What is GIS ?

GIS softwares are categorized into commercial or proprietary, open source software and other GIS softwares. GIS stands for Geographical Information System. Following section lists GIS solution providers and GIS software companies.

• It is business information management system which helps to capture, analyze and represent spatial information on a map.
• GIS software runs on computers ranging from powerful server to software on the mobile phone.
• GIS tools help to visualize geographic data as maps, graphs or charts. Hence patterns and trends can easily be identified unlike spreadsheets.
• There are three common representations of spatial data used in GIS viz. vector, raster and triangulated. Each of these are used for particular kinds of information and their analysis.

GIS-Geographical Information System

GIS is used for following applications.
• land use planning
• landscape assessment and planning
• transportation and infrastructure planning
• market analysis
• facilities management
• real estate analysis
• used by police to discover patterns in crimes
• used by retailers to find appropriate place for their proposed stores
• used by utility companies for power outages
• used by conservation orgnizations for prediction of global warming effects

GIS software companies | GIS Solution providers

Following tables 1 to 3 mentions list of software companies with their different types of GIS products or solutions.

Commercial or proprietary GIS software

Following table-1 mentions list of GIS solution providers who have developed commercial or proprietary GIS softwares.

Company commercial GIS Software description
ESRI GIS software products include ArcMap, ArcView 3.x, ArcGIS, ArcSDE, ArcIMS, ArcWeb etc.
Autodesk Mapguide product which interfaces with AutoCAD software package.
Cadcorp The company is developer of GIS software and OpenGIS standard.
Intergraph GIS software products include GeoMedia, GeoMedia Professional, GeoMedia WebMap.
Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging ERDAS Imagine is a proprietary GIS software. It is also used for remote sensing, photogrammetry.
SuperGeo Products are superGIS desktop and extensions, SuperPad Suite, SuperWebGIS and extensions, SuperGIS Engine and extensions, SuperGIS network server and GIS services.
Clark Labs IDRISI - A proprietary GIS product
Microsoft The company has developed MapPoint a proprietary GIS product.
MapInfo Products include MapInfo Professional and MapXtreme. Integrates GIS software, data and services
Caliper Products include Maptitude, TransCAD, TransModeler. Develops GIS and only GIS for transportation.
STAR-APIC European GIS developer, offers GIS products, Spatial data servers, GIS based business solutions etc.
CARIS GIS systems for hydrography and cadastral systems.
GMS 3D environment for building geologic and groundwater models.
Oracle The company offers "Oracle Spatial" which allows users to perform basic geographic operations and store common spatial data types in a native oracle environment.
Safe Software SPatial ETL products which include FME, spatialDirect, ArcGIS etc.
TatukGIS Products include GIS development toolkit, internet Map server, GIS editor, Free GIS viewer, Aerial Imagery Corrector.
Axes Systems Axpand - A proprietary GIS cartography product. It consists of modules for data import/export, automatic generalization, visualization, on screen editing, pre-print configuration etc.

Open source GIS software

Following table-2 mentions list of GIS software companies who have developed open source GIS softwares.

Company/Product open source GIS Software description
US Army corps of engineers developed GRASS
University of Minnesota Developed "Mapserver" which is web based mapping server
GeoTools It is open source GIS toolkit developed using Java which uses open geospatial consortium specifications.
gvSIG It is also open source GIS developed in Java.
ILWIS This product integrates image, vector and thematic data.
MapWindow GIS It is free, open source GIS desktop application and programming component.
MetaCarta Developed "OpenLayers" which is an open source AJAX library for accessing geographical data layers of all kinds.
Quantum GIS (QGIS) It is user friendly open source GIS which runs on Linux, Unix, Mac OSX and windows.
TerraView This GIS desktop handles vector and raster data stored in a relational and geo-relational database.

Other GIS software companies

Following table-3 mentions list of other GIS softwares.

Company/Tool GIS Softwares
DDTI Developed "AccuGlobe" which is a fully functional GIS and geoanalysis software platform for windows. It is available free of charge but it is not open source.
A-prime Software Developed Crossview which is wizard based ArcGIS Plug-in.
Telogis Developed "GeoBase" which is geospatial platform. real-time processing for reverse-geocoding, geofencing etc. can be done.
INPE Developed GIS software called SPRING
SavGIS Free and complete GIS software available in french, english, spanish.
OpenStreetMap Online map viewer with map editing capability.

Conclusion : The table mentions few examples of GIS software companies. The GIS industry is continually evolving and there are many other regional and specialized players in the market as well. It's recommended to analyze and evaluate the specific needs before selecting a GIS solution provider.

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