[seek-kr-sms] uDIG: free replacement for ArcMap and possibledevelopments

Sergey Krivov Serguei.Krivov at uvm.edu
Tue Sep 26 12:50:06 PDT 2006

Hi Jianting,
It is good to know that you have actually developed GIS based tool based on
JUMP. And it looks very impressive!

I recall we evaluated JUMP before deciding to focus on uDig. Though JUMP can
handle many GIS format via plugins it seems it is not as user friendly  in
this regard as uDig ,which has a kind of registry  for data sources and can
seamlessly handle the sources of different kind, just by drag and drop. Also
uDIG has ready support for WFS and WFS-R which may be useful in the future
and there is support for ArcSDE and DB2 which we need. But the main reason
behind our decision to use uDig is the long term prospective: uDig is based
on OGC standards: GeoAPI, geotoosl. Geotools are in the process of active
development and uDig is in the process of active development too and this
makes it more attractive for long term projects.

I have mixed opinion about having to work on eclipse RCP architecture, it
has both upsides and downsides. One clear disadvantage is the size of the
project (  I believe they did not purge java related plugging from the
platform, I wonder if it is at all possible).

Also, here is extract from uDig position paper regarding their relation to
JUMP: "JUMP (now OpenJUMP) is a precursor project to uDig, in many ways.
Refractions already had extensive experience with JUMP, as a co-developer of
the platform. Our proposal to GeoConnections initially proposed enhancing
JUMP by integrating GeoTools. However, at the design phase, we evaluated a
number of technology platforms, and came to the conclusion that building on
Eclipse RCP with GeoTools would provide a much more robust system in the
long run. Retro-fitting JUMP looked like an option that would require just
as much effort as a new system, without the long term benefits of basing the
application on the Eclipse RCP."

If you believe in long term benefits of basing the application on the
Eclipse RCP then it may have sense to you. As I mentioned I have mixed
opinion on this point.


Sergey Krivov, Research Assistant Professor, 
Computer Science Department,
Fellow of Gund Institute for Ecological Economics.
617 Main St. Burlington VT,

-----Original Message-----
From: Jianting Zhang [mailto:jzhang at lternet.edu] 
Sent: Tuesday, September 26, 2006 1:01 PM
To: 'Sergey Krivov'; seek-kr-sms at ecoinformatics.org
Subject: RE: [seek-kr-sms] uDIG: free replacement for ArcMap and

Hi, sergey:

Thanks for introducing UDIG for me. The GIS mapping functions are pretty
much standardized now and it is good to see more and more open source GIS
are coming (unfortunately, which means little room for academic research :-)

I'm familiar with JUMP (which is somewhat closely related to UDIG). A tool I
have developed for SEEK is built on top of JUMP
(ftp://ftp.lternet.edu/pub/outgoing/jzhang/doc/GBDExpV02.doc). What I like
DGIS is that it uses Eclipse RCP and use Geotools to support projection. 

One caution is the library dependences and the size of the package. A quick
search indicated that all the jar files in the SDK total about 60 Megabytes
which may add considerable complexity to any existing system. Another
comment is that, UDIG, just like JUMP is a client mapping package and does
not have many spatial analysis functions. 

While UDIG is newer than JUMP, JUMP is more self-contained and all the
libraries it need is less than 4M. I believe it has all the functions you
need. As am example, you may download the old version of the prototype I
have developed and have a quick look.
(ftp://ftp.lternet.edu/pub/outgoing/jzhang/taxonvis/taxonvis.zip). What you
need to do is unzip the downloaded file and go to "lib" directory and run
"runme.bat". All data are included as well. 

We may have further discussions for the pros/cons of different GIS systems.
I will provide more comments after I look into the source codes of UDIG. 

Thanks again


-----Original Message-----
From: seek-kr-sms-bounces at ecoinformatics.org
[mailto:seek-kr-sms-bounces at ecoinformatics.org] On Behalf Of Sergey Krivov
Sent: Tuesday, September 26, 2006 9:59 AM
To: seek-kr-sms at ecoinformatics.org
Subject: [seek-kr-sms] uDIG: free replacement for ArcMap and

Jianting and others,

In case you have not seen it, here is a newly developed GIS system, based on
geotools and commited to OGC standards:


This intends to be used as a free source replacement for ArcMap. The
interesting feature of uDIG is that it could easily fetch GIS data from
remote WMS servers, database connection and local files and make a single
Map project out of that. And this is accomplished by drag and drop.

In ecosystem services project where I am involved I have to develop a GIS
application which should help user to select geographic area of interest and
then fetch the data for a specific model of ecosystem service dynamics from
remote and local sources, then connect the data to spatial variables and
export them for the use within the model. We will use uDIG and I wonder if
something like this may be of use inside Kepler?

uDIG is evolving project, there are visions to add to it a 3D view aka
google earth. I think after release of java version of WorldWind, which was
planed for the end of this months this would be easy.  


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