shrug-l: RE: ArcGIS Alternative

Tue Apr 5 11:15:36 EDT 2011

PostgreSQL has a free, opensource, geospatial extension called PostGIS ( that defines geometric data types and allows you to perform geometric operations on them.

I haven't worked with ArcSDE, so I don't know what features PostGIS matches (and if anyone wanted to give a rundown, I'd be interested to learn), but I've seen PostGIS used to good effect both at FREAC on the iMapInvasives project (, and here at the Senate for our reapportionment application.  iMapInvasives uses OpenLayers ( for their mapping front end.  It is FOSS.

District Builder, the Senate's reapportionment application, is being built on an entirely open source tech stack (save Server 2008).  PostGIS/MapServer/Apache/PHP.

Daniel Porter
GIS Developer
Senate Committee on Reapportionment

From: shrug-l-bounces at [mailto:shrug-l-bounces at] On Behalf Of Vaddadi, Sai
Sent: Tuesday, April 05, 2011 8:10 AM
To: Kissane, Mike; 'Keith Sandell'; shrug-l at
Subject: shrug-l: RE: ArcGIS Alternative

Hi, ESRI supports PostgreSQL for SDE which is an open source database.

GRASS GIS - for Data Management and Ananlysis.

I can assure you these are not as convinient like ESRI but they are FREE!


Satyasai K Vaddadi
GIS Developer/Analyst
Orlando Utilities Commission

From: shrug-l-bounces at [mailto:shrug-l-bounces at] On Behalf Of Kissane, Mike
Sent: Tuesday, April 05, 2011 7:46 AM
To: 'Keith Sandell'; shrug-l at
Subject: shrug-l: RE: ArcGIS Alternative
Hi Keith,

Here are a few products.  I will let you do the research because I have never used any of these except for an old version of MapDotNet and MapServer once.  Some of these you might still have to have ArcMap desktop.

There are probably more these are just the ones I could remember off the top of my head.

Call MapDotNet/ISC they are a Tallahassee based company and will give you a demo of what they can offer.
Benton Belcher
(850) 893-6741 Ext. 1023

Hope this helps,


From: shrug-l-bounces at [mailto:shrug-l-bounces at] On Behalf Of Keith Sandell
Sent: Monday, April 04, 2011 6:23 PM
To: shrug-l at
Subject: shrug-l: ArcGIS Alternative

Hey Shruggers,

My purchasing department is making me do a cost benefit analysis of paying our annual maintenance to ESRI versus abandoning ESRI in favor of some other GIS software, if there is such as thing.

Are there any comparable GIS suites out there that have the same, or greater, functionality as Desktop and Server 10?

And what is there cost to replace, and implement, 2 ArcInfo concurrent use licenses, 1 ArcGIS Server Std Enterprise license and 1 EDN license?

Silly exercise, but one I have to do nonetheless.

Keith Sandell, MBA
GIS Manager, Corporate Analytics
Citizens Property Insurance Corporation
2101 Maryland Circle, Tallahassee, Florida 32303
ofc. 850.521.8341   |   cell 850.727.2897

"If we are to achieve results never before accomplished we must expect to employ methods never before attempted." - Francis Bacon

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