Friday, July 20, 2012

Non-GIS Open Source, Worthy Companions

Do not look at the title twice!  Yes, this post is about non-GIS open source software.  However, these open-source programs make great companions to any analysis. 

For example, you may find the need for a traditional statistical software package. R Statistical Software can aid in importing, analyzing, and cleaning your data.  You can perform traditional statistical analyses.  There's even a spatial package, although you will better off sticking with open source GIS programs like GRASS or QGIS.  A good overview of its spatial package can be found here.

Want to examine social networks?  Then, Gephi's great!  I just analyzed my Facebook network in only a few minutes after following a tutorial.  In addition, Gephi has features and plugins to help you map geographic data
At some point you may also need Python.  Editing and organizing code, then give Notepad ++ a try.

A some point you will have to compress files, then 7-zip is a sure thing.  You may want to playback some videos or animations and VLC Player works great.

GIMP is a image maniupulation program similar to photoshop.  You can see an example of combining GIS with GIMP on a great GIS blog.

You will probably want to type up your results or make a few "PowerPoint" there's Open Office and the Libre Office implementation. If you need a standalone pdf creator, then there's PDF creator.

Lastly, if you ever want to venture away from Windows or other operating systems, there's Ubuntu--an easy installation of Linux.  Be sure the open-source or for-fee programs you want to run have a Linux version before making the switch.  Naturally, many open source programs have a Linux version but some do not.

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