http://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/70916047?profile=original

(Geographic Resources Analysis Support System)

GRASS is a free Opensource GIS produced by the USG for processing ALL kinds of data including the LIDAR and the NDVI analysis so beloved of the PrecisionAG movement.

Its been in use for at least the past decade and is quite well regarded in certain fields. Extensive documentation and tutorials are available at the website for same.

http://grass.osgeo.org/

              hzl

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Comment by Gary Mortimer on June 15, 2014 at 9:57am

I have it but find it just above my pay grade. It gets better all the time though.

Comment by JRC on June 15, 2014 at 10:52am

I use ESRI ArcMap 10 for my GIS needs.  This software is generally the standard in the area that I do consulting (forestry/ecology/fire management).  It is extremely pricy, not always easy to use, but very powerful and what I learned on - granted it was when a DOS prompt was still used.

For my small consulting company I have played with other open source GIS packages, there are many - GRASS being one of the oldest ones around.  One that I have used some and show allot of promise is QGIS another open source GIS package.  In my opinion it is more intuitive than some other open source packages, seems to approach the power of ArcMap (ArcGIS), is frequently improved on, has extensions, and is free. 

http://www.qgis.org/en/site/index.html

Needless to say what GIS package is best for a individual or a company, especially public domain packages depends on needs and budget.  Also it is like the age old best pickup truck argument - Ford, Chevy, GMC, or Dodge.

Comment by Scott Penrose on June 15, 2014 at 2:02pm

If you want to play with OS GIS system, try the OSGEO Live CD - http://live.osgeo.org/

It has QGIS, GRASS and 100s more - http://live.osgeo.org/en/overview/overview.html

Comment by Julian Josephs on June 15, 2014 at 7:53pm

Thanks for introducing me to GRASS, might be just what I need to get my NDVI processing done.

Comment by Jasja Dekker on June 16, 2014 at 2:01am

Yes, I've known it, but I too use QGIS most of the time. In ecology that package is slowly but surely overtaking ESRI, great integration with the also open source/free statistical package R.

Comment by Stefan Gofferje on June 16, 2014 at 2:13am

Also using QGIS here - IMHO, easier for people without a PhD in geology / geography / survey engineers...

Comment by Ned Horning on June 16, 2014 at 5:12am

A nice QGIS feature is that it is easy to integrate features from GRASS, R, OTB and lots of other geospatial packages. In fact, many are integrated so well you don't even know you're using them. It's still worth learning those other packages on their own but that's no longer a requirement to benefit from their strengths.

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