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Ask Max: Mac-Compatible GIS Software

Asked on 05/26/2006:


I will be sojourning into the world of Mac for the first time soon as my daughter has kindly bequeathed her old laptop to me as a consequence of her purchase of a brand new one. She's a chemist and has resided in the technical arena of Apple her whole school/professional career. I will be 62 next August, but only recently graduated from college. My degree is a BS in business with an Information Systems focus. That, of course, is totally Windows based. However, I became involved with GIS software, and am currently in the process with a partner and working with the university here in Fresno, CA, to develop some web-based applications for specific business needs. I have purchased a couple of ESRI's ArcView/ArcGIS programs, and am working with them. I understand that there are no plans to make their software Mac compatible, which is a shame since they are the gold standard in the GIS world. But, my question is, do you know of anyone that does have Mac compatible GIS software? From what little I know of Mac, it only seems natural that one would greatly benefit from the better technical qualities of Mac operating system and hardware. I would appreciate any guidance you can offer me. Thanks, and I enjoy reading your website content and articles.








Geographic Information System (GIS) are a little outside my realm of personal experience. However, whenever I am in the search for this type of program I will head over to, which is an open source development resource. I have found four projects that may work for you but there are many more that will work in the X11 Unix windowing environment. Apple includes X11 as an optional install in Mac OS X. My guess is your daughter will already have it installed for her line of work. Here are the links for you look at. I am confident you will find something useful there.

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