Jason Scott at the Internet Archive explains that with the instantaneous accessibility provided by in-browser emulators, users don’t have to “track down the hardware and media to run [old software], or access and install emulators and acquire/install cartridge or floppy images as you boot up the separate emulator program, outside of the browser.”
The number of programs that can run via an emulator in the browser only numbers about thirty but more programs are expected to added to the list. None of the thirty programs are GIS or mapping related but included among the classic software options are some old GIS software programs.
How to run old GIS software programs
Digging through the archive list, I found a couple of GIS programs dating to 2003. If you want to try them out, visit the The Old School Emulation Center which has a catalog of over 200 unique computing platforms you can retrieve.
The software program’s functionality included taking measurements in geographic coordinates, and importing Shapefiles and GeoTIFFs.
You can take measurements in geographic coordinates, and import SHAPE and GeoTIFF files into unlimited numbers of automatically aligned overlapping layers. Canvas GIS also has 2,104 coordinate reference systems, 67 operation methods, and 1,052 map projections.
PC GIS is another 2003 program created by CMT (Corvallis Microtechnology), which still makes the software, known as PC-GIS Pro. The PC based GIS program is described as providing “data import, coordinate system conversion, automatic labeling, Heads-Up Digitizing (HUD) for points, zoom tools and GIS layering.”
To browse the classic software options and to try out some of the programs prepped for in-browser emulators, visit The Internet Archive Software Collection page.