GIS is expensive. Is it ?!
Previously, when people think about GIS is always related to exclusiveness with highly budget to invest. It was true in the past when we have to spend thousand dollars for the software itself. However, everything related to technology is getting cheaper now. Furthermore, the development of opensource software has delivered huge opportunity for many organizations especially in developing countries to grasp the potential value of spatial data. Through the present of the opensource is really reduce the “digital divide”. In this article, I would like to review two free, opensource software which is useful to spatially enabled society.
Firstly, in the field of GIS, we introduce Geographic Resources Analysis Support System, which referred to as GRASS GIS and originally developed by U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratories. Now, GRASS already used by academic, commercial setting, and many governmental agencies and organization. I have download the software here (Quantum GIS 0.10.0) and explore some of the capabilities. Generally, it has basic GIS tools including display, zoom, editing, import, export. Also, it can handle the several type of GIS vector format: SHP, MIF, even GML and raster format: TIFF, IMG, DEM. The interesting one is that Quantum GIS also has ability to display WMS layer from other server which is useful to combine data from several sources. This software also designed to be installed in different Operating System: Windows, Linux, Max. Also, there are some source codes which can be downloaded for further customization for advanced users. So, this software is recommended for both beginners as well as advance users.
The second opensource software is TNTlite which is concern with the field of remote sensing. TNTlite is one of the products of MicroImages. In the TNTlite, there are 5 program: TNTmips (for image processing), TNTedit (import/export/editing geodata), TNTview (visualising and interpreting), TNTatlas (publishing), TNTsim3D (flying 3D). You can download this software through this link. I have downloaded, install, and explore the tools. Basically, it has the main ability of what remote sensing software usually has. It is including image displaying, image rationing, enhancement (convolution), rectification, image classification (supervised/unsupervised and feature mapping), and other capabilities as well. It is brilliant resource for beginners as well as advanced users to improve their skills. It is different with Quantum GIS which you don’t need to register for the key; here you should do that for installation.
This is just two examples of free GIS software which can be used to enhance spatial awareness. I hope public will take advantage of opensource software for their benefit. So, have fun with GIS, Guys…!!!