Today we live in interesting scenes, in which free and proprietary software coexist, contributing to the industry in conditions of competitiveness that are more balanced every day. Perhaps the geospatial issue is one of the fields in which open source solutions are as robust as non-free license solutions; However, faced with these two extremes, a market arises for those who do not want to go for the open, but who cannot pay the costs of the popularized proprietary. This is low cost software.
These solutions have always caught my attention, because in a curious way, they have an interesting niche. One of the ones I liked the most before was Manifold GIS. Today I took a look at Simple GIS Software, an application that has multiple features that are interesting to know and evaluate.
How simple is Simple GIS Software
Simple GIS Software (SGS) provides a work response from two fronts, not only the conventional desktop, but also the collaborative one, through a server that can also provide WMS (OGC Standard) services. The latter is interesting, since SGS provides the capabilities to capture, store, manipulate, analyze as well as present spatial and geographic data; combining capabilities and the power of a traditional database.
SGS's proposal is to be an easy-to-use software, with a short learning curve and the simplicity of doing GIS with a solution that barely costs 25 dollars. Much of what Simple GIS Software does is very similar to what other free and proprietary tools do; Perhaps the interesting thing about this solution is its practicality, in doing in a simple way what a user requires the most, without complications of multiple buttons and plugins. Simple GIS Software not only produces and displays maps, but has (and this seems quite intuitive to us) analytical capabilities to help solve real-world problems based on the spatial relationships between objects.
I have downloaded the trial version, and I have tried to download the entire OSM data layer from UTAH. It has been processing about 10 minutes, the one that has taken the longest is the streets layer, but because I have asked it to conform to geocode. It seems to me an impressive thing, that I would like other applications to do, because in the end it has lowered the entire base of this state, it has made topological construction and dissolution functions for the conversion of data to shp layers. With some VBA editing my friend «Filibuster»He has made adjustments to download the entire Open Street Map base in Bogotá and ... as our friend, Bombazo, would say !.
Like it shows, From here you can download the shp layers of Open Street Map of Bogotá, between the coordinates -74.343, 4.536; -73.903,4.813.
Honestly it's worth the half hour I've spent.
It is quite simple in the analysis of filtered searches, for geomarketing type applications. The so-called 'proximity analysis' capacity of this software turns out to be very well used by an infrastructure company that conducts road construction studies in order to determine possible impacted areas. GPS data can be integrated to display real-time location information or provide routing and navigation information from the software.
The layout of maps is quite acceptable, practical, thought of what is ultimately sought to convey ideas.
Simple GIS Client - Desktop GIS Software
Supports vector data of Shapefiles, Simple GIS Graphic Layers, DXF, Simple GIS Server Vector, Event Layers with spreadsheets and any database via ODBC connector. CAD-type editing is quite practical, in common commands such as offset, trim, fillet, split, with efficiency in adding or removing vertices, undo / redo that does not kill memory, despite doing heavy tasks, cogo support for bearings and distances, and a functional snap. In short, sufficient editing capacity.
Most surprisingly, shape file editing in multi-user mode. Considering that this is an archaic file with the limitations of its only 16 bits, which came to us as a de facto standard and which has been so difficult to get rid of after more than 20 years.
Regarding raster support, it includes BMP, Jpeg, Tiff, Jpeg 2000, MrSid, Simple GIS MRI (multi resolution image), Simple GIS Server Image Layers, WMS and recently includes tessellated WMS (WMTS)
The simple GIS client runs on Microsoft Windows. It has the power, lightness and functionality to work as a desktop GIS software application. If you want to use it for field or navigation, it can be run on a tablet that supports windows. It performs common functions of thematic maps, selection sets, filtering, spatial and attribute queries, editing and viewing of .shp files in multi-user mode, it has advanced editing functions, map production, geocoding, routing, among others. I find the download capacity of a whole set of Data from Open Street Map, for example an entire state of the United States, with geocoding with the state or with Zipcode.
You can create detailed geocoded and fully routable street maps using only a few clicks. It also contains many tools for geoprocessing images of interesting scope, being able to customize the software using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA).
It produces outputs of acceptable quality that can be printed directly or exposed in common graphic formats in order to be able to be inserted into other software packages.
Simple GIS Server - GIS mapping software
Faced with the need to share GIS data over a network, local, broadband or Internet, Simple GIS Server is a Microsoft Windows server that uses TCP / IP and contains a standalone Web server that allows vector and / or raster data to be served to GIS clients over data networks or provide open geospatial web mapping (WMS) services. The new version of Server allows taking maps created in Simple GIS client and publishing them as a WMS in a fairly simple way.
You can serve data and configure SSL authentication. It is also possible to connect it to AVL (Automated Vehicle Location) by means of a plugin for remote GPS control.
In conclusion, Simple GIS Software, despite being a tool aimed at North American users, has interesting potential as a low-cost solution. For $ 25 I expected less; In my opinion it is a software with client-server capabilities, with sufficient capabilities
Time will tell how far it evolves.