Geographic Information Systems

Best Geographic Information Systems include:

ArcGIS, Google Maps API, QGIS, Mapbox, MapInfo Pro, 4M Analytics, CARTO, Bing Maps, Pythagoras CAD + GIS and Maptitude.

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Esri in Redlands, California offers ArcGIS, a geographic information system.


QGIS (formerly Quantum GIS) is a free and open source geographic information system.

Google Maps API

Google Maps APIs allow developers to integrate Google Maps into a website or retrieve information from Google Maps.

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Mapbox is the location data platform for developers building custom geospatial features into mobile, web, and on-premise applications.


Caliper Corporation headquartered in Newton offers Maptitude, designed to be a robust and easy-to-use professional Location Intelligence (LI) tool. Maptitude provides features that allow the user to take advantage of the geographic elements of enterprise (or government) data, and…


Carto (formerly CartoDB) in Brooklyn, New York offers their location intelligence solution.


IP Geolocation service available as database, programming API and hosted solution.

Bing Maps

Bing Maps is a geographic information and location intelligence solution, that when integrated as a data visualization dashboard for Microsoft Power BI, Excel, SharePoint and Dynamics software allows organizations to visualize multiple layers of business data on a map, such as sales,…

MapInfo Pro

Pitney Bowes offers MapInfo Pro, a Geographic Information System (GIS).


Surfer is a data visualization suite from Golden Software in Colorado for oil and gas companies, or other entities in other industries requiring geological or environmental data.


Geosite is a SaaS platform providing geospatial data for reconnaissance, planning and operations in real-time.

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EagleView is a provider of aerial imagery, property insights and software, supported by the company's own geospatial data and imagery library encompassing 94 percent of the US population. EagleView's data enables customers in the government, construction, insurance and solar industries…

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UP42 brings together data from geospatial providers with analytics in one platform and marketplace. UP42 aims to make it easier to access and analyze open and commercial Earth observation data, while maintaining maximum flexibility and interoperability.

vMAP Portal
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vMAP is a powerful, accessible web-based Geographic Information System (GIS) software program providing businesses with data visualisation, analysis, route calculation, reporting and many other valuable features. According to the vendor, vMAP is a mapping option with a simple setup…

IGiS Photogrammetry Suite (Powered by Scanpoint Geomatics Limited)

IGiS Photogrammetry Suite highly supports fully automated geodesy and photogrammetry tools for converting image to 3D, Dynamic and Automated Processing Workflow, High Accuracy Outputs and DEM Photogrammetry Modeling, Editing and Analysis.Photogrammetry uses aerial shots or drone…

DTN Marine & Offshore Weather Intelligence

For those with crews and assets operating in offshore environment, DTN offers access to comprehensive weather intelligence. DTN's meteorologists can advise on weather risks by providing real-time and long-range forecasts to ensure team can execute a project without weather-related…

DTN Utilities Intelligence

DTN offers a suite of weather intelligence solutions designed to support utilities operations, such as storm impact analysis, load forecasting, GIS and map services, and lightning detection to support asset management and inspections.

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gvSIG is an interoperable GIS boasting thousands of users worldwide, from OSGEO. The vendor presents the solution as easy to work in a variety of formats, vector and raster files, databases and remote services. gvSIG Desktop is designed to be an extensible solution, allowing thus…

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OpenJUMP is an open source Geographic Information System (GIS) written in the Java programming language. It is developed and maintained by a group of volunteers from around the globe.

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Transect is an online tool that identifies environmental risks, explains the regulations and permits relevant to those risks, and provides site-specific insight on recommendations and timelines to move projects forward.

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Caliper Corporation in Newton offers TransCAD as a Geographic Information System (GIS) designed specifically for use by transportation professionals to store, display, manage, and analyze transportation data. TransCAD combines GIS and transportation modeling capabilities in a single…

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Galigeo is location intelligence software from the company of the same name.

Enghouse NetDesigner

Enghouse Networks offers NetDesigner, a geographic information system (GIS), a spatial information system for visualizing assets.

Weather Defender

Weather Defender is weather alert, tracking, and information software from SWIFT Weather.

Learn More About Geographic Information Systems

What are Geographic Information Systems?

Geographic information systems (GIS) allow users to collect, manage, and analyze geospatial data. GIS can process complex geographic and demographic data to measure environmental impact, model real or hypothetical scenarios, and map landscapes in 3D. Some GIS products include collaboration tools, allowing multiple users to import data, alter maps, make annotations, and share documents.

GIS products are diverse, flexible, and powerful. They are used in a range of industries, such as environmental science, city planning, insurance, transportation, and health services. This is because GIS typically includes powerful data analysis and scenario planning tools. Additionally, the visualization tools in GIS allow users to construct maps with demographic, geospatial, and impact considerations in mind.These features allow for more thorough geospatial record-keeping.

GIS products combine elements of civil engineering software, computer-aided design (CAD) software, and oil and gas software to allow users to create accurate geospatial visualizations, measure environmental impact, and utilize demographic data. GIS products are different in that they can collect and analyze complex data sets, and thus tend to be more useful to environmental scientists and data analysts. Users who want strategic planning, automation, or robust 3D modeling features should browse products in the other listed categories.

Geographic Information System Features

Most geographic information systems have the following features:

  • Spatial analysis
  • Automated data collection
  • Automated GPS data mining
  • GPS tracking
  • Geocoding and reverse geocoding
  • Smart mapping
  • Survey point sharing
  • Map generation
  • Data synchronization and visualization
  • Statistical analysis
  • Environmental impact analysis
  • Transportation planning
  • Demographic variable management
  • Deed plotting and management
  • Scenario builder
  • Image and document management
  • Report generation
  • VR and AR integration
  • Third party integration
  • Cloud, web, and on-premise deployment

Geographic Information Systems Comparison

When choosing the best geographic information system (GIS) for you, consider the following:

Ease of use. GIS software typically has many visualization, data analysis, and report generation features. As such, they can be overwhelming for users who are not familiar with the features of a program. Less experienced users will find GIS products with customizable dashboards, automated data collection and importation, and report generation wizards to be helpful as they come to grips with the staggering number of features in most products. These options aren’t typically found in open source products, although there are numerous knowledge bases and community support websites that can help users learn those programs.

Operating systems. GIS software may not be accessible across all operating systems. Generally speaking, they can run on MacOS and Windows, so this won’t be a problem for most users. However, users running Linux and ChromeOS will find their software options limited. Additionally, many GIS systems don’t have support for mobile operating systems such as Android or iOS, so if these are major parts of your workflow, make sure a GIS product can work for you.

Industry: GIS is a field of products that can work with virtually any industry that utilizes demographic and geospatial information. However, some products are geared for use in specific industries, and as such have built in support for analysis techniques and common software used in those fields. For example, some GIS are geared more toward transportation and logistical concerns, and so you may find that somes products are easier to integrate based on these factors.

Hardware integrations: Drones, sensors, and devices part of the internet of things (IOT) are becoming increasingly common in fields that utilize GIS. However, not all GIS products can natively support data from these sources. If these are common parts of your data collection process, make sure that they can integrate with a GIS, either directly or through third party integrations.

Data ownership: Some GIS software have automated data collection and mining features. However, users may not have ownership of the data collected by these products. This is a problem that users who choose a subscription or cloud-based service may encounter more so than users who choose to purchase a product with a one-time licensing fee. If this is a concern for you, consult the vendors regarding this matter.

Pricing Information

There are several free GIS options, which have fewer features compared to paid options. Paid GIS software is priced using yearly subscription models or through one-time licensing fees. Subscription prices at their lowest tiers range between $150 to $2,000 per year. One-time fees range between $70 and $1,500. Free trials and demos are available from vendors.

More Resources

More resources are available on the TrustRadius blog:

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Frequently Asked Questions

What do geographic information systems do?

Geographic information systems (GIS) are suites of tools used to collect and analyze geospatial data. GIS can generate reports, measure environmental impact, and produce visualizations.

What are the benefits of using geographic information systems?

Geographic information systems (GIS) allow users to quickly and efficiently utilize geographic, demographic, and environmental data to create complex and accurate maps. GIS can also be used to test scenarios and measure environmental impact.

What are the best geographic information systems?

How much do geographic information systems cost?

There are several free geographic information systems (GIS). Paid GIS can be purchased with either yearly subscription models ranging from $150 to $2,000, or as a one-time flat fee between $70 and $1,500. Free trials and demos are available.