Commercial GIS Software Applications

Caitlin Dempsey


List of GIS software applications available that are commercial.  Listed below are companies and organizations that create software that provide all-encompassing mapping and spatial analysis capabilities via the desktop.

For other GIS related software applications visit the Open Source GISFree Data Viewers, Component GIS, Web-based GIS, and Macintosh Resources for GIS pages.

This list is a work in progress and is not a complete list of geospatial applications: Do you know of a GIS software that’s missing from this page or see outdated information listed here?  Email the details to

Commercial and Proprietary GIS Software

AGIS for Windows is a mapping and simple GIS package specifically designed to be easy to use, and distributed as shareware via the world wide web.
Platforms: Windows

Autodesk has a series of software applications designed to meet GIS needs in a variety of areas that interfaces with their CAD software.
Platforms: Windows

Bentley Systems, Inc.
Bentley provides software for the “Design, construction, and operation of the world’s infrastructure”. The company’s software serves the geospatial, building, plant, and civil vertical markets in the areas of mapping, architecture, engineering, construction (AEC) and operations. Bentley offers a wide range of products for surveying, GPS, photogrammetry, remote sensing, imaging, conversion, mapping, cartography, and other geospatial applications built on MicroStation Products: Bentley Map – Desktop GIS, Bentley Cadastre – Desktop land management GIS, Bentley Descartes – Desktop image editing, analysis, and processing, Bentley Geo Web Publisher – GIS web publishing and viewing, Bentley PowerMap Field – Field-enabled GIS and redlining.
Platforms: Windows

Commercial software package for Mac OS featuring: Support for a huge number of import formats, including popular Raster formats, manual editing and georeferencing, automatic geocoding, integration with online mapping, output to  large-format printers.  Thirty-day demo available for download.
Platforms: Macintosh

DeLorme is the producers of XMap, a GIS application “with 80% of the functionality found in a traditional GIS at 15% of the cost”. Performs such functions as geocoding, image rectification, 3D visualization and coordinate transformation.
Platforms: Windows

Environmental Systems Research Institue has been creating GIS software for over 30 years. Recognized as the leader in GIS software, it’s been estimated that about seventy percent of GIS users use Esri products. Esri overhauled their software packages into an interoperable model called ArcGIS (the desktop GIS is referred to as ArcMap).  In addition, Esri has developed plug-ins called extensions which add to the functionality of ArcGIS. Demo and light versions of Esri software are available for downloading. You can also find free data to use with Esri products.
Platforms: Windows
Further Resources: ArcGIS,  ArcView 3.x (no longer in production)

geothinQ is a Geographic Information System (GIS) platform that powers smart, data-driven real estate decisions for land development professionals and property stakeholders. Backed by robust land mapping technology, geothinQ provides on-demand access to property data across the country including environmental, demographic and topographic information. The platform creates a fast and visual land evaluation process resulting in sustainable projects that produce a positive ROI for developers.

Operating System: geothinQ’s platform can be accessed via the Internet.

Intergraph makes several GIS applications. Most of the GIS packages are designed with an Open GIS in mind and therefore can work with a variety of other GIS software formats. Intergraph has developed products that help merge GIS with information technology (IT) and business process improvement tools. Intergraph offers the GeoMedia family of solutions and Modular GIS Environment MGE Suite of mapping and GIS applications.

Using an open architecture, the GeoMedia product suite integrates geospatial information throughout the enterprise and provides the tools needed to develop business-to-business and custom client applications using industry standard development tools. GeoMedia offers uninhibited access to all geospatial data formats without the need for data translations. Currently in Version 4.0 the GeoMedia family is made up of GeoMedia, GeoMedia Professional, GeoMedia WebMap, and GeoMedia WebEnterprise.

  • GeoMedia is the universal information integrator, serving as a visualization and analysis tool and as an open platform for custom GIS solution development.
  • GeoMedia Professional is a product specifically designed to collect and manage spatial data using standard databases.
  • GeoMedia WebMap is a Web-based map visualization tool with real-time links to one or more GIS data warehouses.
  • GeoMedia WebEnterprise creates dynamic, custom web-mapping applications that can analyze and manipulate geographic data.
  • In addition to these products, Intergraph offers MFworks for GeoMedia which provides users of grid-based software the power of visualization, mapping, and analysis. Intergraph also offers SMMS for GeoMedia which is a desktop tool for geographic metadata creation and geographic data management.

The Modular GIS Environment (MGE) product suite provides production-ready capabilities for automating, managing, analyzing, and presenting GIS data, and is completely interoperable with GeoMedia.

Platforms: Windows OS
Further Resources: Intergraph

Manifold System provides comprehensive, professional grade GIS software for $245 that includes a very wide array of features. Manifold imports data from over 80 different GIS formats, including all formats used by Federal government sites for free Internet downloads, and Manifold allows seamless, simultaneous work with vector drawings, raster images, terrain elevations and raster data sets either as 2D displays or 3D terrain visualizations. Manifold includes exceptional DBMS capabilities, full development facilities and includes a built-in Internet Map Server for fast and easy publication of GIS projects to the web without programming. Options include US Street address geocoding and the Enterprise Edition, for centralized geospatial data storage on enterprise servers that can be used by many GIS operators at once. Manifold was the first GIS to attain “designed for XP” status with Microsoft and the Manifold Internet Map Server works perfectly within ASP.NET servers. For info, see
Platforms: Windows

Ortelius is a “map illustration” software package that adds one more selection to the very limited mapping software options out there for Macintosh users.  A free trial download is available.
Platforms: Macintosh

MapInfo – Pitney Bowes Business Insight (PBBI)
PBBI’s flagship software is MapInfo, a suite of GIS software. MapInfo Professional is their leading GIS product containing the most advanced analytical tools. MapInfo also offers plug-ins called add-ons to enhance the functionality of MapInfo Professional. For the development side, MapInfo offers Map-X. Through an Active X component, developers can embed mapping applications into other applications such as Excel. Although it can be used for a variety of analysis, the makers of MapInfo market the software more towards the business sector. Demo versions are available for downloading for some of MapInfo’s products.
Platforms: Windows OS
Further Resources: MapInfo, MapBasic, MapInfo Tutorials

The Maptitude Mapping Software is a full-featured mapping package and GIS application for Windows. Designed for ease-of-use, data visualization and geographic analysis, Maptitude comes with comprehensive nationwide and worldwide maps, including complete US street maps, and Census tract and ZIP Code boundaries and demographics. Caliper also produces TransCAD for transportation and logistics. TransCAD is used for solving key analytical problems in transportation planning, management, and operations. TransCAD is used extensively for transportation database development and maintenance, demand forecasting, operations management, and vehicle routing and scheduling.
Platforms: Windows OS

Map Maker
Map Maker Pro is a low-cost and easy to use, yet powerful, map making and Geographical Information System for Windows. It is designed to enable non-expert users to start producing useful maps after only a few hours study. A variety of tools allows you to navigate around a map, measure distances and areas, draw polygons, lines and symbols, and display and edit data.
Platforms: Windows OS

My World GIS is a full-featured GIS designed for educational use. My World provides a carefully selected subset of the features of a professional GIS environment. These features include multiple geographic projections, table and map views of data, distance-measurement tools, buffering and query operations, customizable map display. They have been selected to provide the greatest value to students without overwhelming them with complexity The features are accessed through a supportive interface designed with the needs of students and teachers in mind.  My World can import data from the industry-standard shapefile format, as well as from tab and comma-delimited text files.
Platforms: Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Solaris

Supergeo Technologies
SuperGIS Desktop is a full-featured GIS platform for Windows OS. It allows users to edit, visualize, manage and analyze geospatial data both in vector and raster, including OGC formats and various geodatabases, such as MSSQL, Oracle spatial, and PostGIS. Capabilities can be powered up via extensions such as Network Analyst, 3D Analyst, Spatial Analyst, Biodiversity Analyst, etc., which enables users to conduct complicated analyses and make smarter decisions. By combing Mobile GIS and Server GIS also from Supergeo, you can have a total geospatial solution from data collection in field to data publishing online with reasonable price. The free trial is available on Supergeo’s website. Various product resources and friendly technical support are also provided by Supergeo team.
Platforms: Windows OS

TatukGIS Editor
Professional, general-purpose desktop GIS mapping and data editing application with built-in scripting environment for customization and feature extensions. Natively supports most GIS/CAD raster/vector/SQL layer data formats, including enterprise spatial geodatabases (such as Oracle Spatial, PostGIS …)  State-of-the-art coordinate system support with nearly 5,000 pre-defined coordinate systems and on-the-fly raster/vector layer reprojection, 3D mapping, raster & vector layer rectification, and compatibility with leading database products. Data grid with advanced query and selection tools.
Platforms: Windows OS

Terrain Tools
Terrain Tools, produced by Softree, is a software package for surveying and mapping. It is ideal for the forester, geologist, surveyor or resource scientist who is not a GIS specialist, but who needs to quickly produce working maps and site plans.

TerrSet Geospatial Monitoring and Modeling System
Developed by Clark Labs, TerrSet is an integrated geospatial software for monitoring and modeling the earth system. The TerrSet software incorporates the IDRISI GISt Analysis and IDRISI Image Processing tools along with a constellation of modeling environments to analyze land change, image time series, ecosystem services, habitat and biodiversity, climate impacts, and REDD. Learn more at

TNT Products
Created by Microimages, The TNT Products is a suite of GIS applications for fully integrated GIS, image processing, CAD, TIN, desktop cartography, and geospatial database management.
Platforms: Windows, UNIX, Macintosh This list is a work in progress: Do you know of an open source GIS software that’s missing from this page or see outdated information listed here?  Email the details to This article was originally published on May 4, 2003.  Select entries last updated on March 1, 2016. 

See Also

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About the author
Caitlin Dempsey
Caitlin Dempsey is the editor of Geography Realm and holds a master's degree in Geography from UCLA as well as a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from SJSU.

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