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

Helena Mitasova hmitaso at unity.ncsu.edu
Tue Dec 22 13:20:53 PST 2009

I have numerous examples of gis  tasks done side-by-side in GRASS and  
ArcGIS here:


The data for the examples are available as GRASS data location and  
ArcGIS geodatabase
(links on top of the document)
as well as in shape and ArcGRID format (I could not get all rasters  
convert correctly to GeoTIFF
at the time I was preparing the data) here

It certainly does not cover everything (especially vector data and  
database examples are very limited)
but there is plenty to show various aspects of GIS from simple display  
and visualization to complex

It would be interesting to see some of these examples done in other  
systems - we tried QGIS but that ended up
using GRASS plugin too much, so other more independent software would  
be more interesting.
I will be updating the material in next few months to capture the  
latest developments and plan
to add another course with examples in different software packages in  
I am sure there will be a lot of interest here to see how at least  
some of the tasks are executed
in MapWindows of gvSIG and also extension of this material to cover  
more vector / database
and image processing material.

Feel free to use the data, the examples are various modifications of  
the examples from the GRASbook,


Helena Mitasova
Associate Professor
Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
North Carolina State University
1125 Jordan Hall
NCSU Box 8208
Raleigh, NC 27695-8208

email: hmitaso at unity.ncsu.edu
ph: 919-513-1327 (no voicemail)
fax 919 515-7802

On Dec 22, 2009, at 3:19 PM, Stefan Steiniger wrote:

> 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:
> http://www.geo.uzh.ch/~sstein/finalpub/steiniger_geographic_information_tools_ecoinf2009.pdf
> stefan
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