Proper Gis Software Package Computer Science Essay

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Initial research through operating systems Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux where each software package is functional. Differences and similarities between the GIS software in every operating system (have the same operational architecture or differs from one operating system to another) and ease of use.

2) Costs of the GIS software packages both commercial and open source (a more general comparison of GIS software not only ArcGIS and Quantum GIS), technical support and its quality provided by the companies (if commercial and some open source nowadays) or the communities (if open source) and finally definition of the user (companies or individuals) as to the operations that need to be performed, as the analysis and the outputs may differs between the two software.

3) Eligibility and integration of ArcGIS and Quantum GIS with other software packages, which may be GIS based (such as Post GIS and Grass GIS) or not (Autocad) or with other technologies like remote sensing.

4) Describing the components and extensions of each software such as toolboxes and scripting with python to prove which of the two is the best for examining and analyzing the data and what are the limitations of each analysis (is there a 3D capability in e.g. Quantum GIS?)

5) Analyze a set of (geological probably) information by manipulating vector and raster data in ArcGIS and in Quantum GIS. The aim is to have some detailed analysis outputs from both software such as topographic map, statistics and 3d modelling in order to be compared.

6) Future perspectives for GIS software both commercial and open source in individuals, companies and education facilities ( mainly Universities).

4. Introduction to the project

GIS is a set of tools, which is consisted by hardware and software, where data can be captured, managed, analyzed and displayed in all forms of geographically referenced information (ESRI, 2013). In order to evaluate a GIS software package it is compulsory the comparison of the six most important functional capabilities of a GIS software which are, data capture, storage functions, management, retrieval, analysis and display.

Issues that have to be considered when selecting a GIS system (University of California, 2006):



LAN options and support

Training level

Ease of installation


Operational manuals

Technical support


Toolboxes and extensions

The computer based GIS can enable capture, modeling, storage, retrieval, share, manipulate, analyze and present geographically referenced data (Worboys & Duckham, 2004). This unified approach is been provided by software packages.

On the one hand, according to Business Software Alliance of 2005, ‘‘Open Source is a software-licensing model where the source code of the software is typically made available royalty-free to the users of the software, under terms allowing redistribution, modification and addition, though often with certain restrictions ''.

On the other hand, ''Commercial Software is the model where the software developed by a commercial entity is typically licensed for a fee to a customer (either directly or through channels) in object, binary or executable code'' (Business Software Alliance, 2005). The above words-facts shows limitations and restrictions to the use of each software such as the technical support or the free modification of certain functions in the software's source code for a better function.

''Quantum GIS (QGIS) is a powerful and user friendly Open Source Geographic Information System (GIS) that runs on Linux, Unix, Mac OSX, Windows and Android. QGIS supports vector, raster, and database formats. QGIS is licensed under the GNU Public License'' (QGIS, 2013).

On the contrary ESRI's ArcGIS is a software package with a proprietary license meaning that the program's code can only be modified by ESRI. Technical support is provided exclusively by ESRI instead of Quantum GIS's where different organizations and faculties can provide technical support. According to ESRI, 2013 the top five benefits of the GIS are cost savings and increased efficiency, better decision making, improved communication, better record keeping and managing geographically. These five factors can lead to a more accurate solution to a certain spatial problem.

5. Methodology

6. Time line of the project

18th of February

5th of March

20th of March

4th of April

19th of April

6th of May

21 of May

3rd of June

Submit proposal

Data collection

Data analysis

Write up

Edit & submit

Figure 6.1 â€" Fortnightly schedule for the independent study module

7. References

ESRI. (2013). What is GIS? Available: Last accessed 17th February 2013.

ESRI. (2013). Top Five Benefits of GIS. Available: Last accessed 17th February 2013.

Quantum GIS. (2013). About QGIS. Available: Last accessed 17th February 2013.