Commercial GIS software

CSC has organized two GIS-software consortia:

Via these consortia sophisticated GIS software is available for research and educational use in Finnish universities and polytechnics. Ministry of Education and Culture supports the GIS software consortia. If interested in joining a consortium, please contact CSC GIS-coordinator.


Open source GIS software

Alternativly it is possible to use open source GIS software. Open Source Geospatial Foundation supports the collaborative development of open source geospatial software, and promotes its widespread use. There is a lot of different projects going on, some of the most well-known are:


  • QGIS, easy-to-use, enables viewing, modifying, analyzing and visualizing spatial data. Supports a very wide range of vector and raster formats, also WMS, WMTS, WCS and WFS. QGIS can connect to PostGIS, Oracle, SpatiaLite and MSSql. There are a lot python (and C++) plug-ins, for extended functionality. It is possible to use functionality of GRASS, SAGA and R via QGIS user interface. QGIS is available in Finnish.
  • SAGA GIS for terrain analysis, scripting with shell or python.
  • GeoDa for spatial data analysis and geostatistics.
  • GRASS, may-be not the easiest tool for beginners, but has very good tools for analyzing spatial data. The oldest open source GIS project. Scripting with Python or shell.



Web Server

Both are good for providing WMS, WFS, WCS and other map services. GeoServer uses standard SLD style definitions, MapServer has its own definition language. GeoServer also has a web interface for administration.

Web Client

JavaScript libraries for adding maps to web pages.

  • OpenLayers. Supports for example WMS, WFS, GeoRSS, Google Maps and Bing.
  • Leaflet, supports WMS, GeoJSON and TMS. Choropleth maps. Suitable for mobile environments.
  • Google Maps API. Esa Ojala has made guidelines in Finnish for making your first map. Has Google Map as back-ground.
  • Oskari, the code behind Karttaikkuna, developed mostly by Finnish Land Survey. Based on OpenLayers.



  • GDAL/OGR, for accessing and transforming raster and vector data. Enables for example format and coordinate system changes. Includes also command-line binaries, no GUI.
  • LAStools, for LiDAR processing. Tutorials.
  • PDAL library for translating and manipulating point cloud data of various formats.
  • PROJ4, Cartographic Projections library.
  • GPSBabel, converting GPS data.