GIS Mobile Comparison

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This page is used to describe comparisons between GeoSpatial Mobile applications to help users select suitable applications for their requirements.


FOSS4G 2010
A comparison of Mobile GIS applications
Free and open source software for GIS has evolved a lot from last years, faster than privative alternatives and now every FOSS4G expert has several very good tools to use on desktop PCs and web.
The mobile field is a bit different and few experts are using free and open source mobile GIS, despite of good applications exist. Last years with the appearance of Android OS phones a new wave of map applications have been developed.
At this talk, different mobile GIS applications will be analyzed, compared and tabulated.
The objectives are:
  • To provide a detailed list of FOSS mobile GIS applications
  • Find how far are free and open source software from privative alternatives
  • Help to choose the best tool for every project
The main aspects of the comparison will be: functionality, complexity, customizability, formats compatibility and performance and the applications compared will be: ArcPad, gvSIG Mobile, BeeGIS, TangoGPS, Google Maps Mobile, gvSIG Mini, Layar and others

Product List

gvSIG Mobile

gvSIG Mobile is a project aimed to develop a free and open source GIS/SDI client on mobile devices.

gvSIG Mobile is a version of gvSIG Desktop an OSGeo project under incubation, adapted for mobile devices, with support for shapefiles, GPX, KML, GML, ECW, WMS and images, capable of using GPS. Among its features there are tools for project management, display of local and remote information (via WMS standard), layers management (symbols), querying alphanumeric information of the elements, editing data using customized forms, creating GPS tracklogs/waypoints and so on.

Feature Value
Name gvSIG Mobile
Version 0.3 / 1.0 alpha
Release Date nov-2009
Open-Source Yes
Free (cost) Yes
Main Organization gvSIG Association
User Documentation Yes (English, Spanish, German)
Languages English, Spanish, French, German, Italian

gvSIG Mini

gvSIG Mini is a free viewer of free access maps based on tiles (OpenStreetMap, ...), with a WMS, WMS-C client, address and POI search, routes, hybrid location and more things.

Feature Value
Name gvSIG Mini
Version 1.0
Release Date sep-2010
Open-Source Yes
Free (cost) Yes
Main Organization Prodevelop / gvSIG Association
User Documentation Yes (English)
Languages English, Spanish, German, Italian


Enebro allows view and editing vectorial cartogarphic information, also allows visualizing images and navigation using GPS systems. It is a useful tool for field work related with field inventory, territorial inspection, field work data revision, etc.

Feature Value
Name Enebro
Version 2.0.37
Release Date aug-2008
Open-Source Yes
Free (cost) Yes
Main Organization Junta de Andalucía / Guadaltel
User Documentation Yes (Spanish)
Languages Spanish


ArcPad is designed for GIS professionals who require GIS capabilities in the field. It gives field-based personnel the ability to capture, edit, analyze, and display geographic information easily and efficiently.

Feature Value
Name ArcPad
Version 10
Release Date TBD
Open-Source No
Free (cost) No (aprox. $700.00 single-user license)
Main Organization ESRI
User Documentation Yes (English, Spanish) TBD
Languages TBD

Open-Source Comparative

Here, a comparison of important open-source features is displayed for every product being analyzed.

Name Progr. Language Open Source License Public Version Control Public Bugtracker Mailing List Developer Doc. Active Development Contributors
gvSIG Mobile[1] Java ME - CDC Yes GPL 2+ Yes (SVN) Yes Yes (Very Active) Partial Yes 7
gvSIG Mini[1] Java ME CLDC / Java Android Yes GPL 2+ Yes (SVN) No Yes (Active) Yes Yes 4
enebro[2] C++ Yes Non-standard/Under request No No No No Unknown Unknown
ArcPad[3] C++ No N/A No No Yes (Very Active) Yes Unknown Unknown

Target Platform Comparison

Name Open Source W. Mobile Java CLDC Android iPhone Linux PDA Windows PC Linux PC
gvSIG Mobile Yes Yes(WM 2003/5/6) No No No Yes OpenMoko, Maemo Yes (W 2000/XP) Yes
gvSIG Mini Yes Yes(JVM) Yes Yes (Android 1.5 - 2.2) No No No No
Enebro Yes Yes (WM 2003/5/6) No No No No Yes (W 2000/XP) Yes (Guadalinex v.3.0.1)
ArcPad No Yes (WM 2003/5/6) No No No No No No

Feature Comparison


Feature gvSIG Mobile 1.0 alpha gvSIG Mobile 0.3 Enebro TangoGPS / FoxtrotGPS ArcPad gvSIG Mini Layar
Multilayer Yes Yes Yes
Multiple coordinate systems Yes Yes Yes
— Simple Yes Yes Yes No
— Scale Yes Yes Yes No
— Labeling Yes No Yes No
— Range Yes Yes Yes No
— Unique value Yes No Yes No
Hyperlink No No Yes No
Find by attributes Yes Yes Yes
Offline support
— shapefiles Yes Yes Yes Yes No
— GML Yes Yes No
— KML Yes Yes No
— GPX Yes No
— ECW Yes Yes No
— MrSid No No No
— Jpeg2000 No No No
— tiles No No Yes
Online support
— WMS Yes Yes Yes
— WFS Yes No No
— WFS-T No No No
— tiles No No Yes
— ArcIMS No No No
— Satellite information Yes Yes Yes No
— External GPS support Yes Yes Yes Yes
— GPS aided editing Yes Yes Yes No
— tracklog storage Yes No
— waypoint storage Yes No
— Real-Time DGPS No No No
— Vertex point averaging Yes
— Geometry editing Yes Yes Yes No
— New layers creation No
— Alphanumeric editing Yes Yes Yes No
— Custom Forms Yes Yes Yes No
— Attribute table editing Yes No No
— Split and union No No Yes No
— Sketch No No
— Snapping Yes No
— Export Yes No
Extensibility Yes No No
Custom toolbars No No Yes No
Ease to use Medium Medium Easy
Ease to install Hard Medium Easy
Spread (google search results number) 35.500 35.500 12.200 18.200 147.000 3.970 2.200.000
Camera support No No No
Rangefinder support No No Yes No
Code language J2ME CDC PP J2ME CDC PP Android + Midp2
Platforms Platform independent (only tested on Windows x86, Windows CE ARM, Windows Mobile ARM) Platform independent (only tested on Windows x86, Windows CE ARM, Windows Mobile ARM) Android, J2ME enabled phones

Perfomance Comparison

Datasets used


Designed Tests


Perfomance Results


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  3. [3]