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Random GIS stuff

2012-01-17 12:38:21.940441+00 by Dan Lyke 1 comments

[ related topics: Free Software Software Engineering Astronomy Current Events Graphics Mathematics Maps and Mapping Java ]

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#Comment Re: made: 2012-01-17 15:52:45.481589+00 by: ebradway

Must avoid inane Slashdot discussion... must avoid Slashdot... Must write dissertation...

Some quick thoughts:

The National Map and National Atlas provide a wide array of public domain data. Natural Earth's landscape layer is gorgeous though. It is heavily hand-tweaked. You won't get anything that comprehensive, that beautiful out of USGS (we're only funded to map the US and territories).

The UN keeps a pretty good list of global data sources.

I like uDig's user interface better than QGIS but QGIS is quickly becoming the dominant open source desktop GIS because of it's comprehensiveness. I used to use OpenJump for quick-and-dirty vector data exploration. I'd say if you are doing lots of stuff in Eclipse or you want to build or extend a GIS in Eclipse, uDIG is the natural starting place. If you are doing general spatial stuff in Java, OpenJump (or just Jump) is where you want to be. If you are doing anything else with any other language, QGIS is the best fit (it even has a built-in Python environment).

Of course, I tend to fall back in to ArcGIS because, despite all it's huge short-coming, it is the most comprehensive desktop GIS available. ESRI even has has .