Earth science (also known as geoscience) is the focus of understanding the sciences related to the planet Earth. It includes a wide range of fields such as geology, geography, geophysics, meteorology, oceanography, and glaciology. Some people are surprised to learn that astronomy is also regarded to be an earth science. Geology is generally considered to be the primary earth science.
Earth scientists plays an important role in helping nations minimize risks that are posed by climate change and natural disasters (such as floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes).
Science really prospers and advances when individuals share the results of their experiments with others in the scientific community. There is a certain logic that scientific software should therefore be released under an open source license. Software is crucial in helping earth scientists carry out scientific research in understanding the system earth and its interplay with society.
Linux has a particularly strong and mature set of scientific software including a wide range of open source earth science software. We have not forgotten about astronomy software, but we’ve previously published recent articles on the finest astronomy software and astronomical data analysis tools.
To provide an insight into the open source software that is available, we have compiled a list of 16 of our favorite earth science software. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for budding scientists that need to work with large amounts of data with spatial attributes. Here’s our findings for each of the software. Here’s our ratings chart in the legendary LinuxLinks-style.
Click the links in the table below to learn all about each program.
|Earth Science Software|
|GRASS||Geographic Resources Analysis Support System|
|Quantum GIS||User friendly Geographic Information System|
|Survex||Cave surveying and mapping software|
|GPlates||Interactive visualization of plate-tectonics|
|GMT||Collection of tools that allow users to manipulate data sets|
|Therion||Cave surveying - 2D and 3D drawing software|
|GeoServer||Server written in Java that allows users to share and edit geospatial data|
|OpenJUMP||Geographic Information System written in Java|
|uDig||Spatial data viewer/editor|
|GrADS||Grid Analysis and Display System for earth science data|
|SAGA||System for Automated Geoscientific Analyses|
|gvSIG Desktop||Powerful, user-friendly Geographic Information System|
|PostGIS||Database extender for PostgreSQL object-relational database|
|WhiteboxTools||Advanced geospatial data analysis platform|
|ncview||Visual browser for NetCDF format files|
|MapServer||System for developing web-based GIS applications|
This article has been revamped in line with our recent announcement.
|Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. Our curated compilation covers all categories of software.
The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk.
There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.