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GIS For Dummies® by Michael N. DeMers

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Chapter 21

Ten GIS Software Vendors

In This Chapter

Getting to know the main GIS vendors

Understanding what the vendors supply

Looking into the system requirements

GIS software vendors are as varied as the data you encounter inside the software. These vendors range from companies that specialize in industry-specific software (such as Surfer for terrain analysis and CrimeStat for crime analysis), to more generic software companies (such as Environmental Systems Research Institute, Intergraph, and GE Smallworld). With the list of GIS software vendors tipping the scales at “a whole lot” and growing, you may find having a list of ten well-known vendors helpful. For an updated, comprehensive list of GIS vendors, see www.geog.ubc.ca/courses/klink/resources/gis_vendors.html.

Tip.eps Each of the vendors listed in this chapter has a loyal client base, so it doesn’t hurt to ask folks who use each company for guidance when you’re choosing the company that’s right for you. Most GIS users are more than happy to talk about their experiences.

Environmental Systems Research Institute

Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI, at www.esri.com) boasts the largest market share for GIS and has come by that boast honestly. Although their products have a steep learning curve, the power this software provides is worth the time investment:

Product line: The primary ESRI product is ArcGIS (shown in Figure ...

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