Open Source GIS

Among the many finds I come across on the internet, I am always excited about open source products. I am even more excited when the product can do what packages costing several thousands of dollars do equally well.
Today was one of those days.
First a definition is in order: Open Source means that that an organization (loose term here) builds a product that it shared among colleagues who test it and make it better. GIS is geospatial information systems (maps and databases).

GeoidThe two of these come together in a package from GeoNetwork. They describe their tool as “GeoNetwork opensource is a standardized and decentralized spatial information management environment, designed to enable access to geo-referenced databases, cartographic products and related metadata from a variety of sources, enhancing the spatial information exchange and sharing between organizations and their audience, using the capacities of the internet. This approach of geographic information management aims at facilitating a wide community of spatial information users to have easy and timely access to available spatial data and to existing thematic maps that might support informed decision making.” You can click here to read more.

Real exciting if you are into GIS. I happen to be as I am currently enrolled in a graduate program for GIS. Couple of years from now I’ll have a nice collection of spatial data to manage an organization’s infrastructure or building maps of the migration of the Chesapeake Slug.

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