Saturday, May 26, 2007


There is large number of GIS software available in market and being used by GIS users across the world. The choice for procuring particular GIS software depends on kind of GIS tasks to be done and the budget available. Here we will be discussing two software- ArcGIS and Manifold. While ArcGIS is very advanced and popular software Manifold is low cost (still very handy & useful) GIS solution. There is no bias for these or any other GIS software. This article is for reference purpose only and views are personal.


ESRI’s (Environmental Systems Research Institute) GIS product popularly known as ArcGIS desktop is one of the most widely used GIS software. One can hardly find any GIS expert who hasn’t work on ArcGIS. Also one can’t hardly find any GIS software which does not import or export files in *.shp format (i.e. ESRI’s shape file format for vector data).

ArcGIS desktop is a general term which is used for ESRI’s three products- ArcView GIS, ArcEditor and ArcInfo. All of these three have same interface, the difference is in their functionalities and tools (obviously so in the price!!).

ArcView GIS

This ESRI product has basic GIS functionalities like digitization, editing, georeferencing, exploring, browsing, queries, attribute table editing, map navigation, labeling, raster support, layout creation, projection transformation, basic spatial analysis, utility network analysis etc.


ArcEditor contains all the features of ArcView plus many other advance features like raster editing, vectorization, multiuser database editing, coverage data management, geodatabase administration, geodatabase topology management, advance utility network analysis, cartographic tools etc.


This ESRI product is considered as complete GIS solutions. It contains all the features of ArcEditor and some more advanced tools like – advance label management, advance cartographic tools, advance data manipulation (coverage geoprocessing) etc.

No doubt that ESRI’s products are great and very popular but these are very expansive hence individuals even can’t dream to purchase. Even it’s basic feature software ArcView is beyond one’s pocket. This is one of the reasons why ArcGIS is mostly used by big organizations (small organizations dare to purchase these only if their client agrees to fund it!).

Except financial aspect the ArcGIS is nice software. More advanced features are being updated regularly. One can find number free scripts from
ESRI support site for arc scripts. There are number of free advance tools available on internet (like- KML export support for viewing vector data in Google Earth) which can easily be installed on computer system and can be used in ArcGIS. As so much support available online one can do decent GIS even with ArcView.

Detailed information about ArcGIS desktop functionalities and applications are available on
ESRI’s website.

Please see
INDEX for complete list of topics.


gaja said...

sir, i want step by step tutorial to use ARCGIS . could you please give me the web sourse address

thanking you.
my mail id is

gaja said...

hello ..
i wnat step by step tutorial for arcgis version 3 and version 9 . could you please tell me in web where i can get..


my e-mail id