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14 Free GIS Software program Options for 2023


 

How do corporations deal with challenges that span throughout varied areas and international locations?

In navigating these complexities, numerous organizations depend on geographical knowledge factors to drive choices that considerably influence our each day lives. For environment friendly assortment and evaluation of this knowledge, professionals usually flip to geographic data system (GIS) software program.

A GIS serves as pc software program designed to seize, analyze, and interpret geographical knowledge factors. This instrument seamlessly processes knowledge associated to positions on Earth’s floor, empowering professionals throughout various industries to optimize their operations.

Whereas varied free GIS software program choices can be found, deciding on essentially the most appropriate one can appear daunting. To simplify this course of, now we have compiled an inventory of the very best free GIS software program primarily based on genuine opinions from verified customers on G2.

Greatest free GIS software program

With many free GIS instruments out there available in the market at present, evaluating your particular necessities, desired options, and price is crucial earlier than deciding which one is best for you.

The listing under comprises actual consumer opinions. Within the context of this listing, distributors that supply a free trial are additionally thought-about free. 

To be included on this listing, the GIS software program will need to have at the least one of many following options:

  • Retailer, manage, edit, and analyze geographical knowledge
  • Embrace visualization capabilities to show geographical data
  • Both have GIS functionality or make the most of a GIS platform in its answer
  • Align and/or manipulate knowledge from maps and sources

*This knowledge was pulled from G2 in Fall 2023. Some opinions could have been edited for readability.

1. Google Earth Professional

Google Earth Professional, though not a full GIS instrument, offers a free platform for visualizing, assessing, and creating geospatial knowledge, with a user-friendly interface serving as an entry level for GIS exploration. Its world imagery database and 3D visualization capabilities allow fundamental spatial evaluation for customers of varied experience ranges.

What customers like greatest:

“Google Earth Professional’s high-resolution imagery facilitates exact website evaluation, whereas seamless GIS knowledge integration strengthens influence assessments. The 3D measurement function ensures correct quantification of potential results. Its video creation instruments and high-quality visuals streamline shows. Inside Environmental Influence Evaluation reviews, Google Earth Professional seamlessly combines superior functionalities with user-friendly design, enhancing effectivity and optimizing outcomes.”

Google Earth Professional Overview, Monika N.

What customers dislike:

Google Earth Professional necessitates a strong pc system with a quick processor, devoted graphics card, and ample RAM for seamless efficiency, particularly when dealing with giant datasets or intricate 3D fashions.

Google Earth Professional Overview, Anuradha P.

2. Esri ArcGIS

Esri ArcGIS gives a variety of capabilities and versatile licensing selections, integrating location-based analytics seamlessly into enterprise workflows. Its contextual instruments for knowledge visualization and evaluation foster collaborative efforts, enabling a complete strategy to organizational methods by way of customizable maps, functions, and dashboards.

What customers like:

“Having used Esri ArcGIS extensively, each on the general public (StoryMaps) and licensed sides, I discovered its operation no extra complicated than another graphics platform as soon as I grasped the fundamentals. ArcGIS StoryMaps includes a user-friendly interface, making it perfect for GIS newbies. Nevertheless, it shouldn’t be mistaken for Esri ArcGIS, an industry-grade instrument famend for its strong knowledge visualization by way of maps.”

Esri ArcGIS Overview, Jody T.

What customers dislike:

“I imagine the UI/UX might use some enchancment. It may be difficult to recall the exact sequence of buttons and choices required to finish a job. Enhancing the brand new consumer walk-through might doubtlessly alleviate this situation.”

Esri ArcGIS Overview, Cindear Z.

3. Google Maps API

Google Maps API gives builders a collection of instruments leveraging Google’s real-world insights, permitting the creation of immersive functions by way of options like Maps, Routes, and Locations, enabling the combination of real-time knowledge for enhanced location-based experiences.

What customers like:

“The Google Maps API grants entry to intensive mapping knowledge, together with detailed maps, satellite tv for pc imagery, and road view, whereas additionally offering builders with strong routing and instructions capabilities for calculating optimum routes between areas.”

Google Maps API Overview, Surinda A.

What customers dislike:

“I hope Google improves assist for low-end telephones. There’s a want for higher verification of locations, as I’ve come throughout inaccuracies in areas and locations.”

Google Maps API Overview, Rajiv Okay.

4. AutoCAD Map 3D® 

AutoCAD Map 3D® is specialised for mapping and infrastructure administration, with direct knowledge entry and industry-specific fashions, supporting customization and integration for builders of all ranges with its versatile programming language assist.

What customers like:

“The software program facilitates seamless integration of GIS knowledge by way of easy import and export features, enabling its use inside AutoCAD drawings. Moreover, it helps complicated knowledge evaluation capabilities.”

Autodesk Map 3D Overview, Shubham S.

What customers dislike:

“The educational curve is steep for these unfamiliar with Autodesk, making it much less appropriate for newbies or novices.”

Autodesk Map 3D Overview, Bharat Okay.

5. BatchGeo

BatchGeo is a web-based instrument facilitating fast map technology by simply plotting knowledge factors onto maps by way of knowledge integration with Google Maps, simplifying the mapping course of for customers by way of automated translation of supplied knowledge codecs.

What customers like:

“BatchGeo’s user-friendly interface makes it extremely simple to make use of. Importing a spreadsheet of names and addresses is seamless, and the fast technology of maps enhances the general expertise. The intuitive design additional contributes to its attraction.”

BatchGeo Overview, Derrek S.

What customers dislike:

“Some reporting options are restricted in relation to in-depth evaluation of batch geo-coded addresses. Increasing this performance would allow a extra complete understanding of our knowledge.”

BatchGeo Overview, Drew N.

6. ArcGIS Navigator

ArcGIS Navigator is a cell navigation software for field-based operations, providing a variety of world maps and customized map choices for environment friendly asset location and route planning, leveraging GIS expertise for enhanced performance.

What customers like:

“This software program is extremely highly effective, offering instruments for just about each conceivable job associated to geographical knowledge. It allows the creation of good maps and the administration of objects with any desired geographical location and attributes within the background.”

ArcGIS Navigator Overview, Ankit H.

What customers dislike:

“I counsel incorporating extra language choices throughout the software program. Whereas the out there tutorials and directions facilitate simple utilization, enhancements in language settings can be helpful.”

ArcGIS Navigator Overview, Juliana P.

7. Mapbox

Mapbox creates tailor-made on-line maps for varied functions, providing a complete vary of APIs and SDKs to develop customized maps for internet, cell, automotive, and augmented actuality functions, catering to various consumer wants and preferences.

What customers like:

“My latest expertise with Mapbox left me completely impressed with its capabilities. The platform’s flexibility, providing varied customization choices, enabled me to create project-specific maps effortlessly. The supply of pre-built map kinds facilitated the fast creation of professional-looking maps. Its user-friendly interface streamlined navigation by way of instruments and choices. Total, I extremely advocate Mapbox as a compelling and versatile map framework for builders and designers.”

Mapbox Overview, Thibault L.

What customers dislike:

“Mapbox’s pricing construction may benefit from enchancment, regardless of its beneficiant free tier and versatile plans. The scalability prices could elevate issues for customers, particularly companies with substantial mapping necessities.”

Mapbox Overview, Mayur J.

8. Google Locations

Google Locations showcases native enterprise listings in search outcomes, enhancing native visibility by way of detailed data and maps, serving as a useful instrument for companies concentrating on particular areas and native buyer bases.

What customers like:

“Google Locations offers complete enterprise data comparable to operation hours, contacts, opinions, and photographs, facilitating handy journey planning. Consumer-generated opinions supply useful insights into a spot’s popularity, aiding in decision-making. The seamless integration with Google Maps for instructions and dwell visitors updates additional enhances its usability.”

Google Locations Overview, Nusrat N.

What customers dislike:

“Based mostly on my expertise with the Google Locations API, it is important to notice a number of drawbacks and limitations. Inaccuracies in location knowledge can pose challenges for customers counting on exact data. Furthermore, the pricing construction may limit companies with excessive location-based question calls for. Whereas the API offers useful insights into buyer sentiment, it won’t supply a complete view of buyer habits. Due to this fact, it is essential to know these constraints earlier than closely counting on the Google Locations API.”

Google Locations Overview, Cassio B.

9. Google Beacon Plaftorm

Google Beacon makes use of Bluetooth low power (BLE) expertise to ship tailor-made messages to close by smartphones, enabling companies to interact prospects by way of focused advertising and marketing, promotions, and occasion bulletins, successfully bridging the digital and bodily realms.

What customers like:

“Allows beacon deployers to seamlessly combine varied options. Whereas outcomes could differ primarily based on software, the platform’s expansive capabilities facilitate streamlined integration of creativity and innovation.”

Google Beacon Plaftorm Overview, Chris B.

What customers dislike:

“Requires customers to allow location companies for gathering geographical data.”

Google Beacon Platform Overview, Ryan R.

10. Maptitude

Maptitude GIS and mapping software program offers you the instruments, maps, and knowledge it’s essential analyze and perceive how geography impacts you and your group. Maptitude is essentially the most succesful, least costly, full-featured mapping software program out there.

With Maptitude you possibly can create maps and map photos from spreadsheets and you may see exterior knowledge on the map from quite a lot of sources together with Google Maps KML/KMZ recordsdata. Designed for knowledge visualization and geographic evaluation, Maptitude comes with a complete library of maps and GIS knowledge to your nation.

What customers like:

“Maptitude is my best choice for knowledge evaluation and visualization. Its seamless knowledge import and export choices from varied platforms comparable to Google Earth, OpenStreetMap, Esri Form, MapInfo, GPS, AutoCAD, Excel, and Textual content, amongst others. Over my 13 years of use. I closely depend on it for drive time evaluation and optimizing supply routes, lowering prices, and offering exact directions to drivers.”

Maptitude Overview, Sheldon Neil C.

What customers dislike:

“Be ready for a studying curve; buying all the mandatory knowledge may take a while. Familiarizing oneself with the layers and processes is crucial, but the useful workers is at all times out there to offer steering. Moreover, there are quite a few YouTube tutorials that may assist within the studying course of.”

Maptitude Overview, Babir S.

11. Scribble Maps

Scribble Maps is an intuitive on-line GIS platform facilitating knowledge administration, route optimization, annotation, collaboration, and interactive map creation for various sectors, empowering customers to realize useful insights and make knowledgeable choices throughout industries.

What customers like:

“Scribble Maps stands out for its spectacular array of map kinds, providing customers entry to straightforward, satellite tv for pc, and topographical maps. This versatility caters to various wants, whether or not it is planning a memorable highway journey or optimizing supply routes for companies.”

Scribble Maps Overview, Manish Okay.

What customers dislike:

“Scribble Maps offers a complete vary of options, which can require some effort and time to completely grasp. For these unfamiliar with mapping software program, the preliminary studying curve may pose a problem in getting began.”

Scribble Maps Overview, Andrew W.

12. MapInfo Professional

MapInfo Professional simplifies the duties of capturing, managing, and visualizing location knowledge, enabling customers to uncover patterns and developments effectively, with a user-friendly interface and strong functionalities for complete spatial evaluation and visualization.

What customers like:

“This plotting and mapping instrument holds substantial attraction for Telecommunications engineers. I’ve relied on this instrument since 2007, and it has constantly delivered with out fail. Its fast processing capabilities permit for environment friendly plotting, processing, and show of various maps, providing a spectrum of thematic choices to vividly showcase websites and knowledge in varied codecs.”

MapInfo Professional Overview, Adnan A.

What customers dislike:

“MapBasic possesses vital energy, and its capability for automation is a main motive why my staff depends on it. Nevertheless, the MapBasic part inside MapInfo is progressively slowing down and encountering points, creating extra challenges than offering options. Pressing modernization is required to make sure its continued relevance and effectivity.”

MapInfo Professional Overview, Jonathan D.

13. QGIS

QGIS is a flexible and free cross-platform GIS software for viewing, enhancing, and analyzing geospatial knowledge, repeatedly developed by a world group, making it a preferred selection for mapping and geographic evaluation throughout varied fields.

What customers like:

“One of many standout options of QGIS is its standing as an open-source GIS platform. Familiarity with its plugin system could make it a handy and cost-effective various to pricier choices like ArcGIS. Set up is hassle-free with out the necessity for licensing, and it serves as a standalone software program, eliminating the requirement to handle completely different parts as is the case with ArcGIS, comparable to ArcMap, ArcCatalog, and ArcToolbox.”

QGIS Overview, Md Mehmud S.

What customers dislike:

“Sometimes, the appliance crashes when utilizing greater than three plugins, and there have been situations the place listing recordsdata failed to save lots of, leading to software program crashes. Moreover, it may be difficult at occasions to handle the software program on account of its dependency on the C drive path.”

QGIS Overview, Aishwarya S.

14. Citymapper

Citymapper offers complete transportation choices and real-time updates for city journey, integrating knowledge for varied modes of transportation to boost customers’ journey expertise and decision-making course of.

What customers like:

“In my opinion, the standout function is the appliance’s seamless integration with varied platforms like Uber for handy automobile rides, in addition to its compatibility with completely different city-specific apps. Furthermore, it gives a complete map of the world, guaranteeing even the best particulars are simply accessible.”

Citymapper Overview, Raghav Okay.

What customers dislike:

“CityMapper’s subscription service contains options such because the ‘Fewest Transfers’ operate, which goals to optimize journey routes with minimal transit adjustments. The app usually prioritizes the shortest distance, however the subscription provides a voice-guided navigation possibility. Customers have the flexibleness to make the most of Google Maps or different alternate options. Nevertheless, the present model doesn’t assist the direct buy of native transport tickets for particular cities, doubtlessly limiting some consumer preferences.”

Citymapper Overview, Ankit J.

You may ‘map’ it occur!

Some software program choices supply restricted capabilities without spending a dime accounts. Should you’re hoping to make use of one in every of these GIS options long-term, it’s greatest to discover what every paid providing contains as nicely. Don’t be afraid to check out a number of free accounts throughout a number of GIS platforms earlier than making a choice.

Transcend easy mapping. Study extra about spatial evaluation and its advantages.



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