MacNews Category Review: GIS software for the Mac, part II
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MacNews Category Review: GIS software for the Mac, part II

imageThis MacNews Category Review looks at GIS software for Mac OS X. Products covered include AltaScena America, 59-8 Interactive World Map, AltaScena America, ArcExplorer, Atlas of Switzerland, Azimuth, Canvas 11 with GIS, CartoBasic, Constellation Toolbox for MATLAB, Curious World Maps, DictMaker, Diversidad, Dufour Map, FlightMath, GAIA, Geocart, Geo3D and Geo3D X, GeoInsight, GMT, Google Maps Plugin, GPSNavX and G. Projector.

AltaScena America

AltaScena America is a Mac OS X compatible topographical map and aerial photograph viewer that allows for downloading US Geological Survey (USGS) images from the Internet. E-mail HYPERLINK "" for details.

59-8 Interactive World Map

[url=]59-8[/url] is an interactive world map showing all countries in the world, major and minor cities, flags, locations and coordinates; includes graphic and topographic maps plus a world quiz.

AltaScena America

[url=]AltaScena America[/url] is a topographical map and aerial photograph viewer that allows for downloading US Geological Survey (USGS) images from the Internet.


[url=]ArcExplorer[/url] is a Mac OS X compatible GIS data viewer for basic GIS functions. It can be used for display, query and data retrieval and supports a variety of standard data sources. ArcExplorer can use its own local data or serve as a client to Internet data and map servers.

Atlas of Switzerland

[url=]Atlas of Switzerland[/url] features maps and high interactivity with navigation, visualization and analysis functions. In the 2D section over 650 map themes that cover weather & climate, geology & natural resources, soil, water, ice & snow, landscape, flora and fauna. There are over 350 statistical maps covering society, economy, state & politics, and Switzerland & Europe. In the 3D section panoramic views and block diagrams can be combined with satellite maps, lakes, forests, human settlements and glaciers. In addition, fog, hard shadow, altitudinal gradations, gradient of slope, aspect, visibility and terrain profiles can be calculated and displayed.


[url=]Azimuth[/url] is a map-making add-on to Nemetschek VectorWorks. It has a graphic interfacevisible topographic and vector data on a visible DATA Layer. It combines graphics capabilities with georeferenced data. Its one-button technique. You can make maps of a landscaping project to standard conic maps to spectacular views from space, from any distance and any angle.

Canvas 11 with GIS

[url=]Canvas 11 with GIS[/url] integrates the technologies and features found within Canvas Professional Edition with an array of GIS specialized (latitude/longtitude) daa management tools. I offers support for many proprietary file filters including geospatial industry standard SHAPE and GeoTIFF file support is included.


[url=]CartoBasic[/url] is freeware cartographic software. With drag and drop, you choose a map and data, and it immediately displays a thematic map. CartoBasic is a sufficient tool for all users who don't have much time and who are not experts in cartography.

Constellation Toolbox for MATLAB

[url=]Constellation Toolbox for MATLAB[/url] simulation and analysis package for satellite constellations.

Curious World Maps

[url=]Curious World Maps[/url] offers a way to maps and geographical animations for TV and video. It "lets you take your audience straight to the scene of the action and show them every detail -- the way you want them to see it."


DictMaker is a utility for building, interrogating and maintaining dictionaries and similar reference tools. E-mail for details.

Diversidad software

[url=]Diversidad software[/url] computes biodiversity from digital earth images such as satellite images or aerial photographs. Diversidad scans an earth image and identifies all the regions with the highest diversity. Once identified, these biodiversity hot spots can be protected and managed appropriately.

Dufour Map

[url=]Dufour Map[/url] is an interactive application that lets you compare the historic Dufour Map (1832-1864) with current Swiss National Maps using modern technologies. It has numerous explanations, previously unpublished pictures and historic reports around the Dufour Map.


[url=]FlightMath[/url] is designed to ease the mathematical calculations associated with planning a flight. For instance, instead of using a mechanical slide rule to compute course corrections in wind, you simply drag the hands around a compass rose, with a hand each for wind direction and true course. Other features include: fuel analysis, with mixed units; speed and distance calculations, with mixed units; density altitude; and more.


[url=]GAIA[/url] (Geographic Access Image and Analysis) can display, manipulate, and analyze satellite imagery, scanned aerial photos, airborne video and any PICT or TIFF image. GAIA was developed with conservation groups, universities, towns and schools in mind. GAIA’s capabilities are focused on displaying any earth imagery including full SPOT or LANDSAT images and allowing users to combine spectral classes into meaningful cover types and analyze a given area for acreage. GAIA also has full raster/vector integration and can overlay vector maps (from MapGraphix and Microstation) onto the raster imagery to superimpose roads, geopolitical borders, hydrography, etc. When vectors are co-registered GAIA supports all Global Positioning Systems (GPS) by displaying UTM coordinates for any pixel in an image.


[url=]Geocart[/url] lets you produce base maps of the world or any part of it that are suitable for any purpose from commercial atlas quality maps to animated locator maps for the Web. Over 150 independent map projections are provided, and any projection can be recentered to bring any point on the Earth’s surface to the center of the map. The package includes data bases of the coastlines, lakes, major rivers, minor rivers, and international boundaries of the entire world at resolutions suitable for world or regional maps. Provincial boundaries for most of the world as well as U.S. county boundaries are also included. The package also includes image data bases that can be uses to produce relief maps or color backgrounds. Image data bases are raster images or “picture maps." It works with Mac OS 7.5-9.x.

Geo3D and Geo3D X

Geo3D and Geo3D X and are both from developer [url=]Stefan Huber[/url]. They're based on the QuickDraw 3D and Quesa graphics libraries, respectively, and are standalone 3D Metafile (3DMF) viewers with several navigation (and some editing and animation) features. Geo3D lets you navigate through space rather than being limited to manipulating models. It includes editing tools for shaders, styles, lights, etc. Geo3D "understands" URLs that are attached to 3D objects in a model and is available with viewpoints, picture (sequence) export, animation, dynamic coordinate planes and axes and more. It's partly scriptable and recordable using AppleScript. Geo3D supports plug-in renderers.


[url=]GeoInsight[/url] is a tool for plotting your data on a map, GeoInsight functions as a RagTime component to generate interactive maps. You just drag your spreadsheet column onto the map to create links between map and database.


[url=]GMT[/url] is a free, public-domain collection of 60 UNIX tools that allow users to manipulate (x,y) and (x,y,z) data sets (including filtering, trend fitting, gridding, projecting, etc.) and produce Encapsulated PostScript File (EPS) illustrations ranging from simple x-y plots through contour maps to artificially illuminated surfaces and 3-D perspective views in black and white, gray tone, hachure patterns, and 24-bit color. GMT supports 25 common map projections plus linear, log, and power scaling, and comes with support data such as coastlines, rivers, and political boundaries. GMT works with Mac OS X.

Google Maps Plugin

[url=]Google Maps Plugin[/url] is a Google Maps plug-in for the Mac OS X Address Book.


[url=]GPSNavX[/url] is a solution for the boater that wants to take the Mac aboard for the real-time display of the position on full color charts. You can plug your GPS into your Mac OS X system and watch as your boat moves along in real-time, plotting a track behind the boat and logging your historic position on a digital chart. And GPSNavX doesn't require a GPS to work with charts.

G. Projector

[url=]G. Projector[/url] creates global projections, including transformations of input equirectangular map images (GIF, PNG). Over 80 map projections are included.

Next week: part two.

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