List of Top 10 Geographic Information System (GIS) 2023 (Free & Paid)

top Geographic Information System

A geographic information system is a tool that analyzes the spatial relationships, patterns, and trends. This can be achieved by connecting geography with the available data that makes GIS better understandable in a geographic context. The main areas of the GIS system are creating geographic data, managing these data in the database, analyzing to form patterns and visualizing the same on a map. GIS provides a better understanding of the spatial patterns and relationships. With this, GIS technology combines the database operations like query and statistical analysis with the unique visualization and geographic analysis benefits offered by maps.

GIS system includes both hardware and software systems. These application systems may include all kinds of data like cartographical data, photographic data, digital data, or data available in spreadsheets. The GIS software is used to synthesize/manipulate large amounts of different kinds of data captured and different layers of information are combined to manage and retrieve the data in a more useful manner.

GIS software is the tool designed to combine various maps and remote sensing information to generate various models that are useful in a real-time environment. The geographical information system technology employs geographic concepts, applications, and systems.

1. Esri ArcGIS

ArcGIS is a GIS mapping software that provides mapping and analytics platform for geographic data captured. ArcGIS extends some of the unique potentiality along with pliable licensing for applying location-based analytics to any business practices. It provides an insight to visualize and analyze your data and share the data in the form of maps, dashboards, reports, etc. ArcGIS can be used as a standalone application and combined with other as well to support location mapping. It’s helpful in working with a set of analytical data and spatial algorithms. ArcGIS software is useful in location monitoring of any type of sensor or device.

2. Mapbox

A map is a graphical representation of the area. Mapbox GIS mapping software provides the map designing tools and mapping libraries needed to make dynamic, performant, and customized maps that suit the requirements. Maps generated by Mapbox tools are comprehensive and accurate all over the globe. Their Maps APIs support more than 5 billion requests per day. MapBox makes use of OpenGL technologies for on-device rendering, resulting in highly performant maps with maximum flexibility, allowing dynamic styling and optimize the map based on your custom data.

3. Maptitude

Maptitude is one of the GIS mapping software which provides the tools, maps, and demographic data which are useful to visualize data by unearthing geographic patterns from the available data, and presenting the data in a more in an elementary way. The benefits of desktop mapping and spatial analysis with a single, easy-to-use package can be availed in Maptitude. Maptitude is one of the best mapping software available in the market with the richest feature set and highest performance to its credit. Some of it’s best and enhanced features include creating and editing maps, adding data to the maps, analyzing graphics data.

4. Surfer

Surfer is a 3D surface mapping software which helps in contouring the maps. Surfer is most commonly used for converting available data into outstanding contour, surface, wireframe, vector, image, shaded relief, and post maps, more quickly and easily. Surfer software comprises of tools such as analysis tool that adjust interpolation and gridding parameters, evaluates the spatial continuity of data with variograms, define faults and breaklines, or perform grid calculations such as volumes, transformations, smoothing, or filtering. The captured data are stimulated for better understanding. The 3D viewer enables to model, analyze, and understand data in a better and easier way. It helps you to discover data patterns and trends.


QGIS is an open-source geographic information system software, which is free and user-friendly that facilitates you to create, edit, visualize, analyze and publish geospatial information on any OS such as Windows, Mac, Linux systems and supports vector, raster, and database formats and functionalities. QGIS is a product of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo). Publishing QGIS projects on the web are made easy with the benefit from the powerful symbology, labeling and blending features for a better understanding of maps.

6. Salesforce Maps

Salesforce Maps provides data visualization, scheduling and routing, and lead generation to optimize the Sales Processes. In better terms, understand hard-to-find data on a map-based interface and make location-driven decisions that drive productivity. Salesforce maps helps to build the fastest routes with cross-town driving and lower fuel costs. With this, it is pretty sure of timely arrival to customers in order to build accurate prospect data and territory visualization. Salesforce is mobile compatible that automates admin processes, like check-in and check-out, via a mobile device while on the road.

7. TerraSync Software

TerraSync software is a GIS software designed for collection and maintenance of efficient field GIS data. TerraSync is a powerful system that facilitates the collection of high-quality features and position data for GIS updates and maintenance. Along with the above feature, it provides simple and efficient workflows to capture high-quality data quickly and easily, which includes intelligent features such as map-centric operation, graphical status display, and the ability to record a position offset very quickly and easily. Using TerraSync software one can integrate photo capture into the data collection workflow along with the time, date, and location at which it was taken. Trimble TerraSync software can be helpful for field workers to collect data and achieve the required level of accuracy, either in real-time or after post-processing.


CARTO can turn your Location Data into Business Outcomes. CARTO makes it easy with data ingestion by getting full control of the spatial data. Their Data Observatory allows you to access different location data streams on common geometries thus saving time in gathering spatial data along with simplified geospatial analysis. With CARTO, you can develop and build custom applications and visualizations to share key insights for your business. Connect your analysis into the existing workflows. CARTO speeds up your time to insight by accessing best-in-class spatial analyses.

9. GeoExpress

GeoExpress is a GIS software that enables geospatial professionals to compress images to our proprietary, industry-standard MrSID format. This format supports lossless and visually lossless compression that enables to shrink file sizes without compromising image quality. GeoExpress software also features editing capabilities for geospatial imagery compression, providing improved visual data for analysis. It comprises of standard imagery editing functions like cropping and color balancing. GeoExpress can be used in combination with nearly all geospatial applications, including ArcGIS, Global Mapper, QGIS, Autodesk, ERDAS, ENVI, SOCET GXP, and Microstation.

10. CartoVista

CartoVista is a web mapping software that is helpful in publishing interactive web maps that bridge the gap between GIS and decision-makers. CartoVista accepts many GIS data formats and sources, to create and share maps that update automatically at predefined intervals. Easy to deploy maps on any web server internally or externally. With CartoVista, it's easy to build vibrant interactive maps to improve data sharing and understanding. With the help of CartoVista Publisher, it is easy to configure and customize the mapping styles and create high quality cartographic tiled basemaps.

Geographic Information System (GIS) Buyer’s Guide

A geographic information system (GIS) is a systematic framework, which is designed to capture, gather, store, manipulate, analyze and manage all the geographical data that are available on the earth’s surface. It is an information system designed and designated for capturing, gathering, integrating, storing, editing, manipulating, analyzing, sharing, and displaying geographically referenced information.

» What is Geographic Information System (GIS)?

Geographic Information System is a well-organized composition of computer hardware, software, geographic data, procedures, and personnel designed and designated to handle all phases of geographic data capture, storage, analysis, query, manage, display, and output.

A geographic information system is a tool used to analyze spatial relationships, patterns, and trends. By connecting geography with the available data, GIS is made understandable for better usage in a geographic context. The GIS system includes and involves creating geographic data, managing these data in the database, analyzing to form patterns and visualizing and realizing the same on a map. GIS is useful for better understanding of the spatial patterns and relationships.

» What are the features of the Geographic Information System?

Geographic Information System is a tool that is used for problem-solving and decision-making processes. It is more useful for visualization of data in a spatial environment. The geospatial data captured from the spatial environment are analyzed to obtain the detailed information of the location features and relationships to other features, the density of features in a given space, happenings around the area of interest (AOI), what is happening nearby a particular feature, and changes around the features over time.

Some of the important and main features of GIS are:

› Mapping:

GIS enables mapping of the spatial location of the real-world features and visualizes the spatial relationships between them.

› Data Modeling:

A GIS useful in depicting two- and three-dimensional characteristics of the Earth's surface, subsurface, and atmosphere from information points. Isopleths lines that represent elevation contours can be generated from a series of three-dimensional points, along with slope analysis, shaded relief, and other elevation products.

› Topological Modelling:

A GIS is programmed to recognize and analyze the spatial relationships that exist within digitally stored spatial data. Complex spatial modeling and analysis can be made using these topological relationships. Such relationships between geometric entities include adjacency, proximity, and containment.

› Networks:

A GIS can simulate the routing of materials along with a linear network modeling. Slope, speed limit, or pipe diameter values obtained can be integrated into network modeling. Network modeling is commonly deployed in infrastructure modeling, hydrology modeling, and transportation planning.

› Cartographic modeling:

A GIS process where several thematic layers of the same area are produced, processed, and analyzed is referred to as Cartographic modeling. Functional aspects of map layers can be combined into algorithms, and further into simulation or optimization models.

› Map Overlay

The blend of two spatial data sets in order to create a new output vector data set. A new data set union overlay combines the geographic features and attribute tables of both input data sets into a single new output. An intersect overlay defines the area where both input data sets overlap and retain a set of attribute fields for each. The difference overlay defines an output area that includes the total area of both inputs except for the overlapping area.

› Geostatistics

Geostatistics is a point-pattern analysis that fabricates the field predictions from the particular data points. The statistical properties of the special data are referred to as Geostatistics. It is not similar to general applications of statistics because it employs the use of graph theory and matrix algebra to reduce the number of parameters in the data.

» What are the benefits of Geographic Information System?

GIS is one of the most beneficial and widely used systems. It is mainly used as computer cartography for map-making. However, the main usage of GIS is using spatial and statistical methods to analyze attributes and geographic information. Some of the applications of GIS among many are listed below:

GIS in Agriculture: GIS is used extensively in farming for precision farming, soil mapping, and crop productivity. It’s used for disease control in crops for combating the spread of pests. Global crop productivity can be estimated using indices like Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). GIS is useful in capturing irrigation infrastructure for land management decisions, to make of the world’s freshwater withdrawals for irrigating crops. It is easy to establish farm priority zones by analyzing the local farming landscape. A GIS helps to configure and construct criteria for high-quality farming areas. GIS is useful for analyzing the spatial distribution of rainfall and real-time sensors like SMAP, SMOS and synthetic aperture radar, that can be used for minimizing the drought conditions across the world.

GIS in Weather forecast: GIS mapping system is used to map out the temperature with multi-dimensional NetCDF including dimensions of latitude, longitude, altitude, and time. Real-time lightning strikes can be captured on a map with monitoring stations located around the world. Obtaining the latitude and longitude positions of weather stations around the world. Illustrating rainfall on the National Weather Service web map.

GIS in Forestry: GIS is very helpful in managing timber, tracking deforestation and inventory forest stands with GIS. GIS can be used to save wild lives through real-time wildfire satellite monitoring.

GIS in Military and Defence: GIS is widely used in military and defense. They use it for location intelligence; logistics management, and spy satellites. To find enemies or any kind of threat using remote sensing imagery with biogeographic theory. The geographic data can be very useful for battlefield applications and make life-saving decisions.

» What can be the cost of the GIS software?

With the ever-changing demands and needs of each company, the features against different sizes and scopes are to be considered. Investing in better software, considering the relevant user reviews is the best choice to make. Requesting a free demo if the vendor offers one would be beneficial to know the features and performance. This may seem the best way to see if a package is too much for your standards/needs or just right for your particular business. Hence, spending a little time on this process of selecting the best GIS software now can save more time and money in the near future. There are also a few open-source GIS software which proves beneficial for the beginners

» Conclusion

GIS has become one of the most used and most important to capture and study the geospatial data. Geographic information systems (GIS) are helpful to interpret data understanding relationships, patterns, and trends. Also in viewing and analyzing data geographically impacts our understanding of the world we live in.