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Portable GIS

What do you do when you need a GIS but for whatever reason you do not have access to a commercial GIS and you cannot install software on your computer? Use a portable application. Though there may be more portable GISs’ than I mention here, these are the ones I am familiar with.

qgis-icon-60x60QGIS is a cross platform GIS that currently runs on Windows, various flavors of Linux and the Mac. The program is small enough to fit on most USB drives, for a GIS on the go. This GIS allows users to create, view and edit many of the popular spatial file formats to include shp, PostGIS and Grass files. While it is no ArcGIS it does allow a user to perform most common spatial analysis such as buffer, difference, dissolve, union along with other basic functions. QGIS is open source and if one knows what they are doing they can modify the core program, create plugins and become a contributing member of the QGIS community.

sqliteSpatialLite while not a traditional GIS complete with a GUI, it is a SQLite (DBMS) extension that supports spatial data. I have very little experience with Spatialite, but from working through the tutorial it has the ability to import and export shp files, and perform basic spatial analysis. However, Spatialite is primarily a command driven program that is executed from the shell. The results can be exported to a shp file and viewed after the fact, but for instant results all you get is text. There seems to be some real potential here based on my limited exposure.

I wish there was more selection and more functionality than these aforementioned programs. However, they are free and they allow me to use a GIS where I otherwise would not be able to. Until the big commercial GIS vendors are willing to create a portable application (and cheaper) I have to use these types of applications.

  1. June 24, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    Um interessante projeto de “Portable Gis” foi comentado em:

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