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Low cost - open source software tools for cartographers.

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    Jacques Gélinas

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I've started a page layout project for a promotional pamphlet using the open source page layout software Scribus. And in all honesty I should of started using Scribus before. It does pretty well what other commercial Page layout can do for FREE.

Lately I have used InkSpace also. And again was surprised at this software's capabilities.

Having done that, I though it would be interesting in knowing what low cost software and open source software out is being used by Cartotalkers in their cartographic tool box?
...along with maybe the pros and cons of using such software.

for my part here is my list of low cost - open source software that I presently use, or is on my radar for future use.

-Manifold (low cost GIS software)
-Inkspace (open source vector software)
-Scribus (open source page layout software)
-GIMP (open source image editing software)
-NexusFont (Free font management software)

and now the high cost ones
Vertical Mapper
Geographic Imager



David Medeiros

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I use (or have used) the following:

Natural Scene Designer (commercial but lowish cost considering usefulness)
QGIS (open source)
LandSerf (free, not sure if open source)
DEM2TOPO (free, needs virtual machine)
Zoomify (used to be free, not sure now)
jQuery image slider plugin (http://www.catchmyfa...reafter-plugin/)

Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Photoshop
ArcGIS (expensive, but free to me through work!)
GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.


Hans van der Maarel

Hans van der Maarel

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My list:

Global Mapper
Manifold (haven't used that in years though)

Adobe suite
Geographic Imager
ArcEditor (probably going to get that replaced with an Arcview license)
Visual Nature Studio

Natural Scene Designer
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics




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Great topic, I started into this only using open source software !
Some of the ones that I use have already been noted (gimp, inkscape, qgis) but I'll also add:

- Tilemill http://mapbox.com/
- Mapnik http://www.mapnik.org/
- Postgis http://postgis.refractions.net/ storing GIS POI info in a database]
- jOSM http://josm.openstreetmap.de/ [I use data from openstreetmap in my projects sometimes and use this to edit it the data].

And does it count if I run ubuntu on my production computer ? :D



    Will O'Neil

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Very useful -- many thanks.

I'm a little surprised that no one has yet mentioned GMT http://gmt.soest.hawaii.edu/. Also http://casoilresourc...drupal/node/102. Very widely used in the geophysics community.

I make a good deal of use of Versamap, an extremely simple maker of line maps. It is no longer distributed commercially but can be obtained on a user-to-user basis.

Maperitive. http://maperitive.net/ (I haven't tried it.)

MicroCAM. Very limited. http://www.csiss.org...ocam/index.html .

While Natural Earth is not exactly a software tool, it can make it possible to make remarkable maps with remarkably little trouble. http://www.naturalearthdata.com/
Will O'Neil
Author and amateur cartographer


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