We all know you can engineer specialized analyses with plugins.
QGIS has boatloads of plugins to solve everyday GIS problems. But what you may not have known is that Arc GIS has plugins too.
Arc GIS has broken more hearts than anyone for consuming data. Yes this “Add Data” button: You laugh now, but think about it: This one button simplifies adding data because it recognizes all GIS formats. Pin down missing data sets by using the filter and search tools. With Arc Catalog, it’s not only for data, but also maps, models and tools. When you join a table to spatial data, you’re putting each row on the map. In Arc Map, you can right-click a layer and select ‘join’. When you make a table joins in QGIS, it gives the option to rename the prefix of that specific join. When other data sets are added in other coordinate systems, Arc GIS will project the data “on the fly”.
ENC, shapefile, geodatabase, Map Info formats, Microstation file formats, Auto CAD DXF, Spatia Lite, Oracle Spatial, MSSQL Spatial databases, Well Known Text (WKT)… Another instant crush is the splash screen in Arc Map that displays your latest map documents.
A ‘Unknown Spatial Reference’ means there’s a datum conflict.
In this case, ‘unknown units’ will appear in the bottom right corner of Arc Map and you should use the Define Projection tool.
A generic search for “environment” returns over 2887 GIS datasets. USDA Wildfires, NOAA Damaging Winds, World Climate Total Annual Precipitation, Ocean Bathymetry Basemap. But your license level determines which tools you can use in Arc GIS.
It’s like a bad horror movie with the inconvenient 999999 error.
Remember that with great power comes responsibility. Open source QGIS software does not limit which tools can be used.
If you want to use the erase tool in Arc GIS 10, you’d have to turn on the advanced license.
There are solutions for practically EVERY GIS problem.
Free integration with R stats (Geospatial Modelling Environment), Marine Tools add-on, Net CDF interoperability, ET Geo Wizards, Arc GIS Patch Analyst,…With Esri’s latest addition for an app store of their own – Arc GIS Marketplace, even more plugins will be rolling out like clockwork.