How to access free GIS software

  • Indiana University's software and license agreement with Esri allows students to receive free student versions of ArcGIS software. The agreement also allows faculty, staff, and departments to purchase ArcGIS software at reduced prices from UITS. For more, see ArcGIS availability at IU.
  • ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Pro are available for use in Windows-based Student Technology Centers (STCs) at IU Bloomington and IUPUI, and in select departmental labs; they also are available via IUanyWare. Additionally, IU students, faculty, and staff can create ArcGIS Online accounts, enabling web-based access to ArcGIS tools from their desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones; for more, see Create an account for ArcGIS Online at IU.

Many GIS and spatial data tools are available without fee to the general public. Following is a short list of applications UITS recommends:

  • GIS applications:
    • AccuGlobe is an easy-to-use tool designed for developing, editing, and viewing GIS data. Custom extensions to expand upon the core, as well as plug-ins that add functionality to the core application, are also available.
    • GeoVIEW-3D provides an object-oriented approach to 3D visualization, process modeling, and simulation.
    • Geographic Resources Analysis Support System (GRASS) handles geospatial data management and analysis, image processing, graphics/maps production, spatial modeling, and 3D visualization.
    • Open Source Software Image Map (OSSIM) is a high-performance software system for remote sensing, image processing, geographical information systems, and photogrammetry. It is written in C++, employing the latest techniques in object-oriented software design. A number of command-line utilities, GUI tools and applications, and integrated systems have been implemented with the baseline. Many of those tools and applications are included with the software releases.
    • QGIS is the leading open source desktop GIS. QGIS runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux environments.
    • Unidata is a diverse community of over 250 institutions vested in the common goal of sharing data, and software to access and visualize that data.
  • GIS software extensions and tools:
    • ESRI supports Python for ArcGIS as the scripting language for data analysis, data conversion, data management, and map automation.
    • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office for Coastal Management's Digital Coast site offers visualization and predictive tools and data collections developed for coastal environmental analysis. You can use the Habitat Priority Planner, the Nonpoint-Source Pollution and Erosion Comparison Tool, and the Impervious Surface Analysis Tool. You will also find tools for storm mapping, hurricane tracking, and hazard assessment.
  • Data viewers:
    • ArcGIS Explorer is a free Esri application designed to help you view and share geographic information. In ArcGIS Explorer, you can use a variety of maps and layers, including imagery, topographic maps, physical features, shaded relief, historical maps, and street maps, provided free by Esri. You can combine layers with local data or other services to create your own custom maps, which you can easily share.
    • Esri's ArcReader is a free mapping application to view, explore, and print maps and globes. ArcReader views Published Map Files (.pmf), created using the ArcGIS Publisher extension from Esri, similarly to the way Adobe Reader displays PDF files created with Adobe Acrobat.
    • Google Earth, a free application, combines satellite imagery, maps, and Google Search. You can search for an address, view terrain in 3D, and share your searches with others.
    • Unidata's Integrated Data Viewer (IDV) is a Java-based software framework for analyzing and visualizing geoscience data.

This is document arml in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2019-12-11 13:49:20.

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