Open Source Mapping Options

I’m currently taking a Geospatial Information Sciences course at USC that uses Esri’s ArcGIS software. This software, however, is really expensive and dated in its user interface.

Looking for free alternatives for when I’m finished with the program and will be unable to pay for an individual lisence, I’ve thus far come across two options.

At a real basic mapping level there is Google Fusion Tables and Google Earth. This can get super intense for those with computer programming backgrounds through Google Maps and Places API.

For those who want more functionality and aren’t programmers, I just came across an academic study that used QGIS, an open sourced mapping software that looks pretty amazing. I haven’t used this software yet myself, but hope to download and play around with it soon.  Another open sourced mapping option with a beautiful cover–all I judge until I open it up–is Mapbox.

Much to learn, much to explore.

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