PostGIS in Action (3rd)
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PostGIS in Action: (ed. #1) Chapter 12 - Using PostGIS in a Desktop Environment

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In this chapter we summarize the four most popular (we think) cross platform desktop viewing, querying, and editing tools that work with PostGIS. We chose these particular desktop tools because:

  • They are all free and open source
  • Cross-Platform - All work on Unix/Linux/MacOS and windows
  • Are fairly popular and long lived as far as Open Source desktop tools go
  • Fairly quick and easy to get up and running with even if you don't know anything.

Each we find offers something compelling that the others in the list do not.

We start the chapter off with a Feature Matrix that will compare these tools by ease of install, newbie use, plugin architecture, framework, databases and gis formats supported. We hope this matrix will give you a sense of which desktop tool(s) are right for your particular workloads.

In the sections that follow after the matrix compare, we cover how to install and use these tools to view PostGIS data and where applicable import other GIS data into PostGIS or export data out of PostGIS.

These tools also have scripting and extensible features that make it fairly easy to customize them for specific workflows. Sadly we did not have any space in this chapter to show-case these features to do them justice. We do summarize them where applicable.

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