Digital Geography

6. April 2015

Introducing: My personal application list

Once again I switched from Windows back to Ubuntu as I only needed Win for my granted ESRI license but hated to be “interrupted” by automatic updates, missing dll libraries and crashing flash container plugins on Firefox. So now I am building my personal computational slave once again based on Ubuntu and wanted to share with you my list of applications that I need for my daily work with geodata, matrices, graphics, cartographic outputs and statistical analysis.

The Hardware

I am running on a 3 year old Thinkpad X230:
  • 8GB RAM
  • i7-3520M CPU @ 2.90GHz × 4
  • 170GB SSD harddrive
  • 9 cell battery
  • external display? check!
I am using it mostly in a non-desktop way: in the train, on the airport/airplane, shared desks and so on.

The Usage Scenario

I am mostly working with geodata:
  • map design
  • ETL (extract, transform, load) tasks
  • geodata acquisition
  • geostatistical analysis
  • webmap production
My second major work is related to programming:
  • coding
  • GUI design
  • general design
  • hosting
  • database work
Looking at this short list you might get an idea about my software stack. So let’s check your thoughts:

The Application List

  • QGIS– for my major GIS work. Supports nearly anything with its Python backend
  • PostgreSQL with postGIS extension – data mart for my daily tasks and webmapping projects
  • RStudio – a GUI for the statistical, functional language R with syntax highlighting, package support, embedded pictures and visual log to do analysis on my spatial data
  • Filezilla – a FTP client to connect with ftp data providers and to the servers
  • Inkscape – an editor for vector graphics. Useful in final level map production as well as marker/pin designs
  • Gimp – always good for image enhancement and maybe broader image related work
  • Libre Office – a good office package. For simple forms/graphics I use Libre Office Impress a lot!
  • Knime – for automated tasks when it comes to geocoding addresses from a file or reprojecting coordinates in a xls file
  • Sublime3 – I love a good editor which supports any coding style
  • Virtualbox – to host my Windows installations and my portable servers
  • Tilemill – to create my own tiles for stunning webmaps

custom tiles with tilemill

So this was probably more GIS/every day applications. As we are working on qgis2leaf and some other software I also need something for development:
  • QT designer – to create GUIs for QGIS plugins
  • GIT – our favourite collaboration tool at Geolicious
  • Sublime3 – once again: a great editor!!!
  • Deepin Terminal – an enhanced terminal for Ubuntu
So now it’s your turn! What is useful for your daily work? What did I miss?