This weekend I’ve been playing a bit with Quantum GIS (QGIS) an open source Geographic Information System that can be downloaded for free, though they are happy to accept donations. I’ve been and currently am working with ESRI based products such as ArcView 3.2, ArcView 8.2, ArcGIS, Arcpad etc. Quantum GIS has many similarities with these, with that I mean that the milieu is familiar and even though it’s a different program you’ll get the hang of it rather quickly as an Esri user. QGIS is also available with Swedish menus.
I’ve just started to play with it but so far I’m impressed, it’s user friendly and can, at least seemingly, do what ArcView 8.2 can – I’ve found several good applications that I see is there but still haven’t figured out – as yet – such as coordinate transformation possibilities, for example from RT90 (the old but still used coordinate system in Sweden) to SWEREF 99 TM, (the new coordinate system in Sweden) and loading GPS data straight into QGIS.
As my company is currently, and always, look for improvements in the products we use, this might very well be one that I’ll recommend them taking in as it’s cheaper than the ArcView/GIS products but also seems to work as good as them.
In the coming weeks I’ll explore it further – if you use QGIS and have tips I’ll gladly accept them.