Desktop GIS Comparison Matrix
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Software NameGRASS (Geographic Resources Analysis Support System)QGIS* (Quantum GIS)GeoDauDigJGrassDivaGISgvSIG (Generalitat Valenciana, Sistema d'Informació Geogràfica)Idrisi 16SAGA (System for Automated GeoScientific Analysis) JUMPOpenJUMPSkyJUMPPirol JUMPDeeJUMPILWISKOSMOMapWindow GISESRI ArcGISERDAS Imagine (By Riccardo at Digital Geography)PCI GeomaticaENVIManifold GIS http://www.manifold.net/index.shtmlGlobal Mapper
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Sellling PointFull GUI based GISFull GUI-based GISGUI, interactive exploratory spatial data analysis and basic spatial regression modelingViewing (OGC standards)Raster Analysis based on GRASS + 3D visualizationAnalyze and document potato genotypesreplacing ArcViewComplete Image and raster processing packageAnalysis, modelling, visualisationEditing & Data conflationEditing & Vector AnalysisEditingEditing & Vector AnalysisEditing & OGC standards(Raster) AnalysisArcView substitute for advanced usersProviding core GIS and GUI functions, developing Decision Support SystemsFull GUI-based GISFull remote-sensing system with focus on raster manipulationFull remote-sensing systemFull remote-sensing systemFull GUI based GISGUI based GIS, 64-bit, competitive pricing, very fast
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Spatial analysis and scientific visualizationGRASS-Graphical User InterfaceIntroduction to spatial analysis for area (polygon) data; supplements GISApplication Framework(focus on raster)entries incompleteExtensive data creation, editing and analysisFull 64bit processing & Extremely Competitive pricing with functionality of software 10 times the pricefrequent updates, great customer support
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Supported Operating SystemsWindows, Linux, MacOSXWindows, Linux, MacOSXWindows, Linux, MacOSXWindows, Linux, MacOSXWindows, Linux, MacOSXWindows onlyWindows, Linux, MacOSXWindows onlyWindows, Linux, MacOSXWindows, Linux, MacOSXWindows, Linux, MacOSXWindows, Linux, MacOSXWindows, Linux, MacOSXWindows, Linux, MacOSXWindows onlyWindows, Linux, MacOSXWindows onlyWindows onlyWindows onlyWindows onlyWindows & MacWindows Windows
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LicenseFree softwareFree softwareFree softwareFree softwareFree softwareFree softwareFree softwareProprietaryFree softwareFree softwareFree softwareFree softwareFree softwareFree softwareFree softwareFree softwareFree softwareProprietaryProprietaryProprietaryProprietaryProprietaryProprietary
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Data Import/Export FunctionalityReading - Raster/ImagesAll GDAL supported formats, also voxel supportAll GDAL supported formatsESRI shapefile, ASCIIYes (1.1.0 is limited to memory, later versions stream off disk)Yes (through GRASS and Geotools)Yes (Through Geotools)ECW, MrSID, JPEG,jpg, jp2, TIF, geoTIFF, PNG, GIF, img, bmp, jpeg2000Tiff, GDal supported,ECW, IMG, Grass, ERMapper, Envi,All GDAL supported formats and morejpg, tif, geoTIFF, png, ecw(p)jpg, tif, geoTIFF, png, ecw(p), MrSID(p)jpg, MrSIDjpg, tif, geoTIFF, png, ecw(p), MrSID(p)jpg, tif, geoTIFF, png, ecw(p), MrSID(p)uses GDALECW, MrSID, geoTIFF, JPEG, jpg, jpg2, TIF, png, gif, img, bmp, jpeg2000All GDAL supported formats + BGD, and others.ECW, MrSID, JPEG,jpg, jp2, TIF, geoTIFF, PNG, GIF, img, bmp, cib,ers,img,raw,Grid,RST,MrSID,Othersnearly everything nearly everything ECW, MrSID, JPEG,jpg, jp2, TIF, geoTIFF, PNG, GIF, img, bmp,ers,img,raw,Grid http://www.manifold.net/info/formats.shtmlnearly everything
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Reading - VectorYes (through OGR)Yes (through OGR)YesYesYesYesShp, DXF, DGN, DWG, GMLShpSHP and moreShp, FME GML, JML, WKT, DXF(P), MIF(P)Shp, FME GML, JML, WKT, DXF(P), MIF(P)Shp, FME GML, JML, WKT, DXF(P), MIF(P)Shp, FME GML, JML, WKT, DXF(P), MIF(P)Shp, FME GML, JML, WKT, DXF(P), MIF(P),At least: SHP, DXFShp, DXF, DGN, DWG, CSVAt least: SHP, DXF(P). CSV(P)SHP,DXF,ESRI Geodatabase format & some othersYesnearly everything http://www.manifold.net/info/formats.shtmlNearly everything, see http://www.bluemarblegeo.com/products/global-mapper-formats.php
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see here for a list http://geospatial.intergraph.com/Libraries/Tech_Docs/IMAGINE_Data_Format_by_Product_Tier.sflb.ashx
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Reading tabular dataYes (CSV + many more)YesYesNoCSV, DBF, ODBC, HSQLDB, MySQL, PostgreSQ, OracleDBF, TXT, CSV, ODBCNoCSVNoCSVCSV???CSV, DBF, MDBDBF, CSV(P), MDB(P)yesNaN see here for a list http://geospatial.intergraph.com/Libraries/Tech_Docs/IMAGINE_Data_Format_by_Product_Tier.sflb.ashxnearly everything http://www.manifold.net/info/formats.shtmlYes, see http://www.bluemarblegeo.com/products/global-mapper-formats.php
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Reading - DatabasesPostGIS, PostgreSQL, ODBC, MySQL, SQLite, OraclePostGIS, PostgreSQL, SQLite, MS SQL 2008+, Oracle, Spatailite, SQL Anywhere, ODBCNoPostGIS, Oracle, DB2, ArcSDEPostGIS, Oracle, DB2, ArcSDEPostGIS, Oracle, DB2, ArcSDEPostGIS, HSQLDB, MySQL, Oracle SpatialIntendedPostGIS, Oracle(p), ArcSDE(p)PostGIS, Oracle(p), ArcSDE(p)PostGIS, Oracle(p), ArcSDEPostGIS, Oracle(p), ArcSDE(p)PostGIS, Oracle(p) ArcSDE(p)noPostGIS, Oracle Spatial/ Locator MYSQLPostGIS(p)ArcSDE(p),PostGIS, Oracle(p) , othersNoOracle, IBM DB, Microsoft SQL Server, Postgres/PostGIS, MySQL. All major DB including spatial extensions, full read-write including spatial types http://www.manifold.net/info/formats.shtml

Also provides own proprietary spatial database middleware for saving data
Yes all commonly used spatial DBs. See http://www.bluemarblegeo.com/products/global-mapper-formats.php
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see here for a list http://geospatial.intergraph.com/Libraries/Tech_Docs/IMAGINE_Data_Format_by_Product_Tier.sflb.ashx
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Writing - Raster/ImagesAll GDAL-formatsAll OGR-formatsNoyesyesyesGeoTIFF, ecw, jpeg, jpeg2000Raster formats (Please specify)All GDAL supported formats and morejpg, pngjpg, pngjpg, pngjpg, png, tif(p)jpg, pnguses GDALjpg, png, tif, gif, bmpAll GDAL supported formats and moreMost GDAL formatsnearly everything nearly everythingnearly everything
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see here for a list http://geospatial.intergraph.com/Libraries/Tech_Docs/IMAGINE_Data_Format_by_Product_Tier.sflb.ashxSee http://www.bluemarblegeo.com/products/global-mapper-formats.php for list. Unmatched support.
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Writing – VectorAll OGR-formatsAll OGR-formatsYes (.shp)Yes (Shape)Yes (Shape)Yes (Shape)Shp, dxf, GMLShp,SHP and moreShp, FME GML, JML, WKT, MIF(p), DXF(p)Shp, FME GML, JML, WKT, MIF(p), DXF(p)Shp, FME GML, JML, WKT, MIF(p), DXF(p)Shp, FME GML, JML, WKT, MIF(p), DXF(p)Shp, FME GML, JML, WKT, MIF(p), DXF(p),At least: SHP, DXFShp, Dxf,At least: SHPSHP,DXF, ESRI Geodatabase format & othersAll OGR-formatsMost OGR Formats and others inc. ESRI pgdb, ETAK & ADF http://www.manifold.net/info/formats.shtmlYes, huge number of formats. See http://www.bluemarblegeo.com/products/global-mapper-formats.php
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SVG (without attributes)SVG (without attributes)deegree GML3, deegree Shp, SVG (without attributes)
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Writing tabular dataCSVyesedited .dbf as part of .shp filenononoDBF, TXT, CSVcopy to Excel table possiblecopy to Excel table possiblecopy to Excel table possiblecopy to Excel table possiblecopy to Excel table possible???Excelcopy to Excel table possibleDBF, CSVyes see here for a list http://geospatial.intergraph.com/Libraries/Tech_Docs/IMAGINE_Data_Format_by_Product_Tier.sflb.ashx Almost All formats http://www.manifold.net/info/formats.shtmlYes, many formats. See http://www.bluemarblegeo.com/products/global-mapper-formats.php
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Writing - DatabasesPostGIS (p, limited)PostGIS, PostgreSQL, SQLite, MS SQL 2008+, Oracle, Spatailite, SQL Anywhere, ODBCnoPostGIS, Oracle, DB2, ArcSDEPostGIS, Oracle, DB2, ArcSDEPostGIS, Oracle, DB2, ArcSDEPostgis, Oracle SpatialIntendedPostGIS (p;limited)PostGIS (p;limited)PostGIS (p;limited)PostGIS (p;limited)PostGIS (p;limited)noMySQL, Oracle, PostgresPostGIS(p), MDB(p)PostGIS(p), MDB(p), Oracle(p)NoMost Microsoft & Oracle formats http://www.manifold.net/info/formats.shtml
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see here for a list http://geospatial.intergraph.com/Libraries/Tech_Docs/IMAGINE_Data_Format_by_Product_Tier.sflb.ashxYes, see http://www.bluemarblegeo.com/products/global-mapper-formats.php for list. Most spatial DBs supported for read and write
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Vector Data Creation and EditingDrawing and Editing tools (Points, Lines, Polygons)yes, also 3D vector supportyesLimited, e.g. Thiessen polygon.yesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyes but not very user friendlyyesyes
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Geocoding usingStreet datasetyesnoyesnoyes Yes
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Geocoding by direct address matchnoyesnoyesYes
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Selection/
Subsetting
Selection by attribute (temporary subset)yesyesyesyesNaNyesYes
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Selection by locationyesyesyesyesNaNyesYes
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Selection by graphicyesyesyesyesyesyesYes
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Interactive selectionyesyesyesyesyesyesYes
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Attribute Calculatoryes, via SQLyesyesnononoyesyesNoYes (limited)NoYes (limited)Yes (limited)???yesyesyesyesyesYes
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Q/A: Quality Assurance ToolsyesTopology Checker core plugin noyesyesyesYes (lines)noyesyesyesyesyes???yesnoyesyesyes
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Join tablesyesyesyesnononoyesyesNoyesNoyesNo???yesnoyesNaNyesYes
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OthersVector network analysis; Linear referencing System (LRS); LiDAR data analysisExtensive toolset through add-insre-computation of bivariate scatterplot and Moran scatterplot slopes for subsets of dataVarious vector and raster analysis toolsTIN creation, contour lines from raster and more---Constrained drawing toolsConstrained drawing toolsConstrained drawing tools---???Topology rules, constrained drawing toolsVector analysis (clip, buffer, etc.) and raster analysis through plug-ins.Extensive toolsets, some requiring add-onsSpatial attribute assignment, cropping, much more
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PrintingyesyesyesyesyesyesyesYesYes(p)Yes(p)Yes(p)Yes(p)Yes(p)YesYesYesyesyesyesyes
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QueriesyesYesyeslimitedyesnoattribute queries, spatial queriesIntendedAttribute queries, spatial queriesAttribute queries, spatial queriesAttribute queries, spatial queriesAttribute queries, spatial queriesAttribute queries, spatial queries???Attribute queries, spatial queriesAttribute queriesAttribute queries, spatial queriespowerful integrated Spatial SQL engine, can query any data (including rasters) contained in projectYes, search tool for attribute-based searching, text and numeric
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Database Queries (SQL)yesyesnonononoIntendednoNononononononoyespowerful integrated Spatial SQL engine, can query any data (including rasters) contained in projectNo
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(except SIGLE)
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Styling / MappingPoint stylescolor, size, shape, fill patterncolor, size, shape, fill pattern, symbol creation tools. Data defined symbols.colorFull SLD complianceFull SLD complianceFull SLD complianceColor, size, shape, imageColor, size, shape, outline, fill style, imageColor, size, shape (p)Color, size, shape (p)Color, size, shape (p)Color, size, shape (p)Color, size, shape (p)???Full SLD complianceColor, size, shape, imageExtensive library plus symbol creation toolsminoryesColor, size, shape, image. Rotate and scale symbols. Supports raster and vector symbols.
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Line stylescolor, widthcolor, width, pattern, symbol creation tools. Data defined symbols.N/AFull SLD complianceFull SLD complianceFull SLD complianceColor, width, transparencyColor, size, line styleColor, widthColor, widthColor, widthColor, widthColor, width???Full SLD complianceColor, size, line styleExtensive library plus symbol creation toolsminoryesColor, size, line style. Dozens of built-in styles.
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Polygon stylescolor, outline, fillcolor, outline, fill, pattern, symbol creation tools. Data defined symbols.colorFull SLD complianceFull SLD complianceFull SLD complianceColor, outline, fill patterns, transparencytransparencyColor, outline, fill stylecolor, outline, fill patternscolor, outline, fill patternscolor, outline, fill patternscolor, outline, fill patterns, transparencycolor, outline, fill patterns???Full SLD complianceColor, outline, fill patterns.color, outline, fill patterns, transparencyminoryesColor, outline, fill patterns. Custom fill patters from images, including translucent fills.
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Text labelingYes (simple labeling)Yes. Data defined labels. Expression labels. noFull SLD complianceFull SLD complianceFull SLD complianceYes (rotation, color, font, height)YesYes (simple labeling)Yes (simple labeling)Yes (simple labeling)Yes (simple labeling)Yes (simple labeling)Yes (simple)Full SLD complianceYes (simple)yesminoryesYes
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Thematic mappingChartsBar, Pie charts, Graduated Symbol, RangesBar, Pie chartshistogram, boxplot, bivariate scatterplot, parallel coordinate plotnonononoBar and pie chartsBar, pie charts (p)Bar, pie charts (p)Bar, pie charts (p)Bar, pie, line charts (p)Bar, pie charts (p)Bar, pie charts, point densitynonoBar, Pie charts, Graduated Symbol, RangesnoneyesNo
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Classificationequal range, interval, std_deviation, quartiles, custom_breaksequal range, interval, std_deviation, quartiles, custom_breaks, natural break, rule based stylesquantile, equal range, percentile, box map, unique value, natural breakQuantile, equal interval, customQuantile, equal interval, customnoequal range, natural breaks, quantilesGraduated color/ symbol, lookup tableEqual rangeEqual rangeEqual rangeEqual rangeEqual range???Equal rangeEqual range, continuous ramps, custom- definednatural breaks(Jenks) equal range, interval, std_deviation, quantiles, custom_breaksseveral!yesYes, multiple
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(SIGLE: quantile)
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Vector based Spatial Analysis ToolsInterpolationIDW, Splines (2D and 3D RST, B-Splines)yesnonoGRASS functionsnoyes (gvSIG + Sextante)Triangulation, IDW, Shepard, Spline, KrigingnoNonoIDW, Krieging (p)noKriging and co-krigingPoint interpolationSome available through plug-insKriging and co-kriging via add-onNaNyesYes, for rasters bilinear, bicubic, box average/max/minimum, de-noise filter
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Spatial StatisticsLink to R-statsyes (R plugin)Spatial lag and error model (Maximum Likelihood), Lagrange Multiplier tests for spatial dependence, spatial lag creation.noGRASS functionsnoSum, mean, variance...Geostatistical analysesnononoMean, Variance,...noGeo-statistical analysesnoBasic raster statistics(p)Geostatistical analysesraster basedyesYes, contrast adjustment based on stats (min/max, std-dev stretch)
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BufferyesyesnoYes with Axios pluginGRASS functions and Axios pluginnoyesnoyesyesyesYesyes???yesyes (p)yes, single and multi-ring, mergingyesyesYes, areas, lines, and points and multi-buffer merging.
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Join geometries by attributesyesYesnonononoyesnonoyes???yesyes???yesyes (p)yesyesYes
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aggregate /join attributes spatiallyyesyesnonoGRASS functionsnoyesnonoyes???yesyes???yesyes (p)yesNaNyesYes
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Clip / Create new dataset using a polygon for extentyesyesnoyesyesyesYes
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Append/add datasets to existing datasetyesyesyesyesyesyesYes
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Spatial Correlation Analysisyes (via R interface)yes (via R interface)Local Indicators of Spatial Association (LISA) and global Moran's I.nononoyes (gvSIG + Sextante)Variogram modelingnononoVariogramm,no???nonoyes, multiple methodsno
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Otherunion (= dissolve), centroid calculationspatial weights matrix creationUnion, split, intersect, reprojectUnion, split, intersect, reprojectnodifference, intersect, convex hull, union (dissolve), merge, xy shift, reprojectintersection, union, merging, centroids and moreunion (= dissolve), centroid calculation, convex hullunion (= dissolve), centroid calculation,union (= dissolve), centroid calculation, convex hullGrid tools,union (= dissolve), centroid calculation,???Merge, dissolve, intersection, difference, convex hull, spatial joinUnion, merge, centroid, intersection, differences (p)Merge, dissolve, intersection, difference, convex hull, spatial joinJoin, crop, split, convex hull, heat map, many more
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thiessen polygons (limited), convex hullunion (= dissolve), centroid calculation, convex hullthiessen polygons (limited), convex hull
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Multi-language supportYes/noyesyesnoyesyesyesyesyesnoyesnoyesyes???yesyesyesnonoYes
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LanguagesAR , CS, DE, EL, ES, FR, IT, JA, PL, PT, PT_BR, RU, SL, TH, TR, VI, ZH26EN, FR, IT, DE, ESEN, FR, IT, DE, ESEN, DE, FREN, ES, VA, GL, CZ, DE, EU, FR, IT, PT, CN, PL, ROEN, DE---EN, Fi, DE, FR, ES, P, IT---EN, DEEN, Fi, DE, FR, ES, P, IT???EN, ES, PTCS, DE, EL, EN, ES, FA, FR. IT, JP, NL, PT, TH, ZH-CHS/ZH-CNEN, ES, DE, FR, ,JA, OthersenglishenglishEN, ZH-CH, JA, IT, KO
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Supported OGC standardsWMS, WFS, WPS (pyWPS)WMS, WFS, WMS-C, WFS-T, WCS, WMS-TnoWFS(p),WMS, WMC, SLD, WFS, WCS, Z39.50, CS-W, OpenLS, GML,none directlywms, wfs, gms, WMS, WMC, WFS, WMTS, GML
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SLD,
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Support of different Projections/ Coord. Reference Systemsyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyes(p)yes(p)UTM – geo yes(p)yes (p, limited)yes(p)yesyesyesyesa wide support!yesyes, pretty much everything
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Data Exploration ToolsHistogramsyesyeshistogram, boxplot, parallel coordinate plot, conditional maps, 3D scatterplot, cartogram, map moviesnonoyesyesNoNoNoNoyes (p)No?yes?noNoyesyesyes
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classificationyesyesnonoGRASS functionsyesyes (gvSIG + Sextante)YesNoNoNok-meansNo???nonoyesmultiple cllassification sub-programsyesyes
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Topology
creation
yesyesnonononoYes (lines)TINYes: line noder, polygonizerYes: Planar graph, line noder, polygonizerYes: line noder, polygonizerYes: Planar graph, line noder, polygonizerYes: Planar graph, line noder, polygonizerNoQuality controls, topology rulesTIN creation and viewing abilityyesyesyes
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(lines and polygons intended)
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On the fly topology editingyesunder developmentnononononoNoNoNoNonoNoNononoyesyes
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Triangulation (planar)yesyesnononononoYesYes(p)Yes(p)Yes(p)yesYes(p)Nononoyes
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Generalization toolsLine simplificationYes, Douglas-Peucker Alg., Lang Alg., Close Vertex Elimination, Reuman-Witkam Alg., Boyle’s Forward-Looking Algorithm.yesnoIn available pluginsGRASS functionsnoyes (gvSIG + Sextante)YesYes (Douglas Peucker)Yes (Douglas Peucker)Yes (Douglas Peucker)Yes (Douglas Peucker)Yes (Douglas Peucker)???Yes (Douglas Peucker)Yes (Douglas Peucker), via plug-in (p)Yes (Douglas Peucker)noyesyes
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otherssmoothing algroithms: McMaster Distance-Weighting Alg., Chaiken’s Alg., Interpol. by Cubic Hermite splines; Snakes for smoothing, network gen. & displacementno------Snakes line smoothing and displacement (p), building generalization tools (p),---Snakes line smoothing and displacement (p), building generalization tools (p),Snakes line smoothing and displacement (p), building generalization tools (p),???Some others via plug-insyes, multiple algorithms
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3D-ViewsyesGRASS functions via GRASS Plugin3D scatterplotnoYes, In developmentnonoyesnonono2.5D model (p)noyesUnder developmentyesyesyesyesyes, both terrain surface with imagery and 3D vector data/point clouds in space
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DEM-ToolsTerrain creation (TIN)yesCore plugin also via GRASS functions in SextantenonoGRASS functionsyes (gvSIG + Sextante)yesnononoDelauney triangulation (p)no?No?Under developmentTIN for API; TIN viewer/ creator (p)requires add-on(p)noyesTIN/grid from any 3D vector data (including Lidar, breaklines, areas, 3D points)
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Terrain analysis (slope, aspect,..)yesCore plugin also via GRASS functions in SextantenonoGRASS functionsyes (gvSIG + Sextante)yesnononounder developmentno?Yes?Under developmentYes (p)requires add-on(p)yes, directlyyesCustomizable elevation shaders, including shading by slope and slope aspect.
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ViewshedsyesGRASS functions via Sextante nonoGRASS functionsyes (gvSIG + Sextante)yesnonononono?Yes?norequires add-on(p)yesyesYes
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otherCurvatures, hydrology tools, hydrologic models, topographic index, etc.noNumerous morphometric and hydrologic terrain parameters, pre-processing, profiles, insolation and more---------Contour lines---???contour and flowline generation, hillshade,curvaturecontour, watershed/flow calculation, cut-and-fill volume calculation, water level rise modeling, find ridge lines, volume between surfaces
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watershed analysis
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HistogrammingyesGRASS functions via GRASS PluginyesnoGRASS functionsyesyesnononononoyesImageJ integration under developmentnoyesyesyesNot yet
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Image Analysis ToolsGeo-ReferencingyesyesnonoGRASS functionsyesyesyesnononononoyesunder developmentyesyesyesyesYes
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Ortho-rectificationyesyesnonoGRASS functionsnoyesyesnononononoyesunder developmentUnder developmentyesyesIn plans
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Filter operationsyesyesnonoGRASS functionsyesyesyesnonononono?yes?under developmentUnder developmentyesyes, massive!
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otherOrthophoto creation, segmentation, pattern analysis, time seriesnoCluster analysis, supervised classification, segmentation, pattern analysis, vegetation indices, time series and more---------------??????requires add-oncustomizable filters, moving window algorithmsFull band math coming in v15 in Sept 2013
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Scripting FunctionalityBash, Python, PerlPythonnoGroovyBeanShellJythonPython, command shell, (other languages intended)BeanShellBeanShellBeanShellBeanShellBeanShellILWIS Scripting LanguagenoC#, VB.NetPython, VBScriptEmbedded complex model builderyes python, vb, javascript, c# yes own scripting engine (a bit limited)
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VersionGRASS 6.4QGIS 2.0OpenGeoDa 0.9.8.13Version 1.1-RC12Version 1.1 (September 2007)Version 16SAGA 2.0.2Version 1.2Version 1.2DRelease 89Version 3.4 (July 2007) since then open sourcing, before sharewareVersion 1.1 (June 2007)Version 4.5 RC2 (April 2008)Release 10.12013Release 8v14.2
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