I gave a workshop/presentation on tools for map-making at Data Days CLE on Friday. One of my favorite moments was the city employee who asked me about alternatives to ARCGIS/ESRI and specifically being able to offer read access to geodatabases to other departments of data without using ESRI (hope I remember that correctly).
My slides are at http://skorasaur.us/ddc18 and below is a long list of resources, most of which I mentioned in my talk. This list is also available in my github repository for this - https://github.com/skorasaurus/ddc18
This list is by no means, comprehensive, but a starting point for tools for map-making, primarily focusing on web maps (maps that are viewable online) outside of the ESRI ecosystem.
mapschool - As brief as it is, it’s an extremely useful overview of modern maps and some theory. I don’t know of any other document on maps that is as short yet as informative.
mapmaking suites (SAAS, software as a service):
shinyapps - R-based
Quicker and simpler web map templates:
All of these simpler web map templates require a relatively minimal amount of data (not a very rigid rule, but I’d say less than a couple hundred points/features and that you don’t have a lot of properties on them). If you have more than this, you’ll need to upload them to one of the above services.
mapzap - less styling options but easier to use
mapstarter - also has print options
umap - If you want a map to share with others with some custom icons quickly and aren’t picky about the basemap; can embed as well.
data manipulation/gis in browser:
As above, these may not work (or will work very slowly) if you’re using files that have hundreds of features or are above, say 10mb, in size.
geojson.io - quickly edit and save to numerous formats; works on files < 10mb
mapshaper - relatively simple yet powerful, also has command-line based tool
dropchop - do some common GIS operations within the browser
utilities for printing web maps:
staticmapmaker.com - limited options; but usable
smartstreets Not free; but does a relatively great job and has relatively easy to use interface; good if you’re on a timecrunch and/or limited skills.
Meta (a list of other lists):
awesome-spatial - great list of all types of spatial tools, many of these require knowledge in a particular programming language, comfortability with command line.
awesome-geojson - great utilities for working with geoJSON.
color-tools - all resources on colors
dataviz-tools’ list - thorough list, somewhat out of date
maptime - An informal association of meetup groups that teach geospatial concepts and maps. They have accessible tutorials. I co-organized Cleveland’s maptime from 2012-2014ish.
csvkit - python library and command line to manipulate CSV files
qgis - geospatial analysis, map-making, and so much more; comparable to ArcGIS.
cheat-sheet for fiona and rasterio - Cheatsheet for using python libraries of fiona, rasterio, manipulating geospatial data.
miller - command-line based; very powerful and advanced; specifically for parsing CSV files.
GDAL cheatsheet - GDAL is a geospatial library at the core of many geospatial applications; data conversion; reprojection; analysis, and more. Cheatsheet for using some of its command-line based tools.
Sites/Articles mentioned in talk:
data sources: Guide to Cleveland Data sources - A list of places to get available open civic data for the Cleveland area
If you want to start with the command line: https://github.com/jlevy/the-art-of-command-line
GIS Cartography - Gretchen Peterson Great design influence for making print and web-maps.
cat photo by Walid Mahfoudh