I have finished teaching the first GvSIG module, to an institution that apart from implementing a system for use by municipalities, also hopes to give training on free GIS. This institution had developed an application on Avenue but when thinking about migrating it to ArcGIS 9, they gave me the opportunity to show them free alternatives and the matter has finally gone well. Of 8 students, only one of them knew ArcGIS 9 consistently, which has turned out that they easily adapt GvISG and although they are aware that ESRI is a better known technology and of a better positioned brand they have also concluded that they do not have the money to invest in 10 GisDesktop licenses , 2 from ArcEditor, 1 GisServer and three other extensions… ah! and 36 licenses for clients of its pilot project.
Here I tell you how it was.
8 users of ArcView 3.3, although it is a fairly old technology is quite irrigated by many institutions ... appreciated for its simplicity and the number of technicians who dominate it.
It stands out from all students a programmer boy who handles Java quite well and who has already started working on building extensions for GvSIG although he had worked more on NetBeans And it seems to him half pulled of the hair do with Eclipse. There was also one who knows how to program in Avenue, two other developers more into web design with good command of MySQL / PHP. The other technical experts in destroying an apr.
One of the teams was with Linux Ubuntu, everything was wonderful there.
5 computers had XP, there was no problem
2 computers had Windows Vista, there were several incidents of Java execution errors, precisely because the installation that had been carried out was of the portable GvSIG version. The best way is to install connected to the web, as the system looks for the version of the Java Runtime Environment that best suits the system. Generally the errors happened when loading a raster or doing a query in sql builder.
But in general the performance was quite good, although some of the computers were with the system loaded, surely to install and uninstall or for little disk space. In these, the operation of the program felt a bit slow ... among them my laptop that is already asking to renew after having been subjected to different simulations of Golgotha.
The disadvantages of GvSIG over ArcView 3x
When doing a comparative review of what they thought they needed from ArcView, these were their appreciations:
- In tables, you can not change the order of the columns with a simple drag
- When importing data from a csv file, it requires that the symbol that separates the lists be a semicolon (;) which implies having to change this regional configuration in Windows so that when exporting in Excel it will go like this ... and if they are already converted files is a drag. In addition, Excel 2007 can no longer export to dbf.
- The styles of lines and dots seem quite limited compared to those brought by ArcView ... I guess more styles are downloaded from somewhere on the web but the manual does not bring this indicated.
- The options to change the design of fields in the tables is a bit limited
- It was not possible to bring a grid on the maps, such as the geographic coordinate grid
Although in this first module it was limited to the handling of views, tables and maps, this is what they liked the most:
- The options to choose colors at the time of the thematic
- The creation of transparencies
- The properties of the layers to be able to choose minimum and maximum display zoom
- Clipping the window as a georeferenced image
- The option go to specific coordinate
- Layer grouping and the tree option with the plus sign (+)
- The ability to add projection to views and not only to the project
- The correct interpretation of special characters such as accents and ñ
- Import from a csv
- Language choice
- The options to define where the source data is
- The ability to develop, knowing virtually any functionality of GvSIG as a component in Java
- Export to pdf
- Creating frames as a marker in views
In a couple of weeks I have to give the second module, which involves data construction, integration of extensions, SEXTANTE and then it would be the third in which we would touch on the topic of creating OGC services. Meanwhile, they have been migrating their apr to gvp and integrating functionalities that they did not have with ArcView.