GIS Mobile Comparison

From OSGeo
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The printable version is no longer supported and may have rendering errors. Please update your browser bookmarks and please use the default browser print function instead.

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


tangoGPS is an easy to use, fast and lightweight mapping application for use with or without GPS. It runs on any Linux platform. By default tangoGPS uses map data from the Openstreetmap project. Additionally a variety of other repositories can be easily added.

Feature Value
Name tangoGPS
Version 0.99.3+debian-2
Release Date
Open-Source Yes
Free (cost) Yes
Author Marcus Bauer
User Documentation Yes (English)
Languages English


FoxtrotGPS is an offshoot of tangoGPS application, with a focus on cooperation and fostering community innovation. It runs on any Linux platform. It aims at covering some features of TangoGPS not 100% open-source (used Web services, templates for GUI generation, ...). It's in a preliminary stage as of Sept-2010.

Feature Value
Name FoxtrotGPS
Version 0.99.4
Release Date June 2010
Open-Source Yes
Free (cost) Yes
Author Community around a mailing list at OSGeo
User Documentation No (English)
Languages English

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
TangoGPS[4] C++ Yes GPL 2 No No Yes (Very Active) No Yes Marcos Bauer + helps

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 No Yes
Multiple coordinate systems Yes Yes No Yes
— Simple Yes Yes No Yes No
— Scale Yes Yes No Yes No
— Labeling Yes No No Yes No
— Range Yes Yes No Yes No
— Unique value Yes No No Yes No
Hyperlink No No No Yes No
Find by attributes Yes Yes No Yes
Offline support
— shapefiles Yes Yes Yes No Yes No
— GML Yes Yes No No
— KML Yes Yes No No
— GPX Yes Yes No
— ECW Yes Yes No No
— MrSid No No No No
— Jpeg2000 No No No No
— tiles No No Yes Yes
Online support
— WMS Yes Yes No Yes
— WFS Yes No No No
— WFS-T No No No No
— tiles No No Yes Yes
— ArcIMS No No No No
— Satellite information Yes Yes Yes Yes No
— External GPS support Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
— GPS aided editing Yes Yes Yes Yes No
— tracklog storage Yes Yes No
— waypoint storage Yes Yes No
— Real-Time DGPS No No Yes No
— Vertex point averaging Yes No
— Geometry editing Yes Yes No Yes No
— New layers creation No No
— Alphanumeric editing Yes Yes No Yes No
— Custom Forms Yes Yes No Yes No
— Attribute table editing Yes No No No
— Split and union No No No Yes No
— Sketch No No No
— Snapping Yes No No
— Export Yes No No
Extensibility Yes No No
Custom toolbars No No No Yes No
Ease to use Medium Medium Easy Easy
Ease to install Hard Medium Easy Easy
Spread (google search results number) 35.500 35.500 12.200 18.200 + 6.180 147.000 3.970 2.200.000
Documentation Available
Camera support No No No No
Rangefinder support No No No Yes No
Code language J2ME CDC PP J2ME CDC PP Java 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) Linux platform (desktop and phone) Android, J2ME enabled phones

Perfomance Comparison

Datasets used


Designed Tests


Perfomance Results


  1. 1.0 1.1 [1] Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "gvsigmobile" defined multiple times with different content
  2. [2]
  3. [3]
  4. [4]