The Top 10 Alternatives to ArcGIS

Find the best GIS platform for your project

GIS software is a powerful tool that enables for the presentation, collection, manipulation, management, and analysis of spatial data. It is therefore no surprise that it is used in such a variety of industries ranging from transportation and infrastructure, to environmental planning and disaster response. Currently, ArcGIS is one of the world-leading GIS software available, with millions of users in over 300,000 organizations around the globe. However, while ArcGIS remains one of the more popular options amongst advanced GIS users, many may find that it can be expensive and difficult to use. For this reason, we’ve developed a list of the top-10 GIS alternatives to ArcGIS, all easy to use, and almost all of them free!

Price: Free

Operating Systems: Windows. Linux, and MacOS

The classic “DIY” option: program it yourself! The number one alternative to ArcGIS is to roll your own solution. We’re not surprised by this – we chose to develop our own GIS platform after all! GIS data is typically used to engineer things, it makes a lot of sense to us that the ‘solution’ isn’t the latest data but often a program or application that is designed to work with dynamic data that changes frequently.

ArcGIS Alternative - R

02. QGIS

Price: Free

Operating System: Windows, Linux, Unix, and MacOS

QGIS is the #1 completely free (& open source!) GIS software solution available right now. We use it daily at Equator as a benchmark for what we do. While not always the most user-friendly solution, QGIS can probably do it if you’re willing to dig deep enough through it’s massive library of menus, functions, and plugins.

ArcGIS Alternative - QGIS

03. Mapline

Price: Free

Operating System: Windows, and MacOS

Mapline is a free to use mapping software that enables its users to create maps from spreadsheets. This is a particularly useful tool for people looking to translate large amounts amount of data into a simplified visual format. It is an excellent tool for presenting data and conducting visual analysis! If you are looking for alternatives to ArcGIS then Mapline is definitely worth considering

ArcGIS Alternative - Mapline

04. Grass GIS

Price: Free

Operating System: Windows, Linux, and MacOS

Grass GIS is a spatial database and software suite used for creating and managing maps, editing data, conducting spatial analysis, and sharing information. It is an open source software that runs on all major platforms, making it a convenient option for a variety of different users. There are many plugins and extensions available for Grass GIS, allowing you to customize it to fit your specific needs. The software also supports vector, raster, and database formats, so if you are looking for a powerful mapping tool that can handle a variety of data formats, Grass GIS is definitely worth considering!

ArcGIS Alternative - Grass GIS

05. Post GIS

Price: Free

Operating System: Windows, Linux, and MacOS

For those in the engineering and GIS community, PostGIS is a well-known open source extension for the PostgreSQL database that allows for spatial data to be stored, managed, and queried. The software enables users to conduct complex geospatial analyses and – because it is built on top of the powerful open-source database PostgreSQL – it can handle large datasets with ease. For these reasons, PostGIS are one of the best alternatives to ArcGIS.

ArcGIS Alternative - Post GIS

06. Maptitude

Price: Paid

Operating System: Windows

Maptitude is a GIS software package that allows users to create and edit maps, perform spatial analysis, and visualize spatial data. It can be used for a variety of purposes, such as real estate and land management, environmental analysis, marketing research, and more. Maptitude is an affordable alternative to other commercial GIS software packages, and it is available in both a desktop version and a web-based version. It is an excellent alternative for those looking to harness the power of location intelligence.

ArcGIS Alternative - Maptitude

07. OpenLayers

Price: Free

Operating System: Online/Self-Hosted

OpenLayers is an open source JavaScript library for displaying map data on a web page. It provides a powerful, easy-to-use API for creating dynamic maps and making interactive queries to spatial data servers. OpenLayers has been used in many high-profile projects, including Google Earth, Wikimedia Maps, and CartoWeb. If you’re interested in adding mapping functionality to your web application, or just want to explore the world map, OpenLayers is one of those great alternatives.

ArcGIS Alternative - OpenLayers

08. SuperGIS

Price: Paid

Operating System: Windows, and Android

If you’re looking for a GIS software that is both powerful and easy to use, SuperGIS is the perfect choice. SuperGIS has a wide range of features that will meet the needs of any user, and its intuitive interface makes it simple to operate. Furthermore, SuperGIS is the only GIS software that offers both raster and vector functionality in one package, making it a powerful tool to create and analyze maps, as well as manage and interpret spatial data. So if you are looking for a comprehensive GIS solution, SuperGIS is definitely worth checking out!

ArcGIS Alternative - SuperGIS

09. Equator Studios

Price: Free

Operating Software: Online

Equator Studios was built from the ground up to cover the basics of GIS, hiding the complexities in a user-friendly and accessible browser based web app. Our teams philosophy is that if you can’t do it with a simple drag, drop, or slide, then we must return to the drawing board until you can. We don’t like to waste our time, or yours, on difficult to understand manuals or unnecessary software training. K.I.S.S. all the way!

ArcGIS Alternative - Equator Studios

10. MapWindow GIS

Price: Free

Operating System: Windows

MapWindow is a free, open source GIS software application. It allows you to view and edit map data from various sources such as shapefiles, images, and scanned maps. It also has many features for creating and printing maps, as well as analyzing data.

ArcGIS Alternative - MapWindow