to bring up the highlights between FOSGIS but even more to 
convince people to eventually have a look on FOSGIS by comparing it to 
ESRIs desktop software, since they have set a bit the standards (at 
least for teaching higher level geography GIS courses).

But two notes: I doubte that ESRI has 80% because this would mean the 
utility market is not considered. And I think one talks here more about 
ESRI in a gegraphical analysis perspective. While I am not sure what the 
average GIS user actually does (i.e. How many do queries, do editing, do 
"real" analysis?).

I like your subquestions - and allow me to add comments :)
> And the three main sub-questions are:
> Can I open the same files?
well.. on the c-tribe side yes thanks to Gdal/OGR? But i would restrict 
to core file types (shp, dxf, mif, raster stuff)

> Can I make the same maps?
uuhmmm - not yet, but...?

> Can I do the same analyses?
With Sextante probably yes, now.

> Can I teach the same lessons?
Ahh.. that hits a point. As we need to tell students about "this open 
source stuff". I actually plan to check out the next days if I can 
replace some arcgis analysis tools with sextante for a course.

So maybe we check what is taugth in the GIS core curriculum?

> Something like the MS thesis about GRASS and ArcGIS that was mentioned, 
> but web-based and updated by the various project members. 

Sounds good and its great if you would have even student resources.
I actually tried to do such comparison already in my second publication 
on GIS in landscape ecology and in my last talks - my result was: Most 
of the FOS desktop GIS are on the ArcView level and a bit beyond, but we 
can not compete with ArcInfo (leave a side the need for an easy map 
making tool - not sure how good the last QGIS tool is). So by now I see 
our chance in providing "specialist" tools for target groups that are 
either too small for ESRI, Pitney Bowes & Intergraph & Co to be ever 
included in their official distribution or that may be to expensive to 
be bought as extension for some (I remember a friend who once needed 
Maplex for labeling but not the rest of ArcGIS ArcInfo analysis 
features). And we would need to highlight which whose things are.

here a link to that pub:


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