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NACIS PCD 2013: Navigating a Labyrinth of Libraries

NACIS PCD 2013: Navigating a Labyrinth of Libraries

This talk briefly and broadly introduces some popular mapping software for the desktop and web. Each is aligned on a spectrum between visualization and analysis, as a minor update to my January 2013 presentation on the same topic.

Joshua Stevens

October 10, 2013

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  1. • An industry standard GIS • Complete vector and raster

    analysis • Hundreds of tools • Model builder • Python • Many training and certification options ArcGIS
  2. • Open source, actively developed • Supports GRASS, PostgreSQL/PostGIS, OSM...

    • Great vector and raster tools • Easy to make your own / DL from others • Scriptable: Python, GDAL QGIS
  3. PostGIS (PostgreSQL) • “Spatially-enabled PostgreSQL” • Incredibly powerful; super fast

    • No direct GUI SELECT ST_Extent(geom) FROM places WHERE place = 'STATE COLLEGE'; www.postgis.org postgresapp.com (OS X)
  4. R (w/ spatial packages) • Academics love it • Command-line

    • Powerful stats • Hamstrung by package dependency • Recommended packages: ggplot2, splancs, maps, spatstat, mapproj statisfaction.wordpress.com www.r-project.org www.rstudio.com
  5. • PostGIS + CartoCSS • Upload query/analyze style share •

    Several base maps, user-friendly wizards • Advanced APIs (cartodb.js, R support, D3...) • Torque for time-series (http://cartodb.github.io/torque/) CartoDB
  6. • Style spatial data with CartoCSS • Shp, PostgreSQL, SQLite,

    GeoJSON, CSV • Choose scale(s), produce tiles • Export images, embed on web/mobile, PDF... • Add interaction • Publish on MapBox.com TileMill
  7. • Design maps in your browser • Add public layers

    + base maps made by others • Load your data from TileMill • Embed or share • Free account limited to 3,000 views / month • Use with MapBox.js or vanilla Leaflet MapBox
  8. • JavaScript library for displaying tiles (“slippy map”) • Add

    markers, lines, polygons • Very interactive • Pairs well with other libraries (e.g., D3) • Basis for many others (MapBox.js, HugePic) • Awesome support, getting simpler (better!) Leaflet
  9. • JavaScript for drawing SVG styled with CSS • Extremely

    capable, many examples online • Steep learning curve, requires JS proficiency • Maps are only a small facet of D3 • Great when combined with other libraries (CartoDB.js/Torque, MapBox.js, Leaflet) D3 (Data-driven Documents)