For those who want to experiment with Linux-based GIS, or you have older hardware that just can’t handle Windows XP, Matt Perry has a nice post on his blog on adding applications to a basic Ubuntu 7.10 Linux installation to turn it into a decent open source GIS workstation. Step-by-step directions are included for installing:
- Quantum GIS
- GMT (Generic Mapping Tools)
- … and more
You’ll find the apps installed in the /usr/bin directory.
A few more Linux-compatible software packages to consider adding to this set (require Java to be installed on the system):
uDig extracts into a folder that contains the Java program launcher. To install a *.bin file in Ubuntu Linux (like gvSIG), open the Terminal application, change the directory to the location of the *.bin file, and type:
sudo sh *.bin
Where *.bin is the full name of the .bin file.
If you want to augment these application, there’s a fair number of Windows geographic tools (e.g. MicroDEM) that will run under the WINE emulator.
Taking this as another opportunity to give Ubuntu Linux a spin, I will say that Ubuntu 7.10 (“Gutsy Gibbon”) is another step forward for desktop Linux, but I still have major ease-of-use issues with it. I find myself pounding my head against a wall far more often with Linux than with either Windows XP or Macintosh (but don’t get me started on Vista).