[OSM-talk] QGIS v MapInfo observations
bareman at tpg.com.au
Fri Mar 2 00:49:20 GMT 2012
I have been using MapInfo since about 1995 and QGIS for the last year or so and have noticed some real differences in usability that I would like to share.
My current project is a map of Roman Britain using data from Ordinance Survey Open Data, OpenStreetMap, English Heritage and various books and other historic maps I have found on line.
The hardware I'm using is a homebrew i5 2500 cpu, 16GB RAM and a pair of average 500GB SATA drives.
I'm using MapInfo v7.8 (with no additional packages) in wine on Ubuntu 11.10 (last version that I could get working in wine) and currently QGIS 1.7.4
Differences I've noticed:
- QGIS wins hands down, it is not easy but I manage, whereas MapInfo's I can rarely get started and crash it before I get anything done.
- QGIS is almost painless and what pain there is comes from MY not being able to set the DB up satisfactorily. MapInfo doesn't like PostGIS or mysql.
- I am unable to achieve in either. It SEEMS to me that something is missing in the instructions but I could be misreading them.
Foreign format import
- QGIS plugin is painfully slow to import OSM and could benefit from more flexibility (if I could describe what I want, I expect improvement would come), MapInfo fails.
Foreign format export
- MapInfo fails
- MapInfo is much easier for me to use so long as I remember to frequently save/pack tables, if I forget for too long parts of the table are lost when I do save/pack. The bulk of my editing is joining/splitting objects, converting objects between lines and polygons and adding information to the descriptive columns of objects. Those manipulations QGIS does handle are very slow on layers containing more than about 1000 objects and the layers I'm working on range from a couple of hundred objects up to 2 million (average about 200,000).
At present QGIS in vital to my work and is sure to improve over time. My biggest problem is the way it seems to completely reprocess the layer each time I save an object. The 'geometry-orientation' make me need to think about what I'm doing more than the 'object-orientation' of MapInfo.
MapInfo makes some if it a lot easier but I'm hitting its limitations, such as maximum field width of 254 characters, maximum number of columns - less than 67.
My conclusion is that if/when the speed issues are sorted MapInfo will live in the bit-bucket.
I hope this might be of some use or interest to some one and within the topic.
More information about the talk