GIS Desktop Comparison

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


FOSS4G 2010
GeoSpatial Desktop Comparison
  • Cameron Shorter (FOSS4G 2009 chair and GeoSpatial Director at LISAsoft)
  • Gertrude Pieper (FLOSS-Cadastre Expert Group of FAO / FIG Commission 7)
This presentation will provide a comparative overview of the popular Geospatial Open Source desktop applications. It will be targeted at potential GIS users wishing to determine which desktop application is suitable for their requirements.
We intend to build this comparison presentation in the same successful collaborative manner as the WMS Shootout and LiveDVD from previous years. Ie, we will encourage contribution and participation from the key desktop GIS projects.
The final presentation will include a GIS desktop feature comparison, built upon prior work by Stefan Steiniger, and the contributions of Gertrude Pieper to the FAO / FIG publication on FLOSS for Cadastre and Land Registration We will likely also include some common task comparisons, like loading and rendering shapefiles.


The OSGeo community helped select FOSS4G 2009 conference presentations ranked the OSGeo comparison projects very highly. Unfortunately, there were only a few of these types of presentations. Of the 183 quality presentations submitted, there was 85 speaking slots, and 3 of the highest ranked presentations targeted the comparison of popular packages.

The presentations were:

  • Ranked 2: The WMS Performance Shootout
  • Ranked 8: PostGIS and Oracle Spatial
  • Ranked 9: There is no alternative to Openlayers...? (discussing OpenLayers vs other AJAX clients)

The moral to the story is that conference delegates and the greater community want to see how different projects compare, and to date we have had a shortage of such material(partly because it is a lot of work to set up).

This page hopes to facilitate the development of a desktop GeoSpatial comparison.

What projects can participate

While this comparison has initially focused on Open Source applications, we wish to also cover proprietary applications as well.

Project Descriptions

The OSGeo LiveDVD maintains a list of paragraph long [Project Definitions], and page long Project Descriptions.

Details available here:

Feature Comparison

Target Presentations

It is intended that the results of these desktop comparisons will be presented:

  • On the OSGeo Live DVD
  • At the FOSS4G 2010 conference

Potential Participants

Listed here are already, or who are likely to be interested in helping out. Please add your name here if interested.

  • Cameron Shorter, I wish to help get this content onto the LiveDVD, and am prepared to coordinate the collation of material.
  • Stefan Steiniger
  • Jorge Sanz