[OSGeo-Discuss] Recent comparison of desktop GIS and image processing capability?
Tom_Roche at pobox.com
Fri May 13 20:25:33 PDT 2016
till.adams at fossgis.de 
Thanks for that: quite a detailed comparison of ArcGIS and QGIS, at least, and also has some interesting comments and pointers to books. This particular document is also archiveable, so I saved the most recent version. FWIW, the article ends by "netting out" thusly:
> GIS really comes down to just 4 simple ideas: Create geographic data. Manage it. Analyze it and… Display it on a map. These are the primordial functions and are served well in both GIS software.
> You can’t go wrong with either GIS mapping software – QGIS or ArcGIS.
> QGIS is free.
Note the (uncredited) authors hammer on ArcGIS about licensing, esp in their section#=7 (roughly a quarter of the way through the document), but they don't mention actual prices.
> It has multi-language support. It relies on volunteer efforts which is really good. It has huge support on stack exchange. The more you work in QGIS, the more hidden gems you find: interactive pivot tables with GroupStats, adding CSVs with simplicity and the stunning cartographical symobology and labeling options.
> ArcGIS is one of the best GIS investments you could ever make. It’s expandable. It has the biggest user community to find answers. It provides tutorials with sample data for you to get hands-on experience. Model builder and automation are top caliber. The specialty software in ArcGIS extension is also a thing of beauty.
> In the crudest terms, we’d rank it like this: ArcView < ArcEditor < QGIS < ArcInfo. ArcInfo is the victor. We've cut through the clutter and made ArcGIS and QGIS simpler for you. Now it's your turn. Where does ArcGIS triumph? Where does QGIS have an edge?
IMHO we/OSGeo/FOSS4G should be using these sorts of documents as a guide toward managing/investing development and marketing efforts; YMMV.
HTH, Tom Roche <Tom_Roche at pobox.com>
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