Title: Free GIS Tools for beginners
Convenor: Juan Carlos Bravo
Participants: The meeting took place during lunch time and no participant list was passed around but 10-15 people attended.
I presented three Multi-platform tools for creating maps, and execute GIS analysis all of them free.
QGIS- http://qgis.org/ This is a full-fledged GIS software that is Open Source and available for Windos, Mac, Andoroid and other platforms in Desktop, Online, Server, and Mobile app forms. The basics of working with shape files and creating maps were explored as were the community-built Plugins and how they work.
Opens Street Map- http://openstreetmap.org/ This is a more Urban-oriented online community mapping tool that can be used for planning and communicating. It has a big cycling community that uploads information on cycling routes, shops, etc.
Data Basin: www.databasin.org This is a conservation GIS platform for community sharing of shapefiles and other kinds of spatial data (as well as other kinds of data), it allows users to access a vast amount of community and USGS GIS files. It also allows users to create and export simple maps and to create working groups that can have access to otherwise restricted datasets.
Participants had specific questions about the functionality of these tools and I addressed all as well as I could. Both recent graduates and seasoned GIS users expressed interest in applying these tools and will likely be downloading them in the near future.