TRANSLATION NOTES: Please read some comments at the end of this post.
Today I have been in a cartographic production institution, those who learned to program very well with Avenue; the original intention was to present alternatives to the formal demise of ArcView 3x and the limitation to switch to ArcGIS 9.
It would have been more complicated if Geomedia users were present for whom the comparison would have been more extensive or for some who had available money and were in the possibility of acquiring ArcGIS or lower-cost applications such as Manifold. In a few minutes of exposure they have been satisfied with the benefits of GvSIG, now I summarize what I think has convinced them:
1. It looks like both AutoCAD and ArcView
The fact that GvSIG has much similarity with ArcView 3 x in its interface based on views, tables and layouts has been crucial. Then see that the way to build data resembling AutoCAD, with sufficient editing commands has influenced; of course, we know that ArcView 3 x users much criticized the difficulty to edit data accurately and the absence of the topology.
2. It’s free, or almost
The correct word is free to use, however the way how they have viewed is that to distribute it there is no need to purchase a license. This institution developed some functionalities on Avenue, and were considering moving to ArcGIS 9, what happens is that for users of its applications is difficult to acquire this type of license… especially because they are low-income municipalities.
Of course, for this I am committed to offer a GvSIG course called “GvSIG for ArcView users” … I think it will be interesting.
Purchase ArcGIS, ArcGIS Engine, ArcObjects, GIS Server and ArcSDE meant about $ 57,000. Now they will only invest $ 2,000 in a Java course, $ 1,000 on a GvSIG course and $ 2.000 in good manuals development… It is not free of course, but will only cost them $ 5,000 because they have programmers that handle Java and know how to ArcView very well (*).
3. The multisystem compatibility
Being built on Java, runs on Mac and Linux, meaning they would no longer suffer for the service pack that supports the system that was planning to deploy.
For now, decision is made; it will only make a work plan to reflect the formation stage, development and implementation of the new version of its system. Best of all is that they expect to systematize the experience to turn it into a publication.
So yes, ArcView users like GvSIG. After two months to be tested, is already producing results.
There I tell you how it goes.
(*) Con los ojos cerrados: This Latin American idiom means that someone knows very well how to do a task, so that it can be done with his eyes closed.