ArcGIS vs QGIS vs LUCIAD Comparison

Open-source vs Commercial GIS Tools

You must have come across this tug of war between ArcGIS and QGIS. A rather shameless competition between a proprietary commercial GIS software and freely downloadable tool. It’s is shameless, because we shouldn’t be comparing astronomically expensive licensed software with free alternatives. Naturally, one would expect a proprietary product to triumph over a free tool. But the continued competition means there’s no clear winner.

When this article first appeared in ‘raw-form’ it stirred emotions. True, few people are logical. And most citizens don’t want to change their minds about their haircut, or their religion or their favorite soccer team. It’s also true that few people are ready to change their mind about their choice software.

The article is therefore not intended to convert citizens from their allegiance or devotion to any particular product. But an honest account of key functional and performance issues related to these tools. And in giving an honest examination, this article will draw your attention to LuciadLightSpeed. A robust product for users whose pressing need is high performance.

ArcGIS or QGIS: Which to Choose

If you were to create a list you would probably find that ArcGIS has more features than QGIS. Yes, actually by far! However, that is not a very sound way to select software. It is more useful to ask whether the software executes well features that are needed for your user case. For what is the point of having a long list of features if the software is barely usable. So the right question should be how well does a given software perform. For example, in terms of load time and processing speed. 

In answering the above question, one might be interested to learn that QGIS actually has a better interface, loads faster and executes processes at a much higher speed. It might be interesting to know that just creating a simple buffer takes around 2 minutes on the latest version 10.6 of Arc/GIS Desktop. It might also be the reader’s interest to read about Don Meltz’s famous clip operation. The 20′ contour clipping that took over 12 hours on ArcGIS versus a little over 17 minutes using QGIS.

ArcGIS Errors and Crashing

Another annoying weakness with Esri’s proprietary software is the constant, continuous crashing and errors of all kind for every processing function you perform. Not the kind of error that is due to something a user has overlooked. No. But an error which has no clear explanation. Many users have expressed their difficulty in executing even the most basic functions on ArcGIS without receiving some kind of error. Read one moving story by a user which appeared on the post entitled:  ArcGIS is the worst software I currently use.

Limited Cartographic Capability in QGIS

Similar frustrations have been echoed by users of QGIS. Especially in regard to its limited geo-processing and cartographic capabilities. Indeed, compared to QGIS, Esri has better annotation capabilities for producing cartographic output. This strength is due to the fact that ArcGIS architecture owes its origin in map-making.

LightSpeed: The Ultimate GIS Solution

However, with all this so called cartographic capabilities none of the above software come close to the breadth of options that are available in LuciadLightSpeed. Both QGIS and ArcGIS suffer performance in handling real-time situational awareness. Even QGIS (which can read and write over 70 GIS data formats) is small potatoes when placed in context with the power of LightSpeed.

LuciadLightspeed has been built from the ground-up for 2D/3D/4D dynamic and big-data use-cases. The solution comes ready-to-use, allowing users to drag ‘n’ drop or connect to more than 200 data formats. LuciadLightSpeed provides users with advanced visual analytics capabilities, to fuse, visualize and analyze geospatial data. This can include static and moving data, maps, satellite imagery, crowd-sourced data, full motion video, weather data and terrain elevation in many different geodetic references and map projections.

100 times faster than conventional GIS Software

Geo-fencing, line-of-sight calculations, geo-triggered events, dynamic and complex route calculations and automated anomaly detection are just a mouse click away on LightSpeed. And you are sure that you can perform all this functions, fast and with no annoying errors, bugs or crashes.  Benchmark tests by academia and industry have found LuciadLightspeed to be over 100 times faster and more accurate than traditional GIS software.

Here is something else that classical GIS software users might find very difficult to comprehend: Thanks to LuciadLightspeed’s optimized use of GPU, you can visualize large volumes of moving tracks of any type of asset instantly in 60fps.  What is even more unbelievable is that LuciadLightspeed allows for on-the-fly combination of any data with accurate geospatial transformations. The software can perform advanced functions including real-time video draping, immediate line-of-sight analysis and dynamic density calculations. All of this is possible in 2D & 3D in one single application with one single view, no pre-processing, no intermediate geo-database required and with all data remaining in its original location and format!

How is that for a software?

 

Douglas Mbura

I'm a GIS Specialist. Working as CTO, responsible (Response-Able) for managing the technological requirements at GeoAppsmith.

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10 Responses

  1. Herviou Serge says:

    open source?

  2. G says:

    Sounds like an advertisement for Luciad. Luciad needs to hire people to write blog posts that know correct grammar…

    • dmbura says:

      Grammar aside. Is this blog post factual? Does your ArcGIS ever crash or show errors you can’t explain? Have you ever tried LuciadLightSpeed?

  3. Youshouldbeembarrased@whatever.com says:

    I stopped reading after you said Esri users “lynching” you… which is disgusting and disturbing. You have no clue, and your “blog” is propaganda garbage.

    • dmbura says:

      We are sincerely sorry if our blog post sounds so disgusting. We didn’t mean to annoy anybody. We are only highlighting some truths about ArcGIS, QGIS and LuciadLightSpeed in a not-so-polite tone. Kindly educate us all if you believe you have more ‘clues’ about these softwares.

  4. never mind says:

    Hexagon exists to drain as much money as humanly possible from their customers. Their stuff is proprietary and they work very hard to make sure their products don’t function well with other products.

    Avoid this product and avoid all other hexagon products. It’s a black hole you will throw money into for the rest of your life.

  5. GeoMenke says:

    The point on the limited cartographic capabilities of QGIS, and annotation is completely off base. Both of these areas are a strength of QGIS. QGIS has blending modes layers, features and other cartographic objects, live layer effects, unique rendering engines like: Geometry generators, Inverted polygon, point displacement, point clustering, hillshade & 2.5D. It now has a native 3D environment. It has automatic custom annotation quickly customizable with each project. You should review v3.x

  1. May 13, 2018

    […] See how Luciad compares with Esri and other platforms. […]

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